Anxiety, Peace, and Our Ditch Bag

One of the things that James and I love about sailing is that emergency preparedness is, for good sailors, a natural way of being. As mainstream life in America grows ever more swaddled by layers of technology and commercialism, we are fascinated to observe that people do not, by and large, feel safer or more peaceful. The trend toward increasing anxiety is observed in our science and I have seen it myself in 23 years of speaking intimately to people about the nature of their consciousness. What we have found in settling into life aboard Rejoice is that while it was initially rather harrowing to be so directly responsible for all aspects of our own survival, once we began to understand and engage with the means for doing so, we felt a tremendous increase in our peace and inner stability.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

It’s interesting (to me at least) how much those first two paragraphs remind me of what I really like about riding motorcycles. The necessity to accept responsibility for your own survival, and the need to always know what you’re doing, what you’re doing next, and to have a plan B.

(And I also have a statue of Ganesha, the eater of Gulab Jamun, mine hangs off the side of my monitor at work…)

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Yes, tasks that entirely engage you in the maintaining your existence are a special sort of reward, aren’t they? This is why I love scrambling on all fours along the seawall at our marina in low tide, too: being entirely engaged in knowing where each limb is, is going next, might go if that fails… there is no room for the egoic voice, the internal narrator; just full of BEING. The clarity and unity of mind that results is a form of meditation, I’d say.

Thank you for the inspiration on viewing self-care from a different perspective - as being prepared for the future. Making choices today that my future self will thank me for because it will mean less complications/bad health outcomes. Also, I know very little about sailing, so this is very interesting!

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Amelia, when I was first working with shifting away from driving myself until I broke, learning to make sustainable decisions, I found it useful to speak of myself as Dahlia-now and Dahlia-tomorrow, and such, to view myself over time as if we were different people. If one is in the habit of sacrifice and overwork, or simply not in the habit of thinking ahead, this can be useful. “What can I do to make the day nicer for tomorrow-Dahlia who is going to teach from 7a-9p?” was a common question in those days. And the answers were simple: I could lay out her clothes, make her a nice lunch, go to bed at a time that would allow her to get good rest. When I woke in the morning and I found that yesterday-Dahlia had done these kind things, I would feel so loved and cared for! That chorus of the self idea that we’ve spoken of in class; in one way it can be used to consider different drives within us, in another way it can refer to self/ves over time. I look forward to hearing how this works for you over time!