Receiving in Life’s Gifts

“We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.”

–William Hazlett

Inhaling the fragrance of beach plum roses as I stroll through the back lanes in Rockport to a private beach, I am overcome with joy from the simple way life presented itself to me this morning.

No fears, no worries, no “to do” lists, no remorse, no responsibilities—just time alone with myself to unwind from a year of putting myself “out there” in so many new ways, with so many new people.

As the gentle sea breezes continue to help disperse the sweet smells of these flowers (known as Rosa rugosa) my heart wells up with gratitude. I stop, place my hands over my chest, and thank God for this heavenly moment of bliss.

Suddenly flooded with so many happy memories of summers vacationing with my children on Cape Cod’s National Seashore, where these rose bushes abound, a parade of other people who touched my life appears in my mind. My dad, who died 11 years ago in August, spent much time with my children and me. One of his last sentences spoken to me before he passed away was, “Make time to play with your kids in the sand.” Spending quality time with my children has consistently been one of my life priorities. Hence, pursuing my dream, while parenting a teenage son this summer (that is next week’s blog), requires thoughtful juggling and acceptance of a slower pace compared to the earlier momentum I was building.

Each step I take further along my walk, I feel my heart expanding. No rules, no regrets, just exquisite love for every person who has touched my life. Without all the angst of the many transitions I have recently encountered (in selling and moving from my home of 17 years and sending my first-born to college 14 hours away), I have a new perspective on life.

I now see how the people who came into my life were so divinely delivered. I was given the help I needed in moving from a man who loved me through what I will now remember as one of the scariest times of my life. Being unconditionally accepted and cared for, when I felt like I was losing everything, was one of the greatest gifts I ever received from anyone. It helped instill in me in a strong sense of worthiness, for I learned to be loved for who I am, not what I do or what image I project to the world. As a result, I am focusing more intently on extending that gift to others. To do so, I stay longer in periods of not knowing, instead of making quick judgments. In my pausing, I go within to see what I feel in my heart, not what I think in my head.

A few weeks earlier, while coaching a client on Crane’s Beach, we talked of allowing life to present its plan and possibilities to us versus continually over-analyzing or thinking. Too much rationalizing can become exhausting and limiting. Creating openings for new possibilities beyond what we have known to date means letting go occasionally and allowing more time for just being.

Getting off-site, away from all the familiar routines of life, as I am doing more frequently this summer, is opening my world and heart in new ways, too.

Nature, versus books, is now becoming my greatest teacher. It can become yours as well. Whether it is a sight, sound, smell, touch or taste, the senses that are evoked by surrounding ourselves with beauty and quiet can provide us with such contentment and connection to valuable parts of our being and life. May you give your mind a break this summer, and open your heart or become more attuned to your essence. Get outside and play, or just “be.” You will surely be amazed by what gifts life is ready to give you if you stay open to receiving them.

BELIEF TIP OF THE WEEK for Receiving in Life’s Gifts:

Write out the statement below long-hand a few times each day. Then, repeat out loud as frequently as you desire, but especially in the morning and at night when in restful states:

I allow myself to revel more in my being by spending quiet time in nature.

I am particularly endeared to this week’s photo of the beach plum roses in Eastham, Mass., where I first met photographer and friend Beth Shedd years ago vacationing with our children. Beth is another one of my blessings I received in this year. A former client, our friendship deepened as she challenged me to further claim my own value, and we began joyfully collaborating on my next dream.

SUMMER COACHING: Replenishing Body and Soul

Is there a behavior, belief or even a relationship  you would like to leave behind or add to your life at this juncture?

A great way to physically “let go” or “let in” is by experiencing Gail’s coaching while walking.

Back by popular demand, Gail is offering her innovative work on the sands of Crane’s Beach in Ipswich. Early morning and late afternoon sessions are now being scheduled. For more information, please call Gail at:


And, if you prefer receiving coaching by phone or at her office, she is offering summer package deals, discounted during the months of July and August for those who commit to three or more sessions.


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  • Sarah says:

    So true. I changed my life so I could live in one of the most beautiful places I could imagine. Heading out for a hike or sail takes me to that very special place I can only go when out in nature. God created it for many reasons and I am quite sure one of those is the emotional effect it has on humans and animals.

    • Gail says:

      Sarah: Thanks for sharing the ways nature touches you…and your courage to change your life so you could live amidst such beauty. I bet those around you are constantly attracted to your energy and joy from living in a place that provides you with so much bliss.

  • I could feel the sand under my feet as I read your post and hear the sound of the ocean waves. I especially like the conversation you and your client had about allowing life to direct us. As an over-thinker myself, it is so refreshing to trust more, worry less, and witness the unfolding of daily miracles Life has to offer us. Here’s to less thinking and doing and more being. Yahoo!

    • Gail says:

      Thank you for sharing your own “over-thinker” tendencies and the appreciation of the conversation I had with my client. I am glad your senses were touched by my experience in nature. The more still we become, the more we open the way for life to direct us. It takes trust to think and do less and “be” more. The reward for that shift, though, is it gives us the opportunity to embrace the fullness of who we already are. From that fullness, we can then take inspired actions to produce desired outcomes and dreams.

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