The Relentless Sandpiper

My Sunday morning beach walks truly feed my soul. I love the expansiveness I feel while strolling along the sparkling turquoise water that extends past the horizon as sea breezes swirl around me. It’s also very grounding to feel my feet sink into the soft, wet sand as the waves roll in and out. 

Lately, I’ve been listening to the Miracle Voices podcast while I walk. During this hour-long podcast, other A Course in Miracles students share their journey with the Course and their stories of forgiveness. It’s a perfect combo because it enhances my expansive experience by expanding my mind. The last two episodes (#64 and #65) have been particularly inspiring. 

But the lessons I learn from the podcast aren’t the only ones I receive on the beach. Last summer, while walking along Ormond Beach, I watched a small group of sandpipers dodging waves while digging for small crustaceans in the sand. I noticed one sandpiper got very irate any time another bird got within 3 feet of him. He puffed himself up and charged at the intruders aggressively to scare them away. He was relentless!

Although his strategy was effective at scaring them away, it occurred to me that he was investing a lot of time chasing away other sandpipers when he could be using that time to find food. It’s a big beach with enough crustaceans to feed all of the sandpipers. Why was he so concerned about other birds getting close to him? None of the other sandpipers seemed to have an issue with sharing their part of the beach.

As I continued to watch the show, it occurred to me how many times I have acted similarly to that sandpiper. Instead of focusing on what I need to do, I’ve let myself be distracted by what others are doing. Anytime I judge someone for making a choice that I would not make, I’m just like that sandpiper. When I hold onto resentments toward someone for what they did or did not do, I’m like that sandpiper. Even when I compare myself to others, I’m like that sandpiper. If I stop thinking about the person or situation that I find upsetting, I will return to peace. It may sound overly simple, but it works. Try it for yourself.

Yes, sometimes there is an action step being asked of me before I can move forward. But most of the time, it’s all in my mind. What a magnificent teacher (and unpleasant reflection) that feisty little sandpiper turned out to be. Since then, whenever I catch myself being more concerned with what someone else is doing rather than focusing on what I need to do, I picture that puffed-up little guy charging at his “enemies” but barely enjoying breakfast. Hopefully, this image will make me laugh and help me bring the focus back to where it belongs.

Do you often find yourself being like that relentless sandpiper? It would be my great honor to help you put the focus back on you and return to peace with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. For more information about both, please visit JohnHaroldMoore.com. You can also schedule a session or purchase a gift certificate for a loved one by visiting my website or by sending me an email

Until next time, I encourage you to focus on what’s yours to do and let the other sandpipers do their own thing. 

He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive.

A Course in Miracles ~ W.pII.1.4:4

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