Just Breathe

“Smell the sea, feel the breeze, hear the ocean, be at ease.”

There’s something infinitely restful about time spent by the ocean. Even if it’s just an hour spent by its side, I always leave feeling as though I’ve been hugged by my best friend and my energy replenished.

A rock chick at Blanket Bay
Finding balance at Blanket Bay

This is where I was last weekend, camped at secluded Blanket Bay in Cape Otway National Park, which wrapped us in its magic.

Inhale, exhale, sometimes you just have to go with the waves.

Or anywhere nature beckons.

Step out into nature
Feel nature work its magic

Where else can you go to soak up the sun, soak up the silence and soak in a sudden downpour?

Where can you go to calm down and feel your pulse race in the same moment?

Where can you go to find that balance that reminds you that you’re alive.

Where can you go to breathe deeply and dream.

You sit by the ocean or you go within.

An unexpected and secluded campsite
Seclusion and peace

It’s easy to find that peace when you’re by the waters edge and to find those secluded spots that spark the imagination.

Walking close to the shore is like food for the soul but the beauty is also found in the drive there.

For getting there was just as much fun as the destination.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the Great Ocean Road, this is one of the most loved and spectacular coastal roads in Australia, with sweeping views at every bend.

It stretches for 243 kilometers from Torquay to Allansford and was built by returning soldiers from WW1 between 1919 and 1932. It’s the world’s biggest War Memorial.

Let me take you for a short drive.

It’s easy to feel a bit like Thelma or Louise, with the window down, the music up loud and the sound of the waves below. You feel at one and so free, with the sweeping road that twists and turns to endless horizons and sea views around every corner.

I’ve driven down this road countless times but I never get tired of it. Whether summer or winter the ocean swells and shows its dramatic ever changing moods.  Just like us.

Life’s not always calm

When I got home the dramas and the demands of life rushed back in. We’re in the thick of some big financial and business changes in our life and my moods swing daily between excitement and extreme nerves.

Just like waves crashing on rocks, it doesn’t take much to feel overwhelmed and I’ve realised what part of the problem is. I’ve learnt how to surf too well.

And I’m not talking about those waves!

Distractions rear their head every day

I’ve become overwhelmed with the checking of social media, with answering comments, Instagram and Facebook posts in the morning.  Together with the intense marketing journey I’ve embarked on it’s doing my head in.

It’s there tantalising me, before I do anything else, before I even have breakfast. My focus turns to the rest of the world instead of my own intentions, before my day even begins. It can’t be healthy, so today I resisted. I ignored my phone and all of its notifications. Everything would still be there, waiting for me, when I was ready and sure enough it was.

I took Harry for a walk instead, something I’ve neglected lately and I relished being outside, breathing deeply, before coming home to breakfast and a clear set of priorities for the day. I didn’t check my phone once.

Does anyone else feel this overwhelming pull and distraction of social media and the challenge to keep up with everything and manage life?

Sometimes it’s hard to keep a steady footing

I remind myself it’s all about balance.

Learning to navigate all the joys and challenges of the online world (of which there are many) whilst managing all the big changes that are happening in my real life is a fine art.

When it all gets a bit much I remember what it felt like to breathe in that sea air at Blanket Bay.

It felt invigorating, yet calming. It felt like I could breathe properly and focus.

That’s what the beach does, it allows us to take a step back, slow things down and put everything in perspective.

Stopping to look at the big picture

Inner peace begins with listening to the breath. Taking time to focus on the ultimate gift of life and waking up to clear focus and intentions for the day.

Trust that all is well and, if there’s no beach close by, close your eyes and hear that ebb and flow, imagine those waves swirling at your feet and the warm sand between your toes.

Inhale, exhale, remember you just have to go with the waves.

Breathe deeply and know that, wherever you are, life is beautiful.

In love and light as we keep finding that balance and enjoying the journey.

