Spaciousness can often appear as emptiness, and it’s easy to mistake that for a lack of importance. Until we sit in the empty space for long enough to hear what is really going on beneath the surface of life…like in the ocean, where layers and whole ecosystems live in places we cannot see. Then, when we finally make time to peer into the deeper regions, we are filled with such wonder that it’s almost impossible to speak.
Maybe that’s why it’s so hard for many of us to stay still and even want to live a more simple life. It can feel a bit boring compared to the more active, moving, inspiring life of a passionate creator.
I just got back from the ocean. It’s not simple there. The ocean is full of complexity and intense creativity, yet it has a way of returning me to simplicity anyway.
At the ocean, I sit for hours watching grey whales spout and dive while listening to the waves crash upon the shore. I walk for miles along that same shore, stepping over seaweed and jellyfish, marveling that these are the same elegant creatures I saw floating in the aquarium exhibit the day before. My childlike wonder is apparent as I attempt to capture that delicate elegance with my phone.
There is such diversity & amazement at the ocean. How can I not be in awe of the world’s largest mammals being sustained by some of the smallest? How can I not be amazed at the sheer power of waves, the intense beauty of the tide pools, the playful exuberance of the animals that live here?
Yes, I see signs of pollution, over-crowding, and the insensitivity of humans that interrupts the natural cycles of sea birds & ocean mammals. It angers me to know how much plastic is finding its way to the ocean, and into the stomachs of sea mammals, every year. It breaks my heart to see once pristine beaches where I found seashells and agates as a child, now littered with human debris and oily ocean foam.
But unless I focus on the amazement, I will never be motivated to do anything about those problems. So I give myself permission to be both amazed and disturbed by these complex layers of the ocean, and of life in general.
This is a daily choice we get to make: where to give our focus.
I choose to be humbled by the astonishing gifts of life and moved to protect what I see. It’s the only way I know to keep creating a future that holds all the possibility this great, amazing world has to offer.
Where are you choosing to focus your attention?
Find amazement, and turn your focus there.