Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Tao of Spork.

As I'm thinking of things to outfit the galley aboard s/v In A Mist, I remembered a conversation with my brother about the Titanium Spork! ThinkGeek.com also has some cool chop sticks.

So, I was talking to my friend Emily, who is wise beyond her years, about the spork. She responded that the spork ends up being neither a very good fork or a very good spoon.

I was struck that Emily's First Law of the Spork goes double for people. If you are trying to be more than one thing, you'll be good at neither. This is especially true of people who are trying desperately to be something or someone they are not. However, it is often a critical internal voice representing either self doubt or an unhealthy overvaluing of the opinions of others.

Working with my coach Kathy one of the most valuable lessons was learnging to separate these two. This is not a yin and yang relationship, it is a parasite and host. Once you stop listening to the constant hum of the what if's and worries of your life you can begin to here the soft whimpers of the real person you've been ignoring for so long.

You must do this now. Your real self, your actual soul, is not going to survive forever without nourishment. Consider also that you may have just enough in your life that your real self is alive. But if you slap it down every time it rises to the top of your mind, it will find some other way to die.

I had gotten so low that I didn't have much to lose, and didn't have much to pay off or sell. I was really lucky in the timing of it all. Almost as soon as I realized I was on the wrong heading, I was able, and willing, to gibe and start heading away from the storm clouds.

I am not completely on the right heading, but I am going the right direction. I have a few details to clean up. Nevertheless, I am back. It is the real me. I am doing, almost exclusively, exactly what I want to be doing. It was some work to get here but you can do it too.

It takes a real hard eye and an internal ear. It is not unlike what I've been going through the last couple weeks. I am a natural born pack rat. While packing to go from a small apartment to a small boat, I am making decisions about stuff. Man, that's hard. There are things, and boxes of things, that I have been carrying around for years; and many many moves. These things are excess baggage; sheer dead weight. I have had to literally go through boxes three and four times. Each time I manage to sever the emotional attachments and really make the hard decision to let go of something. I am staring now at three years+ worth of my sailing magazine. It is a lifestyle magazine more than a how-to publication. I have loved every sentence I've read and all the deck fluff pictures. :o) I haven't been able to throw them out yet. They will contribute nothing to my voyage. I subscribe, I will get them a while longer. I need to read them and pass them on. I may see if Dad wants to look through before I pitch them. I have done the same thing with clothes, knick knacks, books, two portfolios full of drawings from junior high and high school etc.

None of that is easy, but is the same thing that I did with my life. You go back through several times. Each time that you pick something up, ask yourself: does this contribute to my happiness? If you cannot give an unqualified yes, it needs to go. I am not belittling all the different considerations and commitments you may have that I did not. The process and its benefits are the same. If you are carrying around more than you need, that is too much weight. If you are trying to be someone you are not, you can't possibly be happy no matter what you tell yourself. Go through your life's boxes. Ask that hard question.

You can't get rid of it all, but you can make your life easier, better and happier. I never did sort my CDs. I'm taking them all, you've got to have some ballast in a sailboat. :o)

1 comment:

  1. Very in keeping with the Feng Shui Philosophy of no clutter making our lifes more harmonious. As far as the CD's , you might give some thought to an mp3 player


An Empty Square

[Please note, I wrote this in my journal about a year ago, I wasn't sure I would ever share it.] Paula Hosey passed away over the ...