I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that you don’t have any problems, the bad news is that you don’t believe me. I have used this with my clients for years but until recently have not been able to truly test it out.
The last year has brought what many would see as some very disheartening challenges. Some have been personal with friendships and children and parents, and some have been work related but yesterday, we were faced with over 2 feet of water inside our floating home, “New Dawn.” She was still floating, but we are not sure at this point what is working and what is not. This blog is not about how she ended up with 2 feet of water or the process that we are about to go through, I will let Bob write about that later. This is about my thoughts on the morning that I watched my home being towed away not knowing whether she was coming back to us. Waking up this morning with the thought “I am homeless” is certainly something I have never had to think about before.
Many of the great teachers that I aspire to have shown me that problems are merely opportunities. Opportunities for growth, opportunities for learning and the opportunity to travel down a road that we were not planning to take. Sometimes when we take a different road the things we find that are unexpected turn out to be true blessings. I don’t think we are ever certain when we try to live our lives by these principles if we will be successful especially when a true challenge presents itself.
Bob and I had put both of our boats up for sale earlier this year. Our desire has been to sell both of our boats and buy a catamaran so that we could fulfill our dream of doing couples retreats on it in the Caribbean. We have our two boats in Saint Petersburg and have been living at the dock since about November. Being at the dock gave us the opportunity to get our new business off the ground and be here for family and friends that needed us. About a month ago we decided that we still had much to accomplish here and were not quite ready to leave for the Caribbean and we wanted to stay on our Morgan Out Island “New Dawn” for a little while longer. We still have our dream, but took her off the market to focus on our goals and see how life was going to unfold.
Where is the opportunity now? I am going to start with that thought “I am homeless.” Very strange feeling not knowing where we will be next week or next month. Yet, is it really true that I am homeless? I guess in the sense that I don’t know where I am going to be next week or next month could make that statement true, but I could also realize that I am never homeless when I have my husband and family and friends. I am never homeless when we have this vast earth that is all of our home. Where is our home? Our home is where we choose to be with those that we love, keep some of our things, and rest our head. I am healthy, I am fed and I am loved. Therefore I am home. I am so grateful for all of these things. There has been such an outpouring already of sailors offering us help and giving us support. I certainly feel at home in the sailing community. When I focus on the thought I am homeless, I can feel the anxiety build inside my chest, but when I realize that I am always at home, with my husband with my friends and family and within this sailing community I suddenly feel joy and peace.
I believe that we live in a friendly universe and that being at peace with “what is” will show us that is true. Transformational speaker, Wayne Dyer wrote in his book “Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits” that he is often accused of being a Pollyanna. I was recently accused of the same thing. Mr. Dyer wrote:
“Being compared to Pollyanna isn’t a source of discomfort for me, however. After all, here was a little girl who arrived in a town where the people were miserable and pessimistic, with doom and gloom dominating the horizon. Within a short while, the energy of Pollyanna permeated the community—her enthusiasm was infectious; and people began to feel hope, passion, and love replacing their despair and futility. So if I’m to be compared to anyone, I find it an honor to be viewed in Pollyannish terms.”
For me, believing that all is what it should be means that there is something great and wonderful waiting for me. I may not be sure of the opportunities that will come from this, but I am certainly ready to find out. What will I learn? What goodness will I see in the people around me? How will this make me a better person?
I have a few of those answers already. For example, I learned what pickling an engine was. I had never heard that term before now. I guess I had never had the opportunity. I have also already seen the outpouring of love from many, and I am sure this is only the beginning.
I am not always going to be perfect in keeping my focus on the opportunities. Very recently, I feel that I failed miserably in a personal situation and will probably feel that way again. Yet, even in that situation, I learned and I grew and forgave and continue to strive in that direction.
So where do I go from here? Is this a problem or an opportunity? It truly is however I choose to look at it. Problems are merely facts of life just like the weather, the tides and the occasional sinking at the dock. I am sure that I will have my moments in this process where I will start to feel overwhelmed and a little frightened, (and, yes, I shed a few tears this morning) but mostly, I think I have an opportunity for a great adventure in front of me!