6:00 AM July 9, 2022
“I can see the sea!” exclaims an excitable me every time I catch a glimpse of Norfolk’s coastline.
That excitement I first felt as a child and an instant connection with the wide blue yonder has never left me.
Being in the presence of water instantly calms the soul, bringing to the fore the simple childhood memories of carefree innocence and a sense of freedom.
If you are a water baby like me, dear reader, then throw off your shoes, grab your sunscreen and for the next 10 minutes immerse yourself in a place of ebb tide serenity.
Before we start to stroll down to our beach setting, this guided meditation is best enjoyed sitting in a comfortable position away from the frustrations of noise and busy life.
For a more immersive experience and deeper relaxation, accompany this meditation with a download of ocean sounds.
This is particularly beneficial if you have trouble getting to sleep.
Let’s start our journey by taking a deep breath in for five seconds and out for five seconds remembering to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
Repeat this a couple more times and on your third inhalation, bring to mind the familiar smell of the sea.
That unmistakable ozone scent that envelops the senses.
Allowing your breathing to return now to its natural rhythm, imagine a favourite seascape; an outlook which continues to restore calm giving you a sense of serenity and freedom.
For me, this is Lifeboat Beach, Mundesley.
Previously living in this pretty seaside village away from the hustle and bustle, Lifeboat Beach has been the perfect location for me to enjoy many years of calming meditation and bathing joy.
It’s early evening and the setting sun is still giving out its heat, swathing your whole body in warmth.
There is a hint of the gentlest breeze, light against your face enhancing the fresh smells of the sea.
Looking around, you notice we are the only ones on this beach.
All visiting sun seekers and water worshippers are now home having had their fix of enjoyment and relaxation on this stretch of north Norfolk coast.
Take a wander down to the sea edge. Barefoot, you feel each grain of sand warming your toes like the most perfect pair of fireside slippers.
Notice the sand change colour as you get closer to the water’s edge from shades of fine porcelain to a burnt orange hue. And it is by the water’s edge you now sit to pause and listen.
Your eyes close as you concentrate on the sounds of the sea.
Overhead the distinct cry of gulls mixes with the pips of oyster catchers.
The high-pitched shrills of terns follow an audible ‘splosh’ as they break the water surface plunge diving for their supper.
The hypnotic repetition of gentle waves continually rolling over pebbles and onto wet sand
As you slowly open your eyes, you are now confronted with the infinite expanse of calm water.
The endless scope of Oceanum reflects a sepia blend of blue, green and yellow that meets with an open sky of burnt sienna.
Imagine dipping your toes into the sea observing the feel and temperature of the water as it washes over your skin.
The dimming light shows the briefest of shadows that skim the surface; bass or perhaps sea trout.
Sit for a while in your moment of contemplation observing your shoulders relaxing and dropping, your jaw unclenching and your breathing deepening.
At any time through this guided meditation you may (or may not) experience a distraction that momentarily takes you away from your beachscape.
Observe any interruption without attaching yourself to it, and then focus your mind back to your breathing and back to the beach visit.
As you reconnect with your meditation, notice the silhouette of a gulp of cormorants flying low to the sea against the backdrop of the changing crimson red sun. All birds are now heading to their own security of calm. It is nearly sunset.
Taking a deep breath in for five seconds and out for five seconds you stand upright, pausing to watch the tide now coming in, swirling around aged hardwood groynes.
You make your way off the beach, walking along the promenade, passing the bright colour show of beach huts and back to reality as the sun sets on Mundesley beach.
Kate Smith is founder of Slow You Down Wellbeing.
Combining over 20 years of stress busting and bodywork experience in occupational health and private practice, Kate has designed a series of wellbeing packages including meditation, coping strategies and mindful massage to help Norfolk relax and breathe.