Two years have passed since I started this new chapter of my life. Since I packed up my world as I knew it – my relationships, my jobs, my home, my community, every aspect of this world which I considered to be part my life. I piled some into boxes; I threw some in the trash. I minimized, I cleansed. I closed the door on what had, to that point, been my most defining chapter yet. I left on a journey to shed my proverbial skin and in the process to allow my inner child, the innocence in which I entered this world, to shine its brilliance once again.
Naively I believed that the journey would be a baptism of fire in the corporate world, finally entering a place which I had kept at arm’s length for so many years. I believed that my journey would consist of me trying to find my soul and keep my innocence in a world where everyone was trying to rip it from my grasp. I thought that my exploration would be a process whereby I find myself amongst the adversities of a humanly constructed society. I thought wrong.
I remember sitting there in the yacht’s cockpit on the hell-bent stormy seas, my body insulated in thermal clothing and yet still shivering. Hands and head wrapped in scarves and gloves. A harness firmly strapped to my waist holding me to my single lifeline – our boat, our home, our vessel for learning. The waves rose and fell like liquid mountains, hiding the sun in a moment. The boat was a toy with which ocean played. It tossed us and dunked us like a lost buoy floating meaninglessly in the shore break. It was relentless; it wasn’t smiling at us letting us know that it was testing us, that this all was simply a lesson which was prescribed as part of our audacious task of crossing its mighty waters.
In those moments there is no stop button. You can’t pause that lesson or quickly head out for a breather or bathroom break. You don’t close your eyes or pinch yourself and it disappears. It’s also not a moment to be brave, because bravery won’t calm the waters. Bravery won’t settle the mighty oceans and bravery won’t ensure that you get home in one piece. It is a moment that you simply need to let go. You need to humble yourself and succumb to its strength, its persistence, its sheer greatness. In that moment when you let go, when you are willing to lose everything that is worldly, when you stop worrying, when you stop feeling. That is the moment when you find yourself. That is the moment when you find the purest version of yourself that is holding onto nothing that is of this world, nothing that we ordinarily perceive to be of importance in our lives. It is the most basic you.
From that point everything can be seen for its true brilliance. Sunrises have never been so bright and magnificent, rain has never fallen so purposefully and food has never nourished your body with so much vigor and intent to give you life. In that moment when you are so ready to cease in your own existence, that is the moment when you first truly start existing in this world.
Lessons can be learnt, lessons can be lost. Memories come and go like the passing winds and the moments of brilliance and realization which we experience in our lives can sometimes start to drift to a place of distant recollection. However, even now, when life starts to feel like it wants can consume me and reclaim my innocence, I simply close my eyes… And I can still hear the waves.