Gift from the Sea

A few days ago, I picked up a book which I hadn’t looked at in 25 years: Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift from the Sea”. She was an American author, a famous aviator and wife to fellow aviator Charles Lindbergh. Sixty years after she published this book, it still holds beautiful truths and insights to contemplate. In her book, she takes a different seashell for each chapter as a metaphor, reflecting on the lives of Americans, particularly American women, in the mid-twentieth century. She shares her insights on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment.

Anne Morrow Lindberg 2

The chapter that especially drew my attention this time around is the one called “Double-Sunrise”. Morrow Lindbergh describes a seashell which consists of two halves that are exactly matched. “Each side, like the wing of a butterfly, is marked with the same pattern”. This seashell appears to be the perfect symbol for the beginning of a relationship. “For the first part of every relationship is pure, whether it be with friend or lover, husband or child.” The two people are like a self-enclosed world. “Two people listening to each other, two shells meeting each other, making one world between them. There are no others in the perfect unity of that instant, no other people or things or interests.”

Gifts from the Sea - Double Sunrise

The nature of life is change; transformation is a natural part of the process of life. Like everything in life, a relationship also changes; it becomes more complicated through contact with the outside world. Somehow we often mistakenly feel that not being able to maintain the original pattern of the relationship is a failure or tragedy. We hear from others that the honeymoon period won’t last and we find disappointment in that realization. Yet, spring won’t last forever either. It will be followed by the summer, and then the fall and finally the winter.

This applies to love relationships as well as other relationships. Women “refind in a limited form with each new child, something resembling, at least in its absorption, the early pure relationship. In the sheltered simplicity of the first days after a baby is born, one sees again the magical closed circle, the miraculous sense of two people existing only for each other.” As the child grows up this brief interlude is over and the relationship between parent and child changes continuously.

Gift-From-The-Sea - Cara & I

With our primary love relationship, we also need to go with the flow of the seasons and do our relationship work. Otherwise “with each partner hungry for different reasons and each misunderstanding the other’s needs, it is easy to fall apart or into late love affairs. The temptation is to blame the situation on the other person and to accept the easy solution that a new and more understanding partner will solve everything. But neither woman nor man are likely to be fed by another relationship which seems easier because it is in an earlier stage.” Instead we need to remember that the original essence of the relationship, so perfectly symbolized by the double sunrise seashell, is merely buried under layers of living our daily lives.

Morrow Lindbergh writes, “One way of rediscovering the double-sunrise is to duplicate some of its circumstances.” She suggests finding time alone with your partner to go on vacation or be alone at home. We can always circle back to an earlier phase by reconnecting with what we loved about each other at the beginning, even if it might just be an interlude of being like that double sunrise seashell again for a while.

She believes this temporary return to the pure relationship applies for our children as well. Children grow in security and strength when we spend more time with each child alone, to truly connect one-and-one, allowing them to feel how much they are loved, and acknowledging them the way they are.

When a relationship is struggling or even ends, we often in our mind re-write the story of the relationship. The later events in the relationship overshadow the entire duration of the relationship. We are unable to remember the good times anymore but believe everything was a mistake and some of us might even feel we wasted our time with the other person. Yet, everything in life goes through the seasons and one season is not better than the next. The key is to enjoy each season for as long as it lasts and for what it has to offer.

Anne Morrow Lindberg old

“One learns to accept the fact that no permanent return is possible to an old form of relationship; and, more deeply still, that there is no holding of a relationship to a single form. This is not tragedy but part of the ever-recurrent miracle of life and growth. All living relationships are in process of change, of expansion, and must perpetually be building themselves new forms.”

In my first marriage, I didn’t make time to re-discover the double sunrise seashell. Once we became parents everything revolved around our respective roles as mother and father, as caregivers and providers for our children. I have learned to make time for my partner and to make sure I also spend time with each child alone, just as much as we all spend time together. My daughters and I make time at least once a month to spend an entire day together, go on a little trip to a place we like, or to enjoy what we all feel passionate about, which in our case happens to be theatre.

