I was convinced I needed more nature and less Michelin Stars. My career in fitness has less glamour than I ever could have imagined. Spending hundreds of dollars on dinners, cocktail dates, or new shoes was my escape into the world of “normal people”. You know, people who don’t sweat in spandex for a living? But now it just feels empty as if it’s an escape instead of life experiences. And I don’t do escapes. I do reality. I do courage. I do the work.
I had never been to the Pacific Northwest, but a google image search confirmed Big Sur as a magical stretch of land and sea. THIS, I thought, is exactly where I need to be. Home isn’t necessarily my best reset environment; there’s too many people in my face, too much to do, and I don’t use the word “No.” often enough. What’s more is that I desperately needed to think about my place in the world. How do I start at intention, move to action, and create impact?
After an hour and a half down Cabrillo Highway toward Bixby Creek Bridge, I can kinda start to see some ocean beyond giant fields and farms when I yell, “Oh my god, pull over!” We position our muscle car between the five or six others parked in the breakdown lane. The weather is cooler, the sky more grey, and I can hear the roar of her majesty just over the hilled, sandy walkway. Behind me is a what looks like a mountain; the clouds low enough to create a fog around the trees, yet still high enough that I can see pockets of blue sky on the other side.
I bolted out of the car, phone in hand, and kicked off my flip flops. The sand comprised of teeny tiny pebbles that got stuck in-between my toes and created almost a burning sensation under my feet as I walked towards probably the most beautiful and powerful ocean I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Monastery Beach is not somewhere you can go to swim. At the shoreline, the ocean is so dynamic that warning signs discourage you from even entering the water! So basically, there’s nothing serene about this vast beauty. Though it thrashed and roared, I was enamored by its command compared to my own smallness. I felt grateful to be present in that moment, inhaling the cold, salty air. How often do I feel that kind of gratitude? Reminded by an excellent mantra a yoga teacher in Santa Monica taught me: breathe in “I am”, breathe out “Here”. I. Am. Here. Not performing for social media, battling my introverted nature, or wondering how the in the hell I’ll pay my bills when I get home. I just…am.
The lesson here is simple in writing, and yet a lifelong journey in practice:
The world is a dichotomy, with beauty and ugliness in a constant Wild West-esque standoff, with the latter seemingly faster on the draw. It’s my (our) job to crusade on behalf of what’s of the highest good, and sit in that truth no matter how obscure or perplexing that may be.
The ocean takes no prisoners. It does what it was put here to do. It is a complicated, emotional creature with many responsibilities while also juggling constant evolution. No matter how much we humans battle this giant beast, it remains steady in its purpose and it fights back. Sound familiar?
YOU ARE HERE. It is your job to be unrelenting and courageous in the pursuit of the revolution of yourself! You are infinitely powerful, beautiful, and you have lots to offer this world… but you have to see it within and believe it enough to chase after the highest expression of your humanity. Say yes when it’s right, and walk away when it isn’t. You are not promised tomorrow, so thrash and roar and make waves today.