“Every day we have an opportunity to create a living masterpiece.” – Michael Gervais
How to change? That is the question. Then what happens? That is the next question… I have recently discovered the podcasts of Michael Gervais and his brainchild, “Finding Mastery”. The discussions he has with the people in his pod-cast forum are inspiring and some are similar to conversations we have with people we meet. The NEED and WANT for change seems prevalent in our society today and we find this is a world-wide discussion. It is the HOW, which can trip up even the most savvy world-traveler/change-maker wanting to alter their view.
Re-setting one’s compass can be as simple as making some lists. Establishing core values are a big topic and so we talk about this at length with the kids. We recently made lists of our values and goals as well as qualities we look for in others and intend to refer back to them as life happens and our futures unfold. This was super fun to do and was more than a school-lesson – it was a life-lesson for all of us.
I love the incidental capture of my morning lists one day last week… One list for boat chores, one for life goals, one is a grocery list and one for dinner menus … all important lists!
Tony and Sophia exploring the caverns beneath Marine Stadium – a decrepit waterfront venue on Virginia Key island near Miami.
Exploring, adventuring and traveling as a family can be a life-changing opportunity. When we talk about our values, we can then go out into the world and look for those values in others. We know we have much to learn in this lifetime and meeting other people who share our ideals gives us a feeling of belonging.
In our friend’s cockpit (sailing totem!) we met a new friend, Kerry Gruson, who is a disabled athlete and social activist. Kerry has a non-profit organization called Thumbs Up International which works to connect people of all abilities to conquer athletic challenges together. Kerry seems like someone who would need so much help from others, but instead she helps others realize their full potential. Making friends like Kerry (as well as spending time with friends on TOTEM) is one of the golden nuggets of our travel.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Making a big change in one’s life is no small thing, nor can it be done without the necessary up-rooting of one’s environment, habits and thought-processes. Many a list were made to get us to where we are today…
Oliver balancing the Cortado fleet.
Nowadays we still “go with the flow” of our journey. While we are calculated about the risks we take, we also allow our process of change to evolve in a natural way. Nothing is forced. Our schedule and destinations are sometimes high in impact; and yet other times we lay low and enjoy the small things. A family paddle-board outing, picking up trash on a beach, or a search for eagle-rays can be just as rewarding as any powerful world-trip we might take. We have given ourselves the gift of latitude – the freedom to do our life’s work at the pace required by nature, not the pace that fits a certain corporate or school vacation timeline.
Aggregate is defined as “a whole formed by combining several (typically disparate) elements.” I love this word. It defines our Travel-School and family experience so well. It is the composition of travel, quality family time, lack of stress and abundance of world/life experiences that make up the aggregate of our Cortado lives. We are not defined by our singular successes/failures, but empowered by the many things that we are doing well and with purpose.
Sarah Steenland is a fellow cruiser-illustrator who has a great way of combining real-life with her art. I always get a chuckle out of her illustrations, especially the ones which poke fun at this crazy way of life we have so lovingly embraced. (see sarasteenland.com for more fun cruising comics)
Our land-life is quite different from our cruising-life. As we spend time in each, we can appreciate the qualities that are prevalent on land and sea. In either place, the people we choose to spend time with are the perfect icing on our travel-school/world-experience cake. People. Community. Experience. Shared Values.
Spending time with our friends on TOTEM has been a highlight of our travel this year. Our friends are on their 9th year circumnavigating planet earth on their Stevens47. We love our kindred spirits and will cross oceans (literally) to spend time together. See their blog at sailingtotem.com.
This spring, we are continuing to quietly cruise in South Florida making new friends, spending quality time with old friends, removing plastic from the water every chance we get, writing poetry, racing sailboats and reading voraciously… we are progressing with school and life in an organic, peaceful way on Cortado and we encourage anyone thinking of throwing off the bowlines to do it, too. Sail away from your safe place and experience something new.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. is an American author best known for his inspirational book, Life’s Little Instruction Book, which was a New York Times bestseller. Wikipedia
http://findingmastery.net. “Every day we have an opportunity to create a living masterpiece” – Michael Gervais.
Thumbs Up International: https://www.facebook.com/thumbsupint/