The topic for day 2 continued to resonate throughout my day. I felt quite sad after posting my first Writing 101, well not sad exactly but as if I had let go of something big, and this feeling of emptiness was with me when I got home. I needed a shower, to get rid of the sweat and languor brought about by the humid heat of the city. As I was washing my hair under the warm water, noticing I was running out of conditioner, I got suddenly transported to a moment in time that I willingly committed to memory, to use whenever I would need to feel peaceful and serene.
Without knowing it at the time, I did something loosely related to what NPL practitioners call an anchor, something that can be triggered to reach a desired state. I don’t have a gimmick to trigger this memory except the sudden need for peacefulness – when this need becomes conscious and is overwhelming, my mind instantly brings me back to that place, and this virtual trip brings along with it all the sensations and feelings imprinted in me. Hours later, as I’m typing this, this peacefulness is still with me, while the wind blows through the open windows, in the stillness of the night.
It was more than 20 years ago. I had traveled to the South of France with the consultancy firm I was working for at the time. I had managed to negotiate not to stay with them at the hotel, but with a friend of mine that was living close by, in this small city of Hyeres. After all the usual seminars, brainstorming sessions and strategy recaps, I was allowed an afternoon of freedom. My friend took me to the beach.
It was a week day in September, and there was no one on that beautiful beach, just us and the seagulls. As I lay there on my towel, I realized how peaceful and beautiful this moment was and decided to capture it for ever. In my mind I went over everything in a way that could be phrased like this:
I am lying down on this beach. It is entirely different from any other beach I’ve ever been to. The sand is so pale it is nearly white, the sea is pale blue. A couple of seagulls are standing by. If I open one eyelid I can see one taking watch over my resting body. The sun is shining but is slightly veiled, casting a while light over everything. All the colours are slightly faded, as if painted white and sanded over. There is no other sound but the gentle waves lapping the beach, the sounds of the birds and the gentle breeze caressing my skin. It is not too warm. My body is heavy on the sand, and I feel so peaceful. I’m not sleeping, my breath is slow and I open my eyes just enough to capture this white light, this pale blue and white sand. I will remember this moment and this memory will bring back this perfect stillness, this peace and tranquillity. I do not need anything, I do not want anything. I am fully conscious of everything in and around me, surrounded by nature, the sun, the sea, the sky, the sand. It is a perfect moment.
After that I simply relaxed into being there, in that moment. I cannot remember how long we stayed. It was just a moment in time, and it was eternity.
When I mentally revisit this place, everything comes back to me, and this incredible peacefulness rushes within, this profound tranquillity.
In my mind’s eyes I see the light, the sun, the seagull, and I can even feel the warmth on my skin. I know I can bring this peace with me everywhere, anywhere, forever.