I want to share the beach meandering treasures I found during the past year and their messages. Now, I believe wholeheartedly that these items were placed in my path as angelic signs with messages that I deciphered. Another way to look at it is to see these random items as metaphors that can be applied to life.

Interestingly, it’s only been in this past year that I’ve allowed myself the time to walk pier to pier at the beach only five miles from my home. Busy, busy, and all that. I could add paragraphs here about worthiness and the art of not being, but I’ll refrain. I’m stalling a bit because the first treasure is intense. Right, so it was 11/11/2015. This is what I posted on Facebook with the above photo: During my beach meander this morning, I found a dog tag right by the shoreline. Let me rephrase that, I found a dog tag on the beach on Veterans Day.

What happened next still makes me cry. Here’s how I explained it in a local TV news story. R.I.P. Jesse.

After that happened I knew I had to keep returning to the beach. Someone was trying to tell me something.

The message with this one had to do with “baggage” as it was loaded with tiny pebbles. I still can’t figure out if it was about letting go of baggage or carrying the good stuff with us.

This one says, “The spiritual embraces the modern as another way to help all those with ears to listen.”

This is a rusty nickle, not a penny. So this ones message is that I should prepare to make money in a  unique way. Looking back, I have consistently earned money for my written words during this past year. This was a first for me!

This one is about broken-heart people attracting supportive friends. Peer closely in the upper left hand corner and you’ll see two angels watching over the scene.

The angels were clear with this one, “In the only eyes that matter, every diverse one of you is a treasure.”

This one reminds us that pets can be earth angels, too. Pay attention to ’em.

No explanation needed here.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” John 20:29

“Go for the broken underbelly ones, that’s where the purple is.” This was a haul from one day. Now, I do collect rocks and shells for stepping stone projects, so there’s nothing really out of the ordinary with this collection. Except that I was drawn to the purple, as it’s a spiritual color liturgically, angelically (color associated with St. Michael the Archangel), and crown-chakra ly.

This one says, “It ain’t a treasure. Pick it up anyway. And stop using ’em for God’s sake!”

One day there were feathers all along the shoreline! They were all ocean washed and sun kissed. The loud and clear message in this one is angels are everywhere!

Which reminds me, sometimes, they aren’t. One day last month, I went outside to get the mail, and I heard kissing sounds coming from a tree in the middle of our front yard. I looked up and saw a cardinal making these kissing sounds. Now cardinals are believed to be a symbol of someone in heaven letting you know they are thinking about you. So, there I am basking in the “love” of this cardinal because I think it’s my grandmother sending me a “you’re doing a good job” message when I see a sudden movement along the trunk of the tree.

Yeah, it was a camouflage garter snake slithering towards the cardinal’s nest. Lesson learned: not all “signs” are signs. Use your best judgement. Pay attention and listen to your intuition. And remember to laugh at yourself.

This wounded tortoise-shell shell represents the tortoise-shell feral cat we took in even though she is feral. Did I mention she’s feral? The angels were telling me that it was the right thing to do. And, so far, so good, she makes a lovely garage cat.

Then it was summer time when our beach fills up with tourists. So, I’ve been sticking to the neighborhood for most of my walks. I headed back last Sunday to join Plastic Ocean Project for a beach cleanup. The group consisted of mostly college kids with their young eyes, and they kept walking in my path. I mean, I’m doing this section! But, nevertheless, in an area where many people spied the tiniest pieces of clear plastic, no one else saw two bits of purple sticking up out of the sand. I pulled them out and it was this guy!

I mean, even when you think everything’s been said by everyone else, yeah, not so much. The message here is “Champion yourself!”

And here we are, August 18, full moon tonight. I have to admit I’ve been in a bit of a slump because I’m not sure what’s next for me creativity-wise. I recently learned clearly what’s not next for me and, you know, sometimes it takes a few days to get used to that kind of news.

So, I’ve been thinking back through my spiritual journey, or as Brene Brown calls it, breakdown/spiritual awakening, and I’m focusing on how the thing that sparked it for me happened about two years ago. Two. Years. Ago. And I’m still thinking about it. I mean, I so wanted to stop thinking about it immediately or even the next day would have been fine. But it doesn’t always work that way.

I had to dig deep into my psyche. And what I found there was an addiction to approval seeking and people pleasing. Over these last two years, I have had to extricate myself from three dysfunctional relationships. The problem with these kinds of relationships is that dysfunction and love appear so much alike. And so leaving hurts. And grief hurts.

And then I got to point where I realized that these people are not inherently bad. Other people truly like them and they seem to have decent relationships. It’s just me. They treated me differently because I let them. And yet, they don’t hate me. They didn’t manipulate me on purpose. On a conscious level, they didn’t even know they were doing it. Addiction is sneaky like that.

But these last few days, as I was low and in a funk (full moon tonight, just saying), I realized I don’t have those three voices in my head anymore. And what an aha moment that was, because they’ve been gone for awhile now and I hadn’t noticed.

I didn’t dare say to myself, that’s it! This time, my spiritual journey is over! This time, for real! I’ve fallen for that one too many times. But, there’s something else going on here, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Then today, after my late morning walk and a bit of gardening, I came in and checked my emails at exactly 11:11 a.m. I noticed this because I checked to see how long I had until LUNCH, and I’m always noticing angelic messages. Remember that 11:11 is a sign of angelic beginnings.

It was in a meditation email forwarded to me by a friend:

People in the recovery process are people with painful memories. We remember our losses. We remember our sins. We remember the sins which have been committed against us. It is part of the hard work of recovery to face these memories, to grieve them and to come to terms with them. But sometimes the painful memories become so powerful that it seems like nothing will be able to compete with them for our attention. The memory of pain consumes us. In times like this we need a powerful new memory that can challenge the dominance of our painful memories.

Jesus invites us to receive a new and startling memory. “Remember me,” Jesus says, “Eat the bread and drink the wine and remember that I gave my life for you. I gave my life because I love you. Take this new memory. Allow it to shape the way you think about yourself and about life and about me. Allow yourself to remember me.”

The rest of this meditation can be found here from the authors of Rooted in God’s Love.

Right! I’m in recovery. Because I have an addiction. I’ve got to work harder on remembering that.

And so this email from my friend playing on Team Angel for one tiny part of one day helped me to understand that the empty space where those voices were belong to Jesus now. His is the voice I can listen to. His is the voice I can fill myself up with.

Speaking of friends, the real ones, the supportive ones, the ones who let me go on and on and then say the perfect thing, these are the friends I want to thank for being so consistently there for me. You know who are. Thank you.

Speaking of friends, beach meandering with friends is the absolutely best! I highly recommend it!

What? No beach near you. How ’bout a mountain? How ’bout a meadow? How ’bout Central Park? You’ll find it!

(Originally posted on 8/18/2016 to Saints and Recipes on Blogger.)

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