Peaceful Places

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
– Jacques Cousteau

When I’m stressed or struggle to sleep, I take some slow, deep breaths. Then I visualize a relaxing and memorable moment.  My vision is always on a beach. It’s where I go to unwind and rejuvenate. The first place I usually picture is a Caribbean island we visited with a long stretch of white sand and warm water the color of robin’s eggs.  It’s my go-to prescription for a calming effect.

In a memoir workshop with Roger Housden, he described, “moments of our past that are still alive for us. They shimmer their color – bright or dark. It’s an emotional laden sensation taking you underneath words.” We made lists of “shimmering images” in our lives.  One of my most extraordinary experiences was floating in Maui while listening to humpback whales hum in the water below. Although I’m nervous swimming in the ocean, it’s the most peaceful I ever felt.

Another captivating image is watching sunlight sparkle on the water or staring out the window (like I’m doing right now) and watching waves roll in to shore. Years ago during chemo treatments, I would sit for the longest time just gazing at the beautiful blue ocean. It was part of my healing process.

The next time you’re tossing and turning or feeling stressed, take a moment to remember shimmering images from peaceful places.