Last evening in Bequia reunited with friends we didn't expect to see for months thanks to a mass exodus south to avoid Beryl! (Seriously leaving St. Lucia was a bit like the start of a regetta 😅😅😅) So going to miss them!! But today we leave for Tobago to collect visitors on Tuesday! We may be quiet for a bit as I expect the sail to be rather long. Falkor was bought because he's safe rather than fast! 😉 If you really need your fix the new Creative Spirits podcast is out as are two new books on Amazon! All links on the creative mermaids homepage! Www.creativemermaids.com
Sailing is fixing your boat in exotic places! First the anchor chain. Actually first it was the Genoa that's still not repaired (which is why we're now picking it up in St. Lusia rather than Barbados). But the anchor chain trumped everything as the thought of finding out the boat had decided to sail to Mexico without us was rather depressing. Now the water pump in the engine is leaking. So we're off this morning to get that fixed before heading to St. Lucia. Fingers crossed it will be quick and relatively painless as it's just the seal leaking. Being a full time cruiser is not a perpetual holiday. It is most definitely an adventure and those are very different creatures indeed (and why sometimes you need a holiday! 😜) I was journalling this morning (sidenote: first morning in a week that Mr. Man is finally 100% himself allowing me to have morning journalling back. BLISS!!!) & thinking about how a lot of people think this life is one of escape. We did escape our golden cages but life follows you. And the true escape from the golden cage is being your own source of happiness. So long as you're always chasing outside validation (be it more money, more status or the belief that next city or beach is where happiness is) you will get a shot of happiness that disappears. Outside validation is not self replenishing. Finding it inside is so much harder but in the end it's the only well that you can replenish and take control of. And that will keep you from losing your sh$t when things go wrong as they always will (eventually! It's physics what goes up must come down!). Otherwise you'll find yourself running back for the illusion of safety that shiny cage gives you. BTW Leaving the cage doesn't have to mean travel. It means living whatever life lights you up. It can mean giving up your high paying job and downgrading all your expenses so you can afford to write. Or even becoming a barista because you love coffee and people and not taking your job home with you. It's whatever is happiness to you. That's what's outside the cage. Even if everyone else thinks you're crazy for choosing it.
#thursdaythrowback The cover of Shiny Side up was taken just outside Capadochia Turkey. The next day I wiped out on gravel & lost half my knee cap. But I'm feeling pleased as punch to have ridden to the top of a sandy hill right there. Writing that book taught me so much about what it is to be an author. (And yes sometimes being a creative means feeling like you've let a lot of blood & even parts of your body on the side of the road. But it's less dangerous. It just feels the opposite 😜). When I first started publishing my writing it was in the early stages of Indy publishing. I had begun to listen to The Creative Penn and the fact that I could just click upload and my book would be on freaking Amazon was mind blowing. And so I began to tentatively venture forth into the publishing world. One of my dreams was to write a book in Thailand. I still remember that feeling of sitting outside our hut & finishing Iceland: A Stormy Motorcycle Journey. There are a lot of mistakes in that book. (I didn't properly edit it) but it dominated the Iceland list for months, staying at number 1. There I learned about best seller lists. You can sell 3 copies & still be number 1. Because no one is buying. I learned about bad reviews (1 guy complained it read like a bad vacation. Which confused me because I LOVED Iceland but we had a lot of bad weather. Hence the stormy in the title. And we did end up in hospital for a couple of days). I also learned about people who instead of reviews send you direct emails telling you how much they loved your book & you captured their homeland so perfectly they are both homesick and inspired to do their own journey. And you realize not everyone will get you. Even the perfectly edited book. But those that do understand & connect on an entirely different level. And that keeps you going. Eventually one day (& multiple times throughout your career as you keep learning) you realize that being able to make a living writing is an amazing gift you can give yourself if you just LET yourself have it. If you're called Write. Let the readers decide if it's good. Learn from that. Improve. But don't stay locked in a cage of fear.
It’s true that the first time I took the dinghy by myself was in Martinique. As in almost a full year into the trip. 😅😅😅 And it’s also true that not being able to confidently handle a dinghy meant I was in my own kind of cage on the boat. So I get how scary it can feel to go out by yourself. And also how we stay small (& trapped) by thinking about all the ways things can go wrong when we step away from the safety of our cage. And yet we defeat ourselves with false problems. For me and the dinghy I was convinced I was going to be flipped by a wave or sucked out to sea. (Easily avoided by staying on the boat in a storm and simply making sure your battery is full. Most drama is a non theme outside of your head). And the truth is we do things in steps. We are talking ourselves out of the big events when in truth we are not even facing them! We’re terrified people will laugh at our book so we never write it. When actually someone laughing at your book means they read it!!! The impossible happened! They found your book in a sea of books and not only bought but proceeded to read it. (Do you have any idea how many books I have that I will never read???) But more importantly it means you finished it. And then those who will like it can also find it. For me yesterday was the longest crossing with the dinghy by myself. I had to cross over the channel where the big boats go. I was nervous but I did it! Then today I did it again! And on the way back one of those freaking high speed ferries was coming in. And I just turned around. Admittedly my first thought was “how do I time this so I don’t DIE???” And then it hit me. I don’t have to try. I did some circles outside the canal, snapped my pic with it, and made it back alive to my family who were rocking out in my absence. Not ready for the jump? Don’t do it!! But don’t let that stop you from all the steps up to that point. Don’t let fear of what might happen someday stop you from what you can do now today. And when you get there, if you’re still not ready, you can work on it then! Hire a coach or find out if it is really what you want to do. But live. Today. Not in fear of unknown futures!