Right now feels like a dream. I am sitting on a cabin porch, with the ocean swimming directly in front of me. Tucked into my pajamas and nursing an apple cider. The rain is tickling my feet, as it escapes the awning.
And I am writing.
I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be.
This is my happy place.
My place of escape.
To fill up.
To just be.
This is magical town where I lived last year—here I became whole again. And each time I re-visit this coastal gem, I feel calm.
It is hard to explain but there is an energy here that takes a hold of me and lets me be still.
Tonight I went to my favourite yoga studio called Coastal Bliss, where I was lead through a hip opening flow. I breathed deeply. I not only felt my hips open, releasing stress but also my heart cracking open.
I felt stronger than I do in the city. And so happy to be practicing in a studio that envelopes me in cedar and makes me feel at home.
The simple pleasure of gazing out the window and watching the Sitka trees sway in the wind. And the pitter patter of rain, as I stretched out into savasana.
After class, I crossed the parking lot, and hit up the local grocery store called Beaches (cute, right?!).
Word on the beach was the local baker had just made a fresh delivery of her harvest bread. I used to live two doors down from her home and the smell of fresh bread urged me out of bed every Wednesday morning.
When I picked up my chosen loaf, I could still feel the warmth of the oven. You cant find anything more local and fresh than that.
The simple pleasures.
Back home in the city, it is harder for me to find these little appreciations that make a small town unique. I have uncovered a local coffee shop that makes the most delicious London Fog and is settled on a treelined street, which makes it feel like a secret treehouse. I like to escape for a treat when the 9-5 grind engulfs me and I need a minute to breathe a little deeper. The staff know me by name and that I like my London Fog extra hot.
These little things in life are all things that make us come alive and usually don’t cost a dime but are the most valuable.
Like when someone remembers your name.
Or even takes the time to ask what it is.
In the city, our eyes instinctively gaze down as we walk the streets, amongst the hustle of everyones lives.
Scared to make eye contact.
Let alone smile.
Here in this coastal town, I find myself walking taller. Brighter. And fully aware of my surroundings. Maybe it’s my ease in this town that creates a confidence to open myself up. Maybe its the cool ocean air that awakens my senses?
Thinking back to my yoga class at Coastal Bliss, the mantra was focused on what we are thankful for. I remember sitting there and immediately my mind went to family, friends, job etc. But then my thoughts shifted and I was thankful for the laughter in my life and the little things that make me smile day to day.
When I went surfing the other day, I could not help but smile from ear to ear. I even caught myself yelping with delight as each wave picked me up and shot me into shore. The powerful feeling of my arms pumping, as I paddled out and feeling the arch of my back as I prepared for another wave. Popping up, to land steady on “Tony Montana” my beloved longboard, and feeling the simple rush of movement and living in that moment.
I think I have figured out the secret to my happiness—nature.
The closer I am connected to nature, the calmer I am. The more disconnected from all the communication channels of life, the calmer I am. I don’t feel the need to check into social media and see what my virtual friends are doing because it doesn’t matter, because what I am doing, rules in my world.
And that is all that matters.
Now it is 10:35pm and I have migrated from the patio, to my bed. And yes, it is Friday night.
Find the simple pleasures in life that make you shine and I promise your world will become lighter. It took me eight months to learn this lesson but I have held onto it and embraced every small detail in life that brings me joy.
Forget the drama of life that doesn’t serve you.
Surround yourself with people that bring you up, not down.
And make sure you pay it forward by uplifting someone in your life.
I actually squealed in delight when I went to have a shower the first night we checked into the cabin and discovered my favourite SeaWench brand was all over the bathroom! Ahhh peppermint body wash. Need I say more… heaven. And that is a prime example of the simple pleasures, that are there if we allow ourselves to see them.
My eyes are now heavy as sleep teases me. The waves are still crashing, I smell like peppermint. My body is tired and my mind is calm.
The simple pleasures.
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Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: Mitya Ku at Flickr