I just returned from the Bahamas with my daughter, Victoria. This was my third and final ‘Teen Trip’, 3 days and nights that I’ve taken with each of my children. Of all the pleasures of the cruise — staring out to sea, being entertained by comedians, watching my daughter soak up the sun — what stands out the most was our snorkeling excursion.
Life below the surface fascinates me. Victoria and I held hands as we swam over corals and tropical fish, a subsurface world unconcerned with life above. Their quiet home reminds me of my own peaceful depths beneath the surface waves of my life.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the deadlines, demands and expectations of our stress-filled days. But even remembering a peaceful experience quiets our response to stress and triggers feelings of calm. So I recall the gentle stillness of the coral reef and allow myself to sink to my own inner depths, undisturbed by the choppy waves.
I was the last person to return to the boat, not wanting to leave that magical haven. Back at home, as I gaze out at a still frozen New England landscape, my ever longer to-do list on my desk, I am reminded of that colorful, peaceful place under the sea.
Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW is the author of
“Transcending Loss: Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Grief and How to Make it Meaningful”
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