I am sitting on the porch of my rented beach house for the week. The sun, salty air, and quirky people settling in little sand communities remain the same as they were when I was a little girl. My family has been coming to the beach for a full week each summer for over thirty five years. We enjoy hanging out with other, cooking, eating, swimming and just catching up on our life stories in this beautiful setting.
The solitary moments at the beach are also nurturing. When I am alone, I find myself in duet with the rhythms of the waves. Water has always been an important part of my upbringing. In the Southern Baptist church, I was dunked into water when I was baptized. The idea of water used for purification, to symbolically wash away sins always made me uncomfortable because it was laced with negativity and a need to set something in me right that was evidently wrong before I was even born. Water made me feel helpless when I saw it presented as a form of purification in this way.
Yet at the same time, I have always loved water. I have always loved swimming in water, and walking through the beach puddles that form in the sand. This year, the concept of water as a purifier is different for me. I recently participated in a three day ceremony, presented by two incredible Shaman women, that focused on balancing the feminine and masculine energies within each of us.
One of the rites we received was done at an old river in the mountains. I was able to release the things that weigh me down and encourage me to remain in old patterns that no longer serve me. This form of purification was different. The water gave invitation to choose which parts of myself I no longer wanted to keep—the parts that are really not a part of who I am—and to give them away so they could flow downstream.
I chose to release myself from Pride, Envy, Attachment to Agendas, Anxiety over Outcomes, and Self-Sabotage, or playing small. I have done much release work in my life, but this time, the ceremony and its overall character was completely different.
Today, at the beach, I have a true friendship with the purifying offerings of the sea. The friendship is rooted in my own beauty, the ebb and flow of my inner being. My brain is released into the white caps of the waves that require no linear thoughts to over process it. Ego has been liquidated, filtered and re-salted with the flavor of peacefulness.