Life is like the sea, a mixture of rough, choppy patches, calmer ones and everything in between. There are weather systems and currents which seem to pull us in different directions. I would like you to come on a journey with me and for the purposes of this journey I would like you to imagine that you are a sailing boat navigating the high seas of life.
There are two very different experiences I would like you to consider. How does it feel when you have the wind in your sails and you’re at full tilt cruising through life? How different is that feeling to the one when you find yourself either sailing too close to the rocks or the wind has dropped and you find yourself stuck in the doldrums? You might experience the rocks as anxiety or stress and the lack of wind as demotivation or lack of inspiration. Both can be debilitating in different ways, interfering with our enjoyment of life.
When you set sail from your home port, it is really useful to understand how the sea, the currents and the weather work and to be able to trust the boat you are in. Yet, we mostly set sail on the journey of life without understanding how life itself works. We navigate as best we can, often without two crucial pieces of information. It would be like setting sail in a potentially leaky boat with no idea about the impact of weather. Thankfully let me reassure you that actually our boat is unsinkable and the weather systems are a great way to navigate, giving us valuable information about our speed and direction of travel. With this information to hand we can be more accepting of the sea state, more confident and capable sailors; put simple life is easier and more enjoyable than we think it is.
I found myself floundering in the doldrums for years when redundancy hit me like crashing full steam into the rocks. It really looked to me as though redundancy was responsible for taking the wind out of my sails. For years I blamed the Managing Director for what I experienced as a personal vendetta against me. I searched high and low for a source of fresh wind for my sails to return me to those earlier feelings. But I was looking in the wrong direction.
I often felt overwhelmed by what was happening in my life. I put some of it down to low self-esteem, something which would have seemed alien to me when I was employed. I set up my own management consultancy and initially worked as a university lecturer. I was very busy at home, with two young children and very busy at work. Outside success meant little, but inside I knew I was sailing very close to the rocks, in terms of my mental health.
I see now that those two crucial pieces of information about how life works were hidden to me. I am an unsinkable boat and the weather systems in my mind are just that, in my mind. I am the source of the wind in my sails. Of course, there were times when I caught a glimpse of this, but my intellect (ego) overrode the gentler voice of intuition rising up from within me. I fell back on the old messages I’d picked up along the journey and believed them, messages such as ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘life is meant to be hard’, and ‘the future is scary’. It took me a long time to hear the fresh messages arising from within. Now that I trust the source is within, I’m able to spend a lot more time with the wind in my sails, cruising at full tilt, loving life. And when the waters get choppy it is easier to remember that I’m unsinkable.
If you are curious to explore this further you could read about it in my book, “More than you think”.
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We run retreats sharing this information in Weymouth, Dorset. I also offer one to one coaching over Zoom or in person.