24 Minutes by the Ocean

Living fully today meant taking myself to the ocean if only for the 24 minutes I was allowed to leave my car parked in its parking spot. (Yes, the meter only allowed me to pay for 24 minutes.) It also meant paying myself for time spent preparing for a workshop and showing up to teach it even though no one showed up.

I admit it: I was depressed today. I had worked really hard to get ready for the Saturday night class and workshop. In fact, I gave up Shabbat to prepare my for both, because I had too much work during the week to do so. I can’t say I had focused a lot of time and energy on creating a huge crowd at either the class or workshop prior to Saturday. I had done some advertising, but I hadn’t focused my thoughts. I hadn’t used my own Kabbalistic conscious creation process except in short spurts. I had, however, spent all day Saturday preparing. And for my efforts (minimal, I suppose…) I had one student on Saturday night and none on Sunday.

So, I drove myself to Aptos, CA, the next town over, and parked in a 24 minute parking spot. I put my money in the meter and first went to a little metaphysical shop down the street. There I purchased a beautiful amethyst bracelet. Payment for my time and effort, I rationalized. A gift to myself for putting myself out there, working hard, being willing to offer the class, trying to realize my dreams, wanting to share with and help others.

I walked back to the car. The meter had already run out. I put more money in the meter and bought myself another 24 minutes. Quickly I walked to the beach and sat on some rocks and looked out across the green, blue water to Monterrey.

The ocean always makes me feel better. I love the ocean and wish I had more time to walk and sit by its shore, to spend time writing while I listen to the music of its waves against the sand and the gulls in the air and the sea lions near the pier, to meditate with the surf as my mantra, to read and rest and rejuvenate. My busy life more often than not precludes me getting to the ocean as much as I’d like, although I can be at the shore in under 20 minutes. My favorite local beach is only about 30 minutes away.

So, while I could have let life bring me down today, I decided to live a little…to be good to myself. The bracelet will remind me of my efforts and the purple stones will offer me their energy every day. The trip to the beach was the real treat that lifted my spirits, reminded me of the goodness life has to offer, and reconnected me with something greater than the little disappointments in life.

Sitting there on that rock I remembered that the Source of that vast ocean and that beautiful piece of land on the horizon and the wind in my hair and the sun on my face was also the Source of the creative power within me. My desire to give back what I have learned — to teach — allows me to tap into that Source, which wants only to give goodness to me. I need only learn how to receive it, and to let it flow like the ocean waves. In and out. Receiving. Giving.

Just as God exists in everything, God exists in my experience this day…even in the empty classroom and my disappointment. God lies in the free will I was given to choose what to do with that experience, how to respond to it. My first response was to drive to the ocean and park the car for 24 minutes.

It’s amazing what 24 minutes at the ocean can do for you. When I go to bed tonight, I’ll see myself on that rock by the ocean, I’ll touch the stones of the bracelet, and I’ll know that today I lived my life a little bit more fully.

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