The Captain and the Compass

I love the the ocean, I always have. I find it beautiful and mysterious but also inherently part of me. I was always a “fish” or “water baby”. So much of the imagery I have of it in my head presents metaphors for my life and that, in itself, I find comforting and exciting all at once.  Somehow it soothes our wounds, yet inspires awe and adventure.

“Adventure” is an exquisite alternative to “change”, as far as words go. When “change” seems unwelcome or difficult, “Adventure” steps in with connotations of excitement and opportunity. Much like the sea, I love adventure. Somehow, even when it is challenging and confronting, adventure throws me into the deep end and I always come up swimming, instead of sinking under change.

I’ve previously written about introspection and my journey over the last couple of years, through much change. Mostly, rooted in my past and inwardly of self. Recently though, my introspection has been becoming more outward and I so enjoy the the transition. The defining moment came a couple of weeks ago. I was on my way home after a night out with some of my favourite women, buzzing with the warmth of their love for me and each other, in a not-often-enough dinner. I decided to stop and see my daughter on my way, she is the beat of my heart. We were talking about all that had been going on, life never holds for anyone. Never one to throw away words, she turned to me and said “Mumma, I am so proud of who you are. You are more yourself now than I have ever known you to be and you inspire me to be more of who I am” and in that moment, my heart burst. By no means minimising what had gone before, she went on to say that she understood that things had been different then and she loved me just as much for who I was before, as part of the unit that her dad and I were. Perfectly timed closure.

It is at this point that I have begun to recognise my shifting focus. A new adventure, the next chapter. Unravelling and healing now making way for vision and inspiration. Now I have my map and I am charting my own course, looking towards the horizon. It seems like such a simple structure, when before I was so consumed by the storms that I could not comprehend what was beyond them.

Planning my voyage now looks like this:

  • Destination- vision, inspiration, outcome. What is my ultimate, bigger picture goal?
  • Sea Route- mapping the way there, plotting the intermittent destinations that I am arriving at that keep me enroute, the ports which mark the way
  • Appraisal- consideration and preparation for any possible setback, issues, blockages. What could throw me off course? Contingencies to deal with them.
  • Planning- what are the elements that need to come together at a base level? Skills, qualifications, equipment, supplies, connections, etc
  • Simulation- What will I think, feel, be, do when I reach my outcome? Visualising those things, feeling them in your body like you have achieved them
  • Execution- The first action to take once the planning is done and then the next.

As much as we are always working on ourselves, I am not just aware of  my own strength and determination but empowered by it, joyfully. Now, as both Captain & first mate, my emotional compass has been reset and I am standing at the bow navigating by the stars, forward into the unknown and I love it.

“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of Shallow Living” Anais Nin

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