I find that spending a day at the coast is what it truly takes for me to slow down and rest. On my mountain bike day trips and outings I feel as though I’m fighting against the clock. Get up early, pack up my bike and gear, drive to the trailhead (usually a 60-90 minute drive), hope the crowds aren’t too insane (which is why it’s essential to leave early), ride hard, pack up, and then head home (stopping for a meal on the way back). When I’m on the trail it’s about going fast. If it’s a loop or specific route I’m usually then trying to beat my previous times. But a trip at the coast? I just sit and watch the waves …
Yesterday I took my family to the coast. While we had a few spots in mind we wanted to hit and a rough game plan we just went with the flow. I never (or rarely) looked at the time. There was a whole lot of simply standing or sitting as I am mesmerized by watching the waves come in. It’s that same sense we all have of sitting around the fire, not saying much, and watching the flames dance.
Why is it hard to slow down? Do we feel like we’re going to miss something? But when we actually do we find that what we’re missing is truly this … slowing down. I’m the first to admit it’s difficult to slow down. I’m on the go constantly between juggling all that I do. However, going fast is more than busyness and activity, it’s feeling that inner pressure building up … to perform, to succeed, to “make it,” and more. We wrap our identity into status and feel as though we have no other choice than to go-go-go and thus prove to everyone we’re awesome.
I’ve noticed this with social media. I can honestly say social media used to be fun. And while I still enjoy it the rules of engagement have changed. In the first couple of years we were blowing and going picking up sometimes hundreds of new followers a day. Then the rules changed, algorithms were introduced, and then all of a sudden our voice was muted (of course, unless we pay). Everything switched to pay-to-be-seen-or-heard. We haven’t budged past 13.6K Instagram followers for over a year even though we’ve never changed how we engage, etc. All of that can weigh one down and so we’re left scrambling to run harder and faster and try to get ahead of the curve.
That’s why I needed to simply sit in the sand and watch. I watched the repetition of the waves moving in unison towards the shore. I watched for sea lions and other signs of life in the ocean. I watched my sons (who couldn’t sit still) throw sand at each other. In other words, I hit the reset button. It was a good course correction. A reminder of why or how I got into Loam Coffee in the first place. Not only that, but a reminder of who our voice is and our message. You see, it’s not simply about the coffee. Instead, it’s about the experience and relationships behind it. It’s about you. Thank you for making Loam Coffee special. It took slowing down yesterday to remind myself of this.
Words and photos by Sean Benesh, Loam Coffee Founder and Brand Manager.