"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." - Andre Gide
You've packed, said your goodbyes, completed all your prep work, and you're finally ready to set sail. This day has been coming for so long. You have a mission! You are going to uncharted territory!!! You can barely wait to begin this amazing, new adventure. And... YOU TAKE OFF!!!
That was me almost three years ago.
Like many others, I've answered The Calling, without fully knowing what I was being called to, and at this point in my journey, there is no shore in sight, and I have no idea where I'm going to land. Sometimes it's exciting, and other times the mystery of it all petrifies me. Even so, I make an effort to enjoy the ride, appreciate the boat that keeps me afloat, and commune with the other travelers I meet along the way. We all have a destination that is unknown.
To my fellow travelers, here are three tips for times of doubt, indecision, and fear during your travels at sea:
1) Don't Panic!
When we first set sail, we are so determined and ready to take on this new (or old) dream. Then we look back and see the shore slowly fading away, getting farther and farther in the distance. If you are like me, you may have a momentary panic attack and/or existential crisis.
"What if I don't make it? What if I can't find my way back? What if I die before making it to my destination? WHAT AM I DOING?!?!?"
We can't let fear of what's to come keep us from getting there. When we build the courage to start, that same courage must be nurtured, because we will need it many times over. We do our best not to panic and act without thought, but when we do, we do our best to recover.
2) Don't Look Back
Being clear with our goals and setting our intention is very important. Of course our goals may change, but having clarity will give us a sense of peace while we are in the middle of the ocean. We can be unafraid when our goals inspire our daily practices, and when our intentions remind us why we began this journey in the first place. One of the biggest challenges can be to believe in ourselves, but if we are to take bold risks and not go back to what is comfortable, it is a challenge we must overcome in order to become the person we aspire to be. (Find out more about believing in yourself in a past blog post: Approve Yourself.)
3) Learn to Love the Journey
There will be joy, sorrow, discomfort, happiness, growth, and lots more growth. We will travel through storms, and we will gently surf under a night sky full of stars. We learn to appreciate it all. I often ask myself, "what's the alternative?" The alternative for me is to be comfortable behind a desk with a steady paycheck. It sounds nice, but it doesn't sound like a life I truly want
There is no shore in sight, we have an unknown destination, and yet, we sail on.
Eventually, we come to realize that the destination was never the goal, and instead, being present by living each day to the fullest, meeting friends and loved ones along the way, and cultivating a deep, deep sense of self, were the most important parts of all. It is our travels, our heartaches, and our joys that matter.
The destination is over there. We are right here. So allow yourself to live right here, and seek joy in your daily life, because who knows what tomorrow may bring.
Till next y'all.
*Photography by CPIII