Mornin' y'all!

Here on Emerald Isle, a morning walk along the water took my feet where I have walked hundreds of times, maybe more.

The stilllness of the December morning was punctuated only by waves rolling and crashing, and the occasional hammer tending to houses standing empty in the island winter.

The silence, complemented by the crisp air and the sun gleaming through a field of clouds gave the morning a bell-like clarity and a silvery hue. I was walking through a silver-bells dream...

In the two hours I walked, I met only one person, walking the opposite way. But even if human presence is scant off-season, natural activity is not!

Pelicans, long, long lines of them: thirty-four in one line, or eleven (with bursts of four or five in between), all elegantly tracing the curve of the waves with the tips of their long wings, pointing like a conductor as they moved from wave to wave, then abandoning each as it curled to crash and moving to the next.

The horizon blurs in the distance with fog, "la brume" as they say in French, reminding ,me that even if I cannot see what is just beyond the horizon, it's really okay. (Maybe even all the better!)

I walked, noticing the shore birds, willets and sandpipers, who in high season scurry away at human footsteps now grown stalwart or cocky (they outnumber me on the beach!) continuing their morning meal without so much as a glance in my direction hurrying after each wave, harvesting the fresh feast each wave brings in.

From time to time, I stopped to see the sun traveling behind the screen of clouds. Each time (magic!) the sun's light pointed like a finger across the water from the sun right to where my feet had stopped to admire. The light reached out, touching and connecting me to that source of light and warmth and life, as if acknowledging my presence. (Yes I know it was a game of perspective, but still...)

In the stillness the world becomes magical again.

As long as I stay there.

I laughed out loud (yes, right there on the beach walking all alone lol) at how sometimes difficult it can be to stay in the moment, how insistent that old habit/trap of falling into thoughts of the past (some lovely, others less) or the future (some lovely plans, some useless fretting.) Even as I laughed, it dawned on me that it was perhaps somehow designed to lure me away from this magical moment. Or this one. Or this!

As I walked, I kept leaving the beauty of the still beach - my happy place! - and for what?

Sometimes thinking back on this past year, with my first book coming out and new journeys and encounters in places with faraway names like Bora Bore and Tahiti, wonder-full experiences... but also some decidedly less fun experiences: learning experiences reminding me to always listen to my intuition (the worst "I told you so" is the one we say to ourselves). In short, I found myself looking backward to a year that had many ups and downs.

When I wasn't paying attention, thoughts slipped, too, to the future - which from where I am sitting is about as blurry as the horizon! - thoughts of wonders that will come (finishing my second book which is meant to come out in French sometime in May... my first book hopefully coming out in English in 2018... new voyages to work in martinique and Guadeloupe, canada... divination thoughts trying to suss out the "wheres" and the "whens" and the "with-whoms" in advance. These thoughts crop up naturally, like a clam revealed by a receding wave; and so I (a willet) insistently, repeatedly plucked them out and set myself back to the task at hand: simply walking on the beach, being nourished there.

Again and again I turned my attention back to the gift of HERE, the gift of NOW... the gift of LIFE!

Positive or negative, that backward thinking about the past or forward thinking about the future lured me away from the gift of my walking in the Here-and-now. So each time I caught myself, I simply laughed and called my thoughts back, ambling, amused, watching my sanderling thoughts scurry in and out of the waterline of the present.

Each time I recalled my thoughts with the same gentle reminder: BE HERE NOW.

Noticing when I slip into not-here mode is interesting.

It happens when things get too hard and I allow distractions to "take me away from it all." It happens when things get hard in a way I DON'T like (suffering through a conversation or a conference that doesn't interest me) as well that things that are hard that I DO like (like walking a beach in the early morning hours.

Huh? How is that hard?

When we are in silence and facing the ineffable beauty of Nature, it calls to OUR ineffable beauty, tha part of us that is shining, the part of us that is FABULOUS. (and yes, that goes for you guys too - all of us!

Since most of us learned that we possess any fabulous ineffable beauty, instead of walking in it always (consciously), we sometimes dodge it (unconsciously) by dodging the moment that presents it, the moment that reminds us of it.

And so a walk on a beautiful beach finds us thinking about the things that we left behind, worries fears, [past and present, anything to avoid the call of the Fabulous.

We know that silence is not the natural state of affairs for our society, and this fits in with the unconscious hiding: the world has given us noise to hide in.

So how is beach walking hard? Well, it's not, if we are unaware that we leave the beach in our thoughts as our body walks along...

But the moment that we become aware of it, and begin to try to "stay put", it can seem like a hard task to BE HERE NOW. Personally I have been going at this for many years, and so I laugh whenever I notice that that old habit is still hanging around.

It can seem so much easier to slip backwards and allow the cares and worries of this world to steal away the richness of this moment... of this life. Or to hide in noise and distractions (tv, internet, telephone) from the moments that call us to our fabulous Selves.

In general, when we begin anything new (like staying in the present moment, maybe), it can be uncomfortable. I remember when I moved from NYC to Philly, it felt like my skin was crawling, so powerful the desire was to go back to NY, and my old familiar life, even though I knew it was not good for me.

That skin-crawling thing, or any discomfort with the new that can be mental emotional or physical, shows just how addictive our habits can be, as our old habits call us backward to what we knew before, somewhere we felt in control. In this way, the past calls to us like a comfortable old friends; we can miss them terribly when we venture out into new terrain, even lovely new terrain like the present moment, the beach at dawn, or facing a future unknowable (and thus uncontrollable.

The problem with turning backward to try to regain what seems from the new vantage point comfortable, is that what WAS no longer exists. It is a NEW situation now, as we are constantly growing, and so a new equilibrium must be found which will ALSO force us to grow. Life just keeps giving us chances to grow into our fabulousness. :-)

I think that is why they say "OLD HABITS DIE HARD", but I don't think that is necessarily true; we can release old habits when we see them for what they are, and we consciously decide to let them go.... only if we really want to move on.

Then, we can make the moving on easier by recognizing that the only constant in this life IS change, and that growth and the fullness of life lies before us, not behind us. The idea is to peacefully let GO of old habits, habits which keep us locked into the past and locked out of the magic: our Fabulousness!

We let go of the OLD: habits of the past which don't serve us any longer by not feeding them: not giving them our energy, time and attention. We can make this easier on ourselves by at the same time feeding the NEW: cultivating activities that DO serve us: ones that FEED THE FABULOUS in us, renew us and fill us with light and ease and joy and the confidence for the future that is the hallmark of every part of Nature. But us. (!)

Today, inspired by a magical morning, I consciously choose the magic. I feed the fabulous: I walk and sing and write and will visit friends all before settling down to finish paperwork this afternoon (exactly the OPPOSITE of my habit of tackling the distasteful first.)

I feed the fabulous in me so I can FEEL the fabulous in me. And fabulous celebrates life. No playing small for the fabulous.

When we FEED THE FABULOUS, we FEEL FABULOUS! And ready for anything!

We- all - each and every one! - are fabulous. sons and daughters of Creation; it can be no other way. But our experience is not always fabulous: how can that be? The difference is simple: which side do we feed?

Do we feed the worry and fear or anger around the past or the future? Or do we feed the fabulous present moment, noticing the world around us as if in interaction with us, a conscious embracing of the magic of our fabulous life?

The choice is ours.

I know what I choose... how 'bout you?

Feeding the Fabulous from Emerald isle...