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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Rosney

Seashells to Distraction

seashells, beach, NZ, New Zealand, water breaking on the beach
Tararu, near Thames, Waikato, NZ. ©

As far as the eye can see, the littering of seashells on this beach may simply mean absolutely nothing to you but to me, there is so much more behind this picture.

It is interesting that when you stop to think about pictures, they can really have a profound effect on you as a person; a single snapshot in time but the memory that runs through your head generates vision, sounds, tastes, smells and touches all from one little shot.

I took this picture during Christmas/New Year 2015 when I had taken myself off on a solo trip through the Coromandel region of New Zealand, which is in the upper half of the North Island about an hour and a half from Auckland. It was a solo trip because my life as I had known it for the past eighteen years had completely changed and there was more big changes happening in a matter of weeks.

This journey had become a soul trip

I recall feeling quite distraught standing there at the water’s edge, watching the glorious sunset. I was wondering what I had done that was so wrong that had caused me to feel so lost. I didn’t want to say goodbye, I didn’t want to turn my back on the life and love of this land as I tried to accept that I was to go to the UK and be with family for a while.

As I pondered on my predicament, I moved my attention from the deepening red sunset and noticed the insane amount of seashells on the beach - and just like that, a distraction from my current feelings gave way to yet another breathtaking sight before me. Was it a natural distraction or was my brain engineering a way to take me away from my feelings of sadness? Does it matter? The beauty of the whole scene completely took me away from my negative vibes and showed me that no matter what sadness, fear or apprehension you have going on, you do not need to look far to see beauty, a wonder of the world or peace in your heart.

I now keep this photo as a reminder that I often reflect on but particularly if I am having a down day. I am human, I also have down days. I do not skip any of the movie that plays in my head. I walk with my memory of how I felt that day and how the distraction helped to lift my spirits to accept it was okay that life was not great. It was okay to acknowledge my sadness and it was totally okay to be distracted by the beauty of nature to help lift me up again.

Find your picture that holds a story for you

If you genuinely do not feel you have any, then grab your phone and start snapping some. Sit in the zone of the picture you have just taken and notice noises, smells, temperature, and, most importantly, how you are feeling. If you are feeling great then simply enjoy it; if you are not feeling so great then acknowledge that but also put a positive feel in the picture - even if that positivity is just accepting that all you did was take the photo.

There are so many thoughts about starting new resolutions and changing part of your life to better it, particularly around Christmas/New Year time. However, sometimes you simply need to acknowledge being okay for the time being. For many right now, being okay is as positive as it gets. And I get that. Be okay about being okay.

P.S. I never did ‘turn my back on the life and love of this land’. I work hard to ensure that I have the opportunity to live and work both in New Zealand and the UK. My choice. My desire. There is always a way if you want it bad enough.

© YMR Coaching & Development


Yvonne has qualifications in Coaching, Positive Psychology, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and believes in continual personal development. She is currently based in the UK and also has life and work experience in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. She helps with mindset wellbeing and change which includes significant relocations. She is contactable for client availability, public speaking events and media enquiries here:


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