In response to Frank’s TPC: Breath


STOP PRESS:

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123 thoughts on “Just Breathe

  1. Aah I feel like I’ve just been at the beach just reading your words Miriam. Thank you. Only a few more days and I will literally be feeling those calming beach days again too. Can’t wait to shed the everyday stresses too! 👏💚

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  2. Social media …. I was where you were, Miriam, and still at times, am. I ONLY do WP. I stepped away from IG, FB, Twitter. I refuse to be consumed with my phone or laptop when I have LIFE to live! My blog keeps me so busy sometimes I feel buried under comments!
    Ocean …. BIG SIGH! I LOVE the ocean and have seen it only once when I was 18 years old when I live in Pompano Beach. There is such a huge pull for me! I understand how that water wraps itself around you and brings awareness to breath. My favorite times down by the ocean were actually sitting on a huge boulder in a storm, watching the waves come crashing in. Powerful!!!!! LOVED each and every photograph which left me yearning just yearning for the ocean. Some day I WISH to live near the ocean and to be able to travel to my Heart’s content. OH how I wish!!! LOVED your post, Miriam!! YOU live life …. and good for you for realizing what you are about social media. Those comments can wait, …. life however cannot!!! (((HUGS))) 💖💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right Amy, those comments can wait. I’m slowly learning that the world won’t end if I’m late responding and, as for FB and Insta, it’s a bit of a love/hate relationship.
      The ocean however isn’t. 💙 I could happily live there myself but, sigh, I’m content with visiting it when I can. I so understand your yearning for being at the ocean. I hope that someday you’ll make it back there to relive the beautiful memory you painted in your words. Big hugs back xo 💖🌊

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  3. The ocean can definitely have this effect on us.
    Ahhhh and the social media aspect… I made sure while we were away last week to disconnect myself from the blogging world and social media cocoon and completely immerse myself in my holiday and enjoy every moment of it. A total mindful vacation and it was awesome. There will always be plenty of time afterwards for posts and photos! Xx

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  4. Good morning Miri!

    I have been keeping my phone off until after my morning cup of coffee. It’s nice. ❤

    The video was fantastic. The road reminds me of driving from Anchorage Alaska to Seward Alaska. The curves…water on one side, rocky walls on the other. I will admit though that when the cars starting coming towards you my first thought was an instinctual, 'WRONG SIDE! WRONG SIDE!!!' hahahaa!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, I’m sure a lot of readers thought the same but I can assure you we were on the right side of the road, ie the left side lol. Glad you enjoyed this and great to see you here Nikki. Hope you and Steve are both well. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What an invigorating blog Miriam. I have to constantly remind myself to have a break from social media. I am most reminded when I am out and about, noticing how people avoid talking to each other by sitting on their phones.
    The ocean is a very special place and you are so lucky to be near the great ocean road and to experience it so often. We can’t wait to get around to that area.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Cath, you’re right about social media, it’s a fine balance isn’t it? As for the Great Ocean Road, I’m sure you’ll love it when you eventually get round to the east coast. Although your amazing photos remind me that the whole coastline of Australia is filled with beautiful beaches. We’re so blessed.

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  6. I don’t think I follow you on Instagram, Miriam. Have to put that right (and add to your woes 🙂 🙂 ) But we’re on the same page with it. Instagram is a relatively new venture for me and the photos I share from my phone quite different to those on the blog. But I still haven’t learnt the lesson that the more people you follow the harder it is to keep up. And then you get all those self interested parties who aren’t really interested in you at all- just numbers and potential clients. So I ask myself, just why am I doing this? I’d far rather go for a drive with you instead. Shove over! It’s raining here and perishing cold. I need a little diversion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww Jo, what fun! You can come for a drive with me anytime. I have a feeling we’d have such a great time!
      Yes, insta is a funny place. I ignore a lot of the follows because you’re right, a lot of them aren’t genuine and do it purely for self promotion purposes. It’s all a learning curve. I’ll look out for you!
      Now, let’s go have that drive! 😊

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  7. Hi, Miriam – We live within a short walk from the Ocean, I totally agree that to even hear its calling puts me at ease. Thank you again for another very INSPIRATIONAL post! You definitely have my vote!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great words and images once again! We’ve been splitting our time between the coast and the mountains, and both are just the thing for finding calm (and once we step out, there isn’t any cell coverage, so phones become cameras and that’s fine!)
    I’ve no doubt you’ll figure out the right online balance for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is precisely the way I feel about trips to the ocean. There’s something so calming and balancing about breathing in the crisp ocean air, feeling the sand underfoot, and hearing the crash of the waves in a way that seems to be crucial to my sanity. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good lord, yes, I feel that pull! In fact, if you’ve read my latest, it’s all about the pull of distractions, and not just social media! All the internet, and all the world, has distractions aplenty to pull us from our appointed course, but what the hell … who are we to appoint a course, anyway? 😉

    Sometimes we have to led the news be our guide, or the comments, or those random thoughts that must be google-d, or the dogs, or the surf or the ocean itself.

