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At the Helm of My Boat

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

I am amazed every day to find myself staying busy while confined within the walls of my home. I have adapted to a new lifestyle. Granted, there are limited errands to do and an occasional masked walk with a friend. The activities of daily living distract me from the concerns of these times. I have lists of things I should be doing and lists of things I have to do, and then there’s a short list of things I want to do. I seem to swirl around the lists every day choosing some and ignoring others. Sometimes my choices are in defiance and other times in cooperation; it depends on the mood I’m in.

Then there are times I function with this weight on my shoulders reminding me what I’m not doing, or avoiding or neglecting and I find myself waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop, the impending phone call or email that indicts me with guilt. Then people will really know who I am.

I would like to spend a day just being free; a day when I can begin by greeting the morning light feeling my innocence. My internalized general seems to always be on alert pacing back and forth with those stiff legs that hold the awareness, watching and waiting to remind me to shut off the hall light, close the refrigerator door, answer that email now, clean up so no bacteria dwells, finish that task so no one is waiting and on and on and on. The only way I can get away from my general is to distract myself enough that I forget to listen. The general is always waiting.

I realize I am not alone living on the edge in these very challenging times. I recognize my edginess and see similarities around me of friends and acquaintances developing this worrying behavior while living their lives.

I’ve been spending time watching a new documentary recently released entitled “The Time of the Sixth Sun” about the changes we are all experiencing and the structural breakdown we are living in. The documentary goes beyond this not-new news and offers interviews, insights and innovations from indigenous cultures and elders speaking of the prophecy and the wisdom held in ancient ways which we are all returning to. There’s a future by returning to simple ways of honoring the Earth, staying in integrity and helping ourselves by getting back to truths that have been lost because of industry, technology and competition.

Watching the documentary has encouraged me to start thinking about simplifying what I can by making decisions for now and for the future. To bring honesty into conversations with my loved ones, friends and community. The interviews encourage me with innovative ideas to examine, improve and sustain my lifestyle.

I’m grateful for my curiosity because life is changing. It’s important not to have a white-knuckled grip on expectations while looking ahead. There is a new normal coming and I don’t know what it looks like. My intention is to stand at the helm of my boat with my sea legs adjusting to the waves and storms. My eyes alert watching and listening to my heart and to the innovative thinkers of the young and old while sifting out what’s true to my heart, not fear for my heart.

I know I don’t know all the answers. I know me and trust I will be guided to the answers. Other times I trust I will know what questions to ask. Always remembering to feel the emotions that come up; use tools like journaling to vent in safe ways always recognizing my safety is within, my guidance is within, my connection is within.

“In the end it won’t matter what agenda was taken down, whether secrets were unsealed or which perspective had it right on any level. All that will matter is the time you took to remain faithful in spirit, aligned in your ethics, a loving nurturer of your own heart and inspired contributor for your friends, family and community while rooted in the wisdom of maturity, no matter how dark it became before the light dawned.” – Matt Kahn

Participants’ Reflections:

  • You mentioned a day feeling free. Yesterday was my birthday and I gave myself permission to celebrate. It was a lovely day, phone calls, some short visits, and some little and big surprises. It was wonderful. In thinking back on it, it reminds me how important it is, while taking everything so seriously because there is so much going on, how important it is to keep spreading joy and love wherever you can.

  • Thank you. What stuck with me was the metaphor of being on a boat and driving it. Five years ago, I spent four months on an island caring for my new grandchild. Once a week, I’d go back and forth with the work crew on an old small lobster boat. I had the potential of getting sick because I get seasick easily. The way I was able to maneuver through that was to be outside, to hold on, yet be flexible at the same time, and to breathe. I had to have the air, to breathe the air, and focus on the horizon. There were some real rough seas, particularly in October. So thank you, that is very helpful for me, having lived through that experience. I wasn’t steering the boat but I was riding the waves and finding a way to get through it to the other side.

  • Thank you. That was an amazing reading. There’s so much, and the boat experience encapsulates the message, riding the storm and being flexible. I watched those films on the Sixth Sun. This reading sums things up—we are part of this global upheaval at so many different levels. The key is to hold onto the railing and keep breathing, and be in absolute love, and connect to the people around you. It’s about all we can do, to ride out this chaos we are going into.

  • Thank you so much. It gave me validation for the context of the world, what is beyond me. When I’m in the middle of it, it comes through my eyes and I don’t appreciate the context. Trying to find a new norm for oneself is really what everyone is doing, in one way or another. Just having the description of worrisome behavior, twirling that around as your landscape really resonated with me. And the old idea, for me, taking from all the many things you said, how little time I spend on being loving towards myself, and really valuing that in the same way I value other things. During the meditation, I spent time breathing in messages and releasing. It was very helpful, thank you.

  • Thank you. You also mentioned another thing we can do, and that’s connecting within for safety and guidance. That goes perfectly with yesterday’s meditation on detachment. You detach from opinions and judgments and outcomes, and connect within for safety and guidance that we need. It’s a good reminder. This is the kind of stuff we continually need to be reminded of. I was thinking yesterday about detachment. I remember when my child was sixteen. I went to Al-anon and they told me about detaching with love. And I thought that’s crazy, I’m a mom, I can’t detach. That was exactly what I needed to do. How will he know I love him if I am detaching? But he knows. That was twenty years ago, and I’m thinking, this is hard to learn.

  • It is. But we are in an accelerated course right now.

  • I’m getting very emotional. I am so grateful. If it wasn’t for these meditations and you all speaking so honestly, I would feel even more lost. I would admonish myself more. I have a lot of trouble staying focused and out of anxiety regarding my family member, about Covid, about the future. I have to find whatever way to put that aside when I am in a caregiving situation because I am not helping my loved one. As for worrisome behavior, that’s me.

  • Speaking of community, the Dalai Lama and Greta Thunberg had a conversation. The Dali Lama pointed out we are no longer within our own little communities. Our community is global.

  • I think the horizon that someone mentioned is within us. I think it’s our sense of integrity that we don’t lose who we are when we feel so strongly about the worries of the world. That we have to remember and nurture who we are and keep our eyes on that horizon, not someone else’s horizon.

  • To echo that. I keep thinking about the second valley of abandoning reason. The importance abandoning reason for love as opposed to abandoning it for hate or other reasons. Love is the reason to abandon reason.

  • The logic and the reason and complications are all our ego.

  • It takes vulnerability, and it’s why people resist falling crazily in love, but there is nothing else.

  • It brings me back to the time several months ago I felt like I was dying. I think it was my ego coming to terms with being abandoned. Because it is essentially letting go and merging with the real me. It’s a real feeling.

  • Thank you. I am so grateful for my willingness to open, to hear the words, your willingness to listen and feel the words, your willingness to share your honesty and vulnerability. It is truly a give and take community. It is all about abandoning reason to be in love. Thank you very much. Have a gentle, caring day for yourselves.

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