So there we were, sailing slowly along in a 180' traditional three-masted tall ship, crossing the Indian Ocean from Bali to South Africa, rounding the Cape of Good Hope. Something dawned on me as the wind was gently blowing through my tar-filled grizzly beard…
More and more I realize life is supposed to be a journey — an adventure of one flavor or another — you choose. For some, perhaps this is more slow, cautious and calculated, where risks and rewards are deeply considered. For others, the adventure may be more adrenaline-filled, fast, wide-eyed and impulsive.
I drove by this older couple in a pickup truck towing a camper the other day and thought to myself, that’s so beautiful. Exploring the country with the one you love, towing your home behind you. That is freedom. That is adventure.
The paradigm of the American Dream is changing for my generation. The “work/life balance” is slowly fading, giving way to an exploratory, curious life of twists and turns and roadblocks and challenges and wins and loses between work and family and friends and society and Mother Earth and the universe…
The polarities need to drop away. It is all one “thing” — one ride, a one-way ticket. Are you going to stop and smell the roses (or eat the candy!) or just put your head down and “drive” like many of us seem to do, without fully realizing that we don’t get these breaths back.
It doesn’t matter what we do for work, or where we live, or what we have or don’t have in our pockets. What matters is that we allow this life is a journey; recognize that there IS an end (and that’s not bad!), and how we experience each of these fleeting moments is important — whether there is an afterlife or not.
I don’t want to preach, and this may seem like it, but I want us to not forget, or, perhaps, deliberately remember the importance of following one’s heart — about seeing that whatever is in front of your eyes at this instant, can in fact be a beautiful journey and is the most important thing in the world.
Now I opened with my sailing story because, even then, in the thick of a true adventure, I lost sight of the journey — of the adventurous wind that was slapping me in the face and throwing salt in my eyes. This is a reminder to either say ‘no’ to experiences, or an enthusiastic ‘hell yes!’ There is no middle ground when it comes to your time, attention and presence. Dive fully into whatever it is that you are doing, right now.