I am feeling very raw today. As my life changes course and I adjust my sails to heed a calling I cannot ignore, I feel more and more vulnerable. As one of my favorite teachers, Brene’ Brown says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” As much as I know this deep in my bones, I am writhing with the discomfort of it…yet even in that discomfort, I trust the deep truth of it.
As I approach 50, I am feeling the need to shed some layers. I am tired from a lifetime of presenting a polished and “acceptable” version of myself to keep the peace in my life. I am learning that the most important thing I can do right now is to trust myself and be true to what I feel. I cannot help but relate this to my journey across the Pacific. I was called on to trust myself every moment of every day out there, even when it didn’t feel comfortable or easy to do. I had to trust in my foundation as a sailor and as a human. I had to know that when all was said and done, the truth and strength that lay within that act of trust was enough….that I was enough. I learned out there that I did not have to audition for “the part” (the part of being all things to all people) anymore, and that being the whole raw unadulterated version of myself was more than enough. This was a huge realization for me, because despite all of the things I have accomplished in my life, I have never felt like I was enough. I always thought (still think sometimes) that I had to do more and be more, just to be accepted and deemed as worthy by those around me. I know that this is not a unique plight, but the reverberations of how this revelation affects me personally are shaking me deeply right now.
I am still working on allowing all that I learned on my journey at sea percolate so that I can assimilate it into my daily life. This integration is often painful, however as I come face to face with very old and stubborn habits that are alive and well in my land life. One of those habits is allowing my trust in myself to waiver when I sense doubt in another. My knee jerk reaction is to abandon my own ship in order to keep the peace with another (to quell the horrible feeling of their displeasure). I can see now that when I do this, I am betraying myself, and that is the ultimate betrayal.
So today, I am crawling back up onto my ship and taking the helm with purpose. I am calling on the strength and deep self-trust I felt at sea to remind me of who I really am. I am calling on the oneness I felt with spirit as I plummeted across the Pacific to remind me that all is well, and as it should be. I am calling on the healing powers of nature and Mother Ocean to remind me of the infinite goodness in myself and the world. Being alone at sea reminded me of the order of things, and that that order just IS. There is no need to audition, there is no need to jump ship, but rather to simply be mindful of my own ship and the manner in which I sail her so that she is at one with the flow of the sea.
Ps….I have been posting some videos lately on my Facebook and Instagram feeds about the ups and downs of my journey (I have added a couple below). I have gotten some strong reactions from people who felt that they needed to worry about me because it looked so hard and uncomfortable.. Please don’t worry! For me there is so much strength in sharing the down times, for they are fertilizer for healing and growth, and I would never trade any of them for anything! It is in that spirit that I share this part of my emotional journey with all of you. For me, it’s all the same. This is WHY I sail!