Have you ever sat in a quiet beach? A really quiet one - not one that is often referred to as the “must visit” place, or that is filled with tourists in their fancy beach getups; not one that makes you spend a lot of your holiday money on overpriced coconuts and useless souvenirs that you’ll never look at again after you bought it?
I’m talking about the secluded beaches… pristine, almost undiscovered, that anyone barely visits.
After months of living in Bali, I finally sat at a secluded beach recently. Alone. Just me, the beach, and a good book. I brought my phone but I wanted to keep it at arms length that day.
At first, the silence was alarming. I frantically searched for signs of life, for sightings of other people, passersby of any kind - you know, just in case something happened (obviously I had watched too many movies.) A few minutes later, I shifted my focus to the perfect mix of the warm sun on my skin and the cool winds that blew across my face. It turned my fear-ridden train of thoughts into something more peaceful. Eventually, I began to immerse myself in my book and I no longer searched for things around me. And occasionally, I would look up from book to hear the roaring waves and to feel the sand in between my toes.
For once in a very long time, I felt peaceful and I remember walking into my house that evening, feeling full and content, and telling my wife about how that few hours getaway was the perfect cure for the stresses I had experienced a few days prior.
We’re so used to being busy - so used to the hustle and the fast-paced lifestyle. (Don’t think that just because we live on the island, we are any different. We hustle just the same - maybe slightly slower, but still, the same kind of busy.) And a retreat from all that isn’t necessarily what we are naturally inclined to do. In fact, unless it’s forced, it is unlikely to happen. Even if we do need it. Even if our bodies scream for it. Even when our souls thirst after it. Our body, mind, and soul longs for a moment of retreat, of rest, of silence, but it’s hard for us to fulfil it, because the silence is alarming and the distance will draw us back. At least that’s what we think.
I used to think that way too. I don’t make resting a habit. I used to think that it was a waste of time. But after that one afternoon at the secluded beach, I know just what I need.
Rest. Take a moment to just chill. Away from your everyday, away from your busyness, to tune out from the noises of your daily lives, to just commune with yourself, maybe even to be accompanied by nature. I promise you, it will do so much good for your souls.