    Sometimes we just have to “be.”

    And, sometimes, we gotta let go of the distractions and get some actual sh*t done. I’m gonna go get some sh*t done.

    Right after I catch up on a few more blogs. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I’ve just come from your blog Tom and, as I thought, it was all perfectly relatable.
      Distractions are everywhere aren’t they and as I mentioned on your post, I’ve already started half a dozen things and finished nothing. But the day’s young I guess. Up I get and off I go to get some sh*t done, after I read one more post! Have a good one my friend. 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha, cheers 🍻 You’ve done well. I’ve finally got myself into gear and am ticking some things off my list, including organising a venue for a bloggers catch up in Melbourne? Wanna come? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  11. You are so sorted out in life 🙂

    I must confess I had an amazing time sitting by the beach for a couple of evenings while we were in Hawaii (recently). Our hotel in Kauai was at the shore and had a fabulous arrangement to spend some quality time listening to the waves.

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  12. Wonderful post! I’m with you here, Miriam. I find peace and balance in the outdoors. Somewhere a world away from materialistic positions, from the mundane, from technology and the stresses of everyday responsibilities. Being outside, in the sunshine with clear blue skies and fresh air, whether its surrounded by tall trees or lapping water … that’s where I’m happiest.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for sharing these amazing photographs! My special place as a child was also a beach but it looked VERY different from this one. More rain, industrial ports and off-shore oil rigs…

    But I suspect the sentiment will always be the same for the human spirit.

    The media problem seems to be a bad habit, on an epidemic scale (like the London Gin Craze of the seventeen hundreds – we really haven’t changed!). I stopped using electronic devices as alarm clocks, because I would read something immediately to stop myself from going back to sleep, so that as the first input of the day – and it was really bad input. Changing those habits (I guess like changing all bad habits really) had a pleasant domino effect. The world got bigger, the days got longer, and I got a lot more productive and relaxed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your memories growing up and on social media. It’s a challenge maintaining that balance though it sounds as though you’ve got it under control. We’re definitely more productive (and relaxed) when we’re unplugged.

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  14. The web of technological advancements have its pros and cons. The balance can be obtained by focusing on what we want from it and when.
    It is good to say “No” to them from time to time and focus more on inhaling the nature itself. Good for us humans in so many ways 🙂
    Snaps are really amazing and I would love to drive on that highway 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hammad and of course you’re right, it’s up to us to balance how and when to use social media. It’s definitely got its benefits when used properly. The Great Ocean is truly amazing. 🙂

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  15. Yes, definitely with you on the pull and distraction of social media. I’ve been trying to cut back on all that. And I agree that the sea is a wonderful calming antidote to life’s troubles whether swimming in it or walking along beside it. My favourite is finding a spot along our beautiful south coast on a wild and windy wintry day. Love that roar of the sea and it’s so much quieter than in the summer months. Glad you could find some escape from the pressures of life.

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  16. Wow, yep, I’m with you. Making some huge changes this year, but its time.
    We are from Colorado and miss it dearly.
    The beach is a bit different here in Florida. Yeah, blue, salty, mesmerizing, but way too many people. Missing the solitude of the altitude in the Colorado mountains.
    OMG, the “social suck”, I have to be outside, at least part of the day, Thank goodness for VA’s!

    Really lovely pictures!!

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  17. I absolutely LOVE this post, Miriam! 🙂 We must have an ESP thing going on because I wrote a post on the sea a week back. Your pictures look amazing and I love the shot of the wave spilling over the rock. I do feel overwhelmed by social media. I try to cut back and not let it take over my life. Answering comments is the most difficult part for me. Topped by writing a comment. 🙂 So glad to see you happy and smile. xoxo

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by social media isn’t it? I actually love answering comments but it does take a lot of time and I’m finding now with other priorities it’s getting harder and harder. I’ll have to go track down that sea post of yours! 🙂 xo

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  18. You are so right, there is nothing quite like spending time by the beach! Nothing soothes my soul quite as well. All of life seems to settle into a perspective, and the meaningless stuff….like social media and worrying about what others think….just melts away. Thanks so much for this post! It reminds us all to focus on what is truly important…lovely photos and lovely words, as usual. You are truly a gifted blogger!

