fbpx

Beach Bliss

What started for Shelly Tygielski on a mountaintop in Geneva has become a life-changing practice for people throughout Broward County. Studying abroad as a graduate student at Columbia University, Tygielski, raised an Orthodox Jew, would find a quiet spot to study her daily prayers. She noticed a Japanese couple with a similar ritual, but they sat cross-legged and didn’t say a word. Intrigued, she befriended them and asked about meditation.
The practice would become a fundamental part of her life in ways she never initially imagined—including as relief for uveitis, an inflammatory eye tissue disease that threatens vision (flare-ups can be triggered by stress).
Last November, the Lighthouse Point resident invited 12 friends who were going through some difficult times—“divorce, health issues, different situations”—to meditate with her on Hollywood Beach and clear their minds. The weather was so blustery that they couldn’t meditate on the beach, so the group ended up near the parking lot at Hollywood North Beach Park—and sat in dirt. “I thought, ‘This is terrible. No one will ever want to show up again.’”
But they did the following Sunday—and they brought friends. “Now we’ve amassed this huge gathering, from people with tattoos all over their bodies to Hasidic Jews to women and men struggling with their weight who would never want to step into a yoga studio.”
Anyone can join Tygielski’s free meditation, which starts at 8:30 a.m. each Sunday at the park (3601 N. Ocean Drive). Some weeks, hundreds of people show up. Many of those who attend call themselves “the sand tribe.”

WHY SHE DOES IT: “Being able to teach other people how to meditate isn’t really about the process of clearing my mind, but filling my heart.”
HOW IT’S CHANGED HER LIFE: Tygielski, who had been with Fortune 500 companies for 20 years, stepped down in July from her position as president of a security guard company, where she oversaw 3,000 employees. “I worked up from a cubicle to breaking the glass ceiling in an industry that is mostly male dominated.” She plans to travel the country with her creation, America Meditates, a 90-minute interactive workshop that she says will “introduce as many people as possible to meditation and mindfulness.”
THIS MONTH: Broward Meditates is at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 18 with sessions at 3 and 6 p.m. Cost is $20.

You May Also Like

Healthcare Investor Hosts Fundraising Event for Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis

The evening will feature a Frank Sinatra impersonator, networking and a chance to raffle prizes from Amaira Med Spa & Surgical.

Quality Ingredients Made Legendary

Angelo Elia creates a restaurant empire.

Editor’s Letter: Staking Out the Middle Ground

The political partisanship in Florida is pretty stark these days. However, the career of John P. “Jack” Seiler is a reminder that wasn’t always the case. Seiler, who is featured on this month’s cover, served a key role as a fiscally conservative Democrat during his time in the Florida statehouse. Some people thought he was

Kevin Gale
Hit the Road? Not This Jack

Seiler has had a long and distinguished public service career serving South Florida.

Other Posts

Justin Weinstein Is on a Mission To Change the Attorney-Client Dynamic

A new brand movement – “The Law of We” – aims to foster proactive relationships between attorneys and their clients.

Editor’s Letter: Saluting a Good Friend

We will honor Kevin Kaminski’s legacy in all that we do.

Living Through Giving: Victoria Martoccia

South Florida philanthropists share insights into their charitable work and the life lessons that have influenced their endeavors.

Living Through Giving: Heidi Alzate Kaufman

Discover philanthropic pursuits of South Florida benefactors and their life lessons that shaped their charitable actions.