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As a kid, my trips to the beach were about sand castles and the surf. As a tween, getting dunked and outrunning waves were the worst of my problems. During adolescence, the beach was about pineapple-coconut sun tanning oil and flirting at the shore as I tested the temperature of the water with my manicured toes. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I would learn to truly appreciate the ocean for its curative powers. I was able to experience its therapeutic effects while on a much-needed vacation a few years ago. My boyfriend surprised me with a vacation to Nassau, Bahamas hoping it would help lift my spirits. One afternoon, we ended up on a couple of empty beach chairs and settled in. The sun wasn’t too hot and there was a delightful breeze. The sky was a bright blue. There were a few random cloudy patches in the sight. The water was a calm aqua greenish-blue. The air was festive as there were beach goers dancing to the sounds of the calypso band. The fragrance of fruity sun block permeated the air. We sipped our iced drinks while soaking in the sights and sounds. Eventually, the band and revelers made their way off the beach onto the hotel grounds. My boyfriend began talking to the couple next to us as I drifted off into the distance lulled by the sound of the waves. As the afternoon wore on, as the beach became less populated, the sound of the waves became more pronounced. We decided to drag the chairs closer to the shore. I settled in to watch the waves roll in. By now, the sun was a warm, peachy pink orb streaking the periwinkle sky and the breeze was noticeably saltier and crisper. The sea gulls were circling about. Slowly, I found myself taking deeper breaths as I felt each oxygen-rich breath nourish my body. With each breath, my mind and body felt more at ease. The ocean air deepened my state of relaxation. After a few minutes, I felt incredibly relaxed and calm. I have never felt such peace as I felt that afternoon simply watching the water and breathing in the sea breeze. In that instant, I can honestly say, I felt as one with nature. There was only my awareness, the wind, the water, the sky, and the salt. For the first time in a long time, I felt happy and content. The powerful healing effects of the ocean could not be more evident to me that afternoon. It is one of the most memorable moments of my life.

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