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    1. You’re so kind Ann, thank you for your lovely comment. And you’re right, nothing soothes the soul quite like being at the beach. It’s infinitely therapeutic. Hope you have a lovely weekend. Here it’s freezing and we’ve reverted to winter. Definitely not beach weather today! xo

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  19. Since I’m not near the ocean I will need to go within, which I have been doing a lot of lately. Having been off the radar…blogging, social media, it has been both nice and not. The pressures we put on ourselves to post and comment and respond can become overwhelming. Stepping back from that for a while has been very relaxing…and yet…I missed everyone too!! Especially YOU! We really do become a family in this blogging/social media world and some very close, soulful, bonding and endearing relationships are formed, which leaves us forever changed and blessed. We have to remember that we really do create our own worlds and sometimes it’s so hard to pull ourselves out of a rut we may have fallen into and see no way out. But the good news is, time always takes care of us and eventually we do find our way out, with a renewed sense of optimism. I’m just emerging from a very very deep rut…but I feel stronger and more determined than ever!!! I have so much to share with you and maybe next week we can talk…when we both have free time! I missed you so my dearest sweet lady. Sounds as if your world has been topsy turvy too…no worries…we are warriors, we shall overcome and succeed! We need to stop making things so much harder than they really need to be. Big ebb and flow hugs and we’ll talk real soon!! xoxo ❤

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    1. You’re right Deb, we do create our own worlds and it sounds as though you’re emerging from your busy one much stronger and wiser. I’m so glad for you my dear friend. I really have missed you so much and I know why, you always have such a wise and positive perspective (plus we have so much in common). I agree, we’re going to have a lot of catching up to do soon. Can’t wait! I’m currently in the car typing this on the way to Macedon. We’re heading up for Doug’s dad’s 85th bday celebration lunch but the traffic’s come to a halt. It’s cold, raining, windy and so unlike our time at the beach last weekend. But that’s life isn’t it? Ups and downs, changes, dealing with stuff, so much is going on in my world but you’re right, we do over complicate things however we’re warriors. Love that! And you. Take care and we’ll chat soon. Big big hugs xo

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      1. Oh wow…have a wonderful time at the lunch…my parents are 85 too.
        Yes definitely a complete turnaround from your day at the beach…but yup guess you wouldn’t appreciate your beach day as much if you didn’t have these days!! I hope you’re not stuck in traffic too long! Yeah I think I was superstruck by the Mercury Retrograde we just had…ugh! But I had an epiphany in the shower the other morning and things are looking more clear now to me. Funny how the shower always brings things to mind!! I now have Mama, Papa and Baby Deer coming to dinner on a regular basis…it’s soooo cool to watch them. They are so nervous though, the poor things…talking about not being able to relax! I so look forward to talking too!! Safe travels, enjoy and Big Jumbo hugs xo

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        1. I’m home again after a very nice day and lunch with the whole family.
          I’m curious about that ‘epiphany’ you had. Funny cos the shower has that effect on me too. I do a lot of my meditative thinking in the shower as well lol. How wonderful that you have a whole family of deer visiting you now. They obviously know where the best homes are. Big hugs and talk soon xo

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        2. I was listening to Abraham and it struck me how nothing is changing and that’s because I’m so focused on what IS and I’m not focusing or feeling what and how I want it to be. I mean I know this but I haven’t been really seeing and feeling what I want, but I am seeing and feeling what is so I keep getting more of what is. It just seemed so simple and easy in that moment. I’ll tell you more when we talk. The family was back again last night, theyare even strolled closer to house, I’m telling you it is such a magical and amazing feeling to watch them!! I recorded them but it was dusk and the quality isnt great.
          Happy to hear you had a lovely time!! And are back home safe and sound and probably in bed. Sweet dreams my lovely lady. Talk soon, big hugs xo 🦌🌹

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        3. I know what you mean about seeing and feeling what ‘is’ instead of what we truly want. It takes real awareness and effort to look beyond what is but the beauty is, once we understand, it becomes easier. My challenge is, what if what we really want is not ever achievable but we can’t get it from our mind. Then we stay blocked and how do we move forward? Oh, we have so much to talk about.
          Anyway it’s Sunday here now and it’s been a busy but nice morning. I just ran into an old work colleague/friend in the grocery store that I hadn’t seen for years and soon we’ll have a nice family lunch before Natasha and Kyle head off again. Ah, the transience of life.
          Enjoy your beautiful deer visiting, so very special, and the rest of your Saturday. Big hugs xo

