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Be Thankful for the Gift of Life

Xinalani Beach with Waves © Lynne Buchanan
(Image watermarked by Digimarc, all rights reserved)

This photograph was taken in Xinalani Mexico in October 2011 at a yoga retreat there.  It was such a spiritual place and the energy was quite special.  After practicing yoga and meditating every day, it was so easy to feel the magic of this scene on the last evening I was there and feel blessed to be alive.  When the God rays broke through the sky, as I was standing with my tripod in the ocean, I felt immersed in a miracle.

Sometimes, it is not so easy to feel that all of life is a blessing though.  Anxious thoughts can snowball and create more anxious thoughts and suddenly you are overwhelmed.  Yet, to really progress along the spiritual path, it is important to try and open our hearts to everything in our lives and be thankful for all of it, even the parts our smaller selves don't recognize as blessings yet.  It is really always a push-pull between feelings of doubt and hopefulness.  That is the nature of being human.  

Last weekend, I attended a fantastic frame drumming workshop with Layne Redmond in Melbourne, Florida.  Drumming seems to appeal to people in the midst of transformation.  At sunrise on the second day, I decided to go for a walk on the beach before class, because I was really struggling with some personal issues and was hoping a walkabout on the beach would provide me with some clarity.  I did not have my camera, so I will have to describe my experience instead.  It was an overcast day with areas of blue sky peeking through.  The wind was blowing quite strongly and the waves were crashing in accidental patterns.  The incoming waves were met by the receding tide and all kinds of crisscross patterns were evident.  The shorebirds would suddenly have to split their formations and run in opposite directions.  Pelicans were flying right into the fray of it all and somehow emerging unscathed.  Spray was curling off the tops of the waves and bits of foam were skipping along the sand, until suddenly they would stick at some random spot and then dissolve.  As I was looking into the stormy sea, I thought, "God, life is really a mess sometimes.  How can there be any kind of divine pattern in this?" My ego couldn't comprehend how something that looked so purposeless could be anything more than mere chance.  It seemed to validate my feeling that every decision I was making was impossible, because nothing was related and it was all so arbitrary.  At the moment I had this thought, God rays suddenly formed (only below the clouds instead of above like they did in Xinalani) and struck the most distant water on the horizon lighting it up so brilliantly.  It made me think that maybe I just couldn't see how it all looked from a larger perspective.  As I stood there feeling hopeful that perhaps in a few months or a year things would be a whole lot clearer and more stable in my life, one of the large rays of light that had formed traveled from the horizon all the way to my feet.  I was totally transfixed and felt the warmth of the sun's positive energy cut through the chill in the air and enter my body and soul.  It gave me goose bumps.  All my senses were telling me that there is magic in this world and that the challenges I am facing must be blessings, even if I don't yet know how these blessings will manifest in my life.