From Cowboy Boots to Flip Flops

May 6, 2022 | Inspiration, Story

Going from Montana’s Big Sky Country with mountains rising to nearly 13,000 feet and a population of not much more than one million to a state lying at sea level with a population of 21.5 million began as an adventurous road trip. However, to really discover southeast Florida I needed to let go more and allow the flow of events to guide me. That’s when Shark appeared to help.

Shark Energy

Sharks are abundant off the coast of Jupiter, Florida, and I sighted a few during my stay. Naturally curious, I researched Shark as a spirit animal and found that Shark symbolism reminds us that opportunities in life are abundant. We just need to move forward to create those opportunities instead of allowing outside opinions and judgements suppress our natural instincts.

So, as I melted more into Shark energy everything felt different. My rhythms shifted. I found myself waking up between four and five am every morning. I would pull on my swimsuit and head to Jupiter Beach to watch the sunrise, do my mantras, sun salutations and then walk on the sand near the water.

Sunrise, Sunset — Discovering a New Rhythm

Every sunrise was different, and the ocean always displayed some new color, sound or wave pattern. Some days were overcast, windy and cold. Other days the sea was calm enough for paddleboarding. Those early mornings offered an intimate connection with Helios the sun god and Neptune the god of the sea.

Since I was staying in Jupiter for several months, I explored a variety of activities. I found the Jupiter Outdoor Center in Riverbend Park where I could kayak on the Loxahatchee River amidst hairy trees hanging Spanish moss from crooked limbs, mangrove mazes, sunbathing turtles, gnarled gators and whatever else might be lurking beneath those murky waters of the Loxahatchee River!

You never knew what was around the next bend. The broken tree stumps protruding from the water looked like ghostly river guards. The large tree limbs hanging low over the water seemed to reach out to intentionally poke, prod and hook you as you tried to silently glide past unnoticed.

Exploring Riverbend Park by bicycle is another option, and the river looks less ominous from the shore. Great paddleboarding is found in the Jupiter Inlet and Lighthouse area where the manatees tumble, somersault and play. The water is often very clear when the tide is coming in, so about an hour or two before high tide is best.


But if staying closer to the ground suits you, try yoga Saturday mornings at Riverbend Park on the grass where tree tops sway as you flow from asana to asana. The soft sounds of the Loxahatchee River will encourage relaxation and calm the nervous system. Yoga on Monday nights outside at the Jupiter Lighthouse is another option. as are the several yoga studios found in Jupiter.

So, can a Montana girl trade her cowboy boots for flip flops, her down coat for a swim suit, a walk on the beach for a hike on a snowy mountain trail and find fulfillment? The answer is yes if she decides to let go and follow the Tao.**

** Tao or Dao is the natural order of the universe whose character one’s intuition must discern to realize the potential for individual wisdom. This intuitive knowing of life cannot be grasped as a concept. Rather, it is known through actual living experience of one’s everyday being. It also signifies the way, path, route or road.


  1. Avatar

    Very inviting piece, thanks, Carol! The “shark energy” as opportunity reminded me of the competitive Hawaiian surfer girl to whom a shark gave opportunity to learn to surf with one arm instead of the two she used before meeting him. 🙂
    But fascinating reflection on how tuning in to those energies changed your routine there!
    I’d love to kayak there and see the manatees!

    Some editorial suggestions: In your last section of “trading” MT events to those in FL, your last comparison switched from ‘MT to FL’ event to ‘FL to MT.’
    * “judgment”
    * “I never knew what was around the next bend” or “You would never know …”
    * “Neptune the sea god” … ‘Right’ either way, but following “Helios the sun god” …

  2. Avatar

    P.S. Carol: After seeing Patrick’s (unnecessary) edits on my piece, I’m surprised he didn’t catch those for you. But he’s normally an EXCELLENT writer/editor!
    One more I forgot: “a.m.”

  3. Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your experience in Florida, Carol,
    I got a real sense of what it was like to be there and explore even with the alligators!
    I am fortunate to live in what is called the hills district and able to greet the sun as it warm rays penetrate through stately blue-gum trees and the wondrous morning star Venus slowly disappear from sight. Then in the evenings as the sun slides over the western skyline, my guiding star Venus appears again as the evening star. How precious it is to live with nature and be aware of its cycles.


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