“You're doing this for YOU! No one else. Everything else is noise. External feedback has no power. YOU know what you need to do. This is your journey. Your legacy. Your walk about. Stand in your power and find your answers. I love you and believe in you”.
This little gem was sent to me on the eve of my departure for Hawaii by my baby sister. She is a wise one, who drops truth bombs like no one else I know. Sometimes I marvel that I even have to be reminded of such things at the ripe old age of 49 (and by a sister 8 years my junior no less), but I admit that I do.
Though my physical walk about is over, I am reluctantly realizing that the inner vision quest that it sparked is only just beginning. I don’t think I realized until this week, that what I have been experiencing lately is not so much a depression or a funk, but a rebirth, or a coming of age…well shit, isn’t that exactly what a vision quest IS? There has been a heavy veil upon and around me since I returned from my voyage, some of it is made up of tangible reasons, and the rest is made up of sheer mystery (otherwise known as sheer torture). It makes me think of one of my favorite books, The Mists of Avalon (based on the legend of King Arthur). The mists are a magical veil shrouding a land full of mystery and wisdom, that can only be parted when one is in full connection with oneself and spirit (at least that is my interpretation). As I do the work needed to part the mists, the veil is lifting and things are slowly becoming clear once again. I have been here before, so many times, but never like this. This work is not easy, I tell you. I don’t think I have ever before gone farther into the abyss of transformative darkness. I can see light peeking through the heavy veil, but I am still in here swimming around, looking for buried treasure and hoping that soon, very soon, I will be able to surface and breathe the fresh clean air on the other side of the mists.
As I navigate the depths of this challenging time, I am trying to live by my sister’s wise words. I am trying to move through it with my own truth at the center, rather than pull of the opinions, judgements, criticisms and even praise of those around me. As my brother lovingly told me last month while watching me take in (into my actual body) the energy and moods of a group of people, “wow, you are such a sponge”. I am indeed, and I feel it now more than ever as I finally realize how badly it needs to change. I am slowly learning to create an energetic boundary around myself, but until now, I have not had that ability.
How this relates to my sailing journey (finally, Margie, jeez!), is that I am realizing as I look back that I often allowed the energy and opinions of people around me to shroud my experience of preparing for and completing the Singlehanded Transpac. As single-minded and confident as I was, I allowed myself to be emotionally and energetically pulled into the realm of other people’s emotional realities. I allowed the criticism that I heard and experienced get under my skin and affect my attitude. I allowed myself to feel people’s fears (even when I did not have them for myself). And finally, as comforting as it was most of the time, I realize now that I communicated WAY too much on my actual journey (via satellite tracking device) with the people in my life to the point where their worries, fears and feelings started to infiltrate and affect my daily experience on the boat. I am thankful for modern methods of communication, and for the love and concern of those close to me, but if I had it to do over again, I would seriously limit my communication.
All of that being said, I wouldn't trade a moment of it for anything. There are so many gems that I could never put into words that I experienced on this journey. I am in no way trying to downplay the magnitude of it all. I simply know that I am still mining the depths of the experience as I come out the other side. So I come full circle in this post, and I stand here, open and humbled… ...raw and receptive… waiting for ‘my answers’.