The Past Two Months - a path to peace

Sep 30, 2021

Since June 22, 2021 [SEE PREVIOUS POST: Leaving NYC]

It’s been two months. We have a couch. Emily and I have a bedframe and mattress. We own four cars (because we have 6 drivers and we don't live in the city anymore). I can now recall our address from memory. I’m feeling stable.

Alison is in Hawaii going to school. She loves it! Karina has decided sales is not for her. She’s figuring out what’s next. Eli and Lily are doing homeschool. Emily and I have a string of speaking engagements coming up, so our full focus is there. An audio version of my next book will be releasing soon.

I didn’t want to share the last blog post [Leaving NYC] until I personally felt a little more stable. I think it’s a bad idea to process in public. I didn’t know how I felt about a lot of things. Still don’t. The past six months have been a wild ride. 

Six months ago, Emily and I hosted another sailing retreat in the Virgin Islands, followed by an unexpected quarantine.

 

At anchor off Anegada, BVI

Taking in the trade winds from the bow.

Sharing the art of navigating.

In quarantine on land after our Virgin Island sailing retreat. Not terrible.

 

The living situation for our quarantine were lovely, but--despite not having covid--we weren't sure when we we would get to go home. We made it off the island, back to our kids, and almost immediately left on a road trip that never ended. But I’m feeling better now. 

We've been in San Diego long enough that:

I don’t have to look up directions every time I go somewhere.

I can easily get to a Costco, ALDI, UPS store, church, the dry cleaners.

We have friends and so do our kids.

Emily and I walk every morning.

 

There’s something grounding about a rhythm.

There’s something soothing about familiarity.

 

I prefer life on the move. I love travel and newness. But I have to pace myself.

Over the past six months, I’ve slept many nights in a hammock, on a sailboat, on the ground in a tent, in an RV and on an air mattress in our new apartment. 

 

Picking campgrounds each day so we have a place to sleep.

Setting up camp yet again.

Crashing in a friend's RV while we apartment hunted in San Diego. (Sunday attire : ) 

Emily and I now enjoy a comfortable, memory foam queen mattress. A comfortable bed is an amazing thing, but I think true comfort comes from feeling safe and stable.

When Emily and I teach, one of the things we talk a lot about is "Navigating out of the Harbor." After we cast off, we travel out to sea, reach the edge of our comfort zone, push past it a bit and head back home, to a safe harbor. Then we repeat the process, pushing just past the edge of our new comfort zone, expanding it a little, and then going home and resting. Once we’re rested and ready, we venture out again. We repeat this process until, eventually, we head over the horizon to our new destination. But those moments of traveling back to the comfort zone (a safe harbor), to rest, reflect and absorb, are crucial. Without them we fray and crack.

Emily trying on some sparkle as we prep for upcoming teaching/speaking gigs

In many ways, Emily and I agree we bit off more than we could chew with this move to San Diego. We are firm believers in “just the right amount of adventure.” No too much or too little.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi talks about this in his book Flow.

“Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person's capacity to act.” 

We don’t want boring opportunities within our comfort zone (too little challenge), nor overwhelming opportunities that capsize us (too much challenge). Emily and I have felt overwhelmed these past six months. It’s been too much too fast. The past few weeks we’ve been able to slow down, rest and absorb. I’m reminded of the value in this. Without these periods of rest and reflection, we lose our bearings, we burn out, we lose hope.

I’m excited for the near future. I’m excited to engage with audiences in-person again. We’re excited to take more people sailing. I’m looking forward to feeling grounded and stable enough in my own life that I’ll have the capacity to reach out and be of service.

I don’t have all the answers. We still have plenty of uncertainty about the future, plenty of unanswered questions. But I feel the peaceful power of pausing to reflect, rest and absorb. I feel the calm that comes with grounding myself in habits, patterns and rhythms that carry me in the direction I want to go. I’m almost ready to venture out again.

Sunset over Yosemite.

 

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