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        4. Ahhh but everything is achievable…that’s the good news! It’s all a matter of focus. It definitely takes practice and then more practice and then more practice…I’m currently listening to the CDs Money & The Law of Attraction, plus I have the paperback too and I purchased Money and The Law of Attraction Cards, The Law of Attraction of Cards, Angels of Abundance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue, The Universe Has Your Back Cards and Miracles Now Cards both by Gabby Bernstein. She’s having a free video seminar tomorrow at 3 different times…ohhh I’ll forward the link to you and even if you can’t watch it live she’ll send the replay…I signed up for 4 pm. So I certainly have myself well-stocked to keep me on the focus path of positivity! Lol.
          Oh I’ll have to tell you about my encounter at the grocery store today, it’s so funny.
          I hope you have a marvelous lunch with Tash & Kyle…yes the transience of life…hmmm wonder where she gets that from… 😉
          Well I’m off to bed now…have a beautiful Sunday. Big hugs xo ❤

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        5. Wow, you really are well stocked with an abundance of Law of Attraction cards and tools, how wonderful. Ooh yes please send me the link that’d be great and hopefully I can tune in. We’ve just returned from the hospital where Doug’s dad was taken by ambulance this afternoon. He had a fall but hopefully will be okay. Life is so incredibly fragile isn’t it. One day we’re celebrating the next things happen.
          Looking forward to hearing about that grocery store encounter.
          Hope you wake to a beautiful Sunday. Big hugs xo ❤️

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        6. I certainly am!! hehe
          Oh no I hope Doug’s Dad will be ok!! It is amazing as you said, one moment your celebrating and the next your at the hospital. I’ll send prayers his way.
          Don’t worry about watching it live she’s sending a replay link in case I miss it so I will forward that too. The link I have is for today at 4 and I believe that is now 7am your time on Monday…so you may not catch it.
          I have woken to a beautiful gray, dreary Sunday but I love it…I’m watching my Wild Kingdom and enjoying every moment. I bought another bird feeder yesterday so now I’ll have three out there…I think I might need to go to rehab for bird addiction…Lol!!
          Yeah my encounter at the Grocery Store was funny!!
          Hope you are having a peaceful, restorative night’s sleep. Big hugs xo ❤

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  20. Beautiful places to go recharge Miriam. Thanks for sharing your beach and lovely retreats. yes, keeping up with social media is a pain and I am doing much less. I’m no longer worried about keeping up or driving visitors, I post when and if I want. Next maybe be a scaling back on my blog for similar reasons. Thanks for sharing your light and enthusiasm. Please do what nurtures and inspires you. 🙂

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    1. I love your attitude Brad, I really do. And I think I’ll be adapting a lot more of that scaling back too, for various reasons. Thank you for your wonderful comment. 🙂💕

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  21. Yes I hear you Miriam. Overwhelming is a feeling I know all about!! You are right to just try to breathe and like you I go for a walk when things get too stressful. I hope things get sorted for you and you are able to breathe easier soon. Thanks for showing I’m not alone with this feeling 😊

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  22. The coastal road and Blanket Bay look beautiful Miriam. It is so wonderful to breathe in the ocean and sea air. Social media can be great in small doses and personally I keep it simple and organic and it has to be in line with my values. I am not on FB but if I had been I would have closed my account on principle 😉💜

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  23. The title alone captured my imagination and slowed down my breathing…your video made me jump, I was so hypnotized by the beautiful scenery and forgot I was riding along on the left-hand side of the rode when that first car seemed to jump right out at me…here’s to more balance and peace in our worlds one lovely breath at a time!

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  24. I find so much peace beside the ocean. I wish I were beside it more often, but at least I can conjure up the images and sounds easily enough. I do find the balance between life outside and inside of social media etc. to be hard to find.

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  25. More reminders and messages for me along my journey. Thank you for sharing!
    Re social media: I’ve really cut back! Which is part of why I don’t peek in regularly :/ I became overwhelmed myself and just had to scale back. It was pressure I placed on myself. On some levels it is sad… ❤️

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