I came to the ocean

Fort Funston camps right below Ocean Beach at the end of the Great Highway and, geographically, at the bottom left corner of San Francisco. Lots of dogs and their owners congregate in these parts, but not many venture down the rocky, muddy slope, which takes one down to the shore. With the towering cliffs, shielding one from below, and the abandoned gratified, concrete structures from World War 2, the beach feels desolate. Therefore, I came here on Friday to get away from it all.

Packs of crows danced hundreds of feet above me and one hawk soared in the wind. The sun was dropping and in about thirty minutes it would disappear. Just like how’s there’s a constant cycle of ocean water flowing in and out, another day was flowing out for a new one to come in. With that, I drifted down the beach, with the water engulfing my feet and the clean, ocean air purging out my mind.

I fell into a pattern of taking life too serious, or rather, attempting to make my life more serious. This behavior that I clenched on to may be influenced from social-conditioning, but it rests more in the self-centered space of the inherent ego. I can trace back my rooted thoughts of finding purpose or passion to senior year of high school, when we needed to pin down our future academic endeavors in college. I recall scrolling through the long list of majors, and nothing struck me as my calling.

These thoughts would fade away, but always resurfaced now and again. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until these past six months that I actually had an extensive period to sit, contemplate, and analyze a future career or life of purpose. With my clinging to label myself as someone, I clenched life with both hands and hoped to strangled an answer out of it. Well, to my disappointment or rather, my ego’s, my search failed and was recently aborted.

At this point, I disregard the notion that everyone has an innate life purpose. In fact, I’ve dumped several of my past beliefs. I picked them up when I was in a fragile place, weak and down and dispirited. Nowadays I scan around the internet and notice that a lot people, who are hurting, hang onto spirituality or religion. These sources of truth attempt to provide facile answers and remedies to a complex, mysterious life. We all want the answers. We all want the truth. But I’ve discovered it’s better to relinquish these needs, and instead, embrace the mystery of life.

I mounted a long, windy staircase, which was engraved in the cliff, and peeked back at the Pacific Ocean. The ocean runs to the horizon, and, to my knowledge, there’s no more answers out there than here. With that, I came to the beach not to find anything, but rather, to discard what I’ve picked up.

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Spiritual Messages

I dragged over a stepping stool and positioned it right in front of the spirituality section.  In an hour I had to pick my sister up at the 30th Street train station, so I had some time to spare in Barnes N Noble. The spirituality section always contains some interesting insights. In reference to my post from yesterday, I skimmed through a Native American-symbolism book for meaning behind the hawk and the heron. The hawk represents visionary power, as well as a message entailing one’s life purpose is on the way. As for the heron, it symbolizes self-reliance and aggressive self-determination, specifically in leading one’s own path in life.

As I slowed down to absorb all of these insights, it was apparent how relatable they were at this point in my life. I’m cutting off trail alone in pursuit of my own individual quest. I have an idea what my life-work or purpose is, therefore, I am moving in the direction of it.

As I squatted on the stool, I nodded my head in agreement with the information I was reading. Then, I closed it shut and checked the time on my phone. It was 11:11. This number sequence is widely known as a good omen or divine message. It only solidified everything I was just reading.

The time passed by quickly, and my sister would be arriving at the train station shortly. I left with a feeling of optimism and reassurance in my awareness. Over this past year, I have become more aware to the subtle messages presented in front of me. Let’s hope I catch the next one that’s on the way.

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Hawk and Snake Symbolism

A row of them peered out of the corner of my eye, and I immediately whipped down the gravel driveway to catch sight of them: hawks. Ten hawks, maybe more, were stationed along the fence posting, sitting patiently, monitoring the garden fields. I rolled up parallel to them, and each hawk remained completely still. I was anticipating  a mad craze of each one bursting away. However, as a cadet would hold down his or her post until relieved of ordered duties, the hawks sustained their positions as well.

I snagged my camera off the passenger seat and then, creeped around the back of my car in an attempt to not be uncovered. I was hesitant being at such a thumbnail distance, and hurried my shots. As I pulled away, I recalled my encounter with a snake yesterday, and wait…..that just triggered another memory–I also spotted a snake the previous week. For me, these wildlife experiences aren’t everyday occurrences, so I assume each animal holds a more spiritual significance. With that, Barnes N Noble became my next mandatory pitstop.

I scanned through the spiritual section, towards Shamanic books, and spotted a book on animal symbolism. I jumped through the pages towards the one on hawks; Basically, the hawk is observant and is able to see a broader picture, with that, hawks often appear in our lives when we need to be aware of the subtle messages around us, and from those we come in contact with. For me, this description really hits home.

Subsequently, I flicked through the pages and arrived at the snake. The snake’s underlying symbolism is one of personal growth and transformation. For instance, as snakes grow, they shed their skin. Of course, with the events occurring in my life, this message is true to it’s core. I’m aware I am going through another transformation, and these encounters only concur to them.

These unique symbolisms reach way back to different cultures (Shamanic) and societies, and although modern society might dismiss them as false, I do encourage everyone to be aware of which animals you might encounter and the relations to your current stage in life.

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Be observant
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