One of them is soon moving out and that triggers some sadness in everybody. At the same time, we can all feel that the bond is very strong between the sisters and also with other family members. A change requires us to adapt and find new ways of living the relationships. The loving foundation continues to exist, the form is just renewed.

I invite you to make time to maintain your relationships and keep the double sunrise seashell alive. Allow yourself to love freely, without expectations. Dance through life and within your relationships. Give yourself permission to embrace change and to grow with it.


Angelika Baum

Belief Change Coaching, Relationship Coaching

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Permission to Shine Your Light

A very special friend of mine went through an incredible transformation over the last 29 months. She had surgery and lost an unbelievable amount of weight. I am very proud of her. However, it makes me even happier to see that she has completely transformed her entire life. She has undergone a huge inner transformation.

She was always very beautiful. Her amazing smile and her sparkling eyes make you stop and look at her. She can make you feel truly seen. She has always had a huge capacity for love, a heart which she keeps wide open. She is one of those people who drop everything to help somebody else.

Like so many of us, she learned as a little girl that her needs don’t matter. And because she was this loving little spirit, she did the next-best thing she could and she began to look after other people’s needs. She learned her needs will never be met, so she decided that she might as well take care of other people’s happiness.

She went through life with this open heart but also a great bit of sadness. The beliefs “I don’t matter” and “I don’t deserve to look after myself” began to manifest in putting on more and more weight over the years. She smiled but inside, she felt lonely. She had abandoned herself by putting all her energy into pleasing others. The little girl inside was crying silently in despair while she carried a brave smile on the outside.

Now her smile is even more beautiful than ever before, because she has learned to love herself. Her smile is full of joy and self-love. Loving yourself comes with saying no and setting boundaries. It comes with not always dropping everything for others. It means not taking responsibility for other people’s happiness but showing them how to find their own happiness. It means shining your own light and giving others permission to do the same.

In spiritual circles, we are so often told that we should love others unconditionally. Yet, the second commandment is, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (NAS, Mark 12:28-31) The step to first love yourself is usually forgotten.

Loving others unconditionally is not possible unless you love yourself unconditionally. Loving yourself means knowing that you deserve that your needs are met. It means approving of you the way you are, instead of changing for others. It means listening to your needs and feelings and addressing them. It means surrounding yourself with people who care about your needs.

Ironically enough, those people who feel we shouldn’t have needs are the same people who are quick to call us selfish when we do stand up and say no to being their doormat. Because we might not be used to expressing our needs, we sometimes wait until we are a worn-down doormat. We wait until the proverbial last drop, and at that point we might become emotional, or demand that our needs be met. The people in our life sense that we do not feel we deserve to have needs. They respond to that energy of not deserving that we send out and therefore judge us for having needs.

However, once we have learned to love ourselves, we stand up right away and say ‘no’ calmly and lovingly, without a dramatic or emotional reaction. We know that we need not explain or defend ourselves. We make sure that we have time for ourselves. We make sure we do not get worn out in service for others. We make sure that we are truly happy and joyful every moment of every day.

Can you truly claim, “The people in my life care about meeting my needs?”

If you cannot say this, take a look at your subconscious beliefs. Do you feel your needs are not important? Do you feel you cannot expect your partner, or other people close to you, to acknowledge and meet your needs? Do you lovingly acknowledge and meet other people’s needs, or is there resentment because you feel you always have to put others first?

As you take care of yourself, of your inner child and her needs, you step into your more authentic self. You are able to live from love rather than a feeling of unworthiness. You can shine your light and be creative, full of joy, and brilliant in all sorts of ways. You can be the true goddess that you are.


Psych-K® helps to shift limiting beliefs and Shadow Energetics assists in embracing your light shadow, all those characteristics you admire in others but that you have not had the courage to bring out in yourself, yet.