Day 76: Positive Thinking: An Epiphany
Added: Sat. Aug 08, 2009 11:24am
Posted in: Eco-Travel
Roz Savage is a British ocean rower, author, motivational speaker and environmental campaigner. After 11 years as a management consultant, she embarked on a new life of adventure by rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. Her unlikely transformation from office worker to ocean rower, described with humor and soul-baring honesty in her blogs, captivated a worldwide audience. Roz is now attempting to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific. This is one in a series of blog posts from Roz during her journey. To follow Roz's adventures, visit http://rozsavage.com.
I wish the title of this blog referred to a newfound ability to overcome adverse winds through the power of positive thinking – but unfortunately it doesn’t. A glance at the RozTracker will show that the weather and I were not of the same view as to where I should be going today.
No, the title refers to a mini-epiphany I had last night as I was trying to get to sleep, and once I’d had the mini-epiphany I was so excited about it that all hope of sleep was gone, so I got up and rowed under a full moon until 3am while I considered my new insight. It was the result of several topics that have been under discussion on this blog over the last few days. The environment. The Alchemist. The Law of Attraction. And maybe a little soupcon of serendipity too.
The idea that popped into my head was this… It seems to me (and I could be wrong – it’s rather difficult to keep my finger on the pulse from a small rowboat a thousand miles from anywhere) that most of the climate change debate focuses on climate change, i.e. The Problem, and I think it might be more helpful to focus on sustainability, i.e. The Solution.
To draw a parallel… when I was living my old life as a management consultant in London (as discussed in yesterday’s podcast), I knew there was something wrong. The fact that I was not happy was a giveaway. I didn’t feel good about my work, and not feeling good, as Esther and Jerry Hicks point out, is a clear indicator that you’re out of whack with your life purpose.
But I didn’t know that then. I just knew my life sucked. So I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I wrote volume after volume of my journal trying to analyze the problem. I even had a few therapy sessions – until the extortionate cost of the therapy became almost as stressful as the issue I’d gone into therapy to resolve. In short, I was obsessed with The Problem.
Then one day I hit on a better idea. This was when I did my obituary exercise – I sat down and wrote two versions of how I might be remembered at the end of my life – the version I wanted, and the version I was then heading for. The version I was heading for was ordinary, mundane, pleasant but not exciting. The one I wanted was exciting, passionate, rich, and unusual. The huge difference between the two made it clear that I would need to make some big changes – and the direction that those changes should take.
I was no longer focused on The Problem. I wasn’t even focused on The Solution. I was focused on Where I Wanted To Be. And after even more hiccups, wiggles, waggles, zigs and zags than my current course from Hawaii, I got myself on track for that ideal obituary. There were some dramatic changes – I lost my job, my income, my home and my husband along the way – but I barely looked back, and certainly not with regret. None of these losses felt like sacrifices – because I was so invigorated by my vision of the future. I was moving powerfully TOWARDS an exciting new life, not AWAY from the old one.
So, to go back to the environment. Wouldn’t it seem so much more motivating if we were focusing on Where We Want To Be – collectively –instead of focusing on The Problem? Wouldn’t it be invigorating if we had an attractive, shared vision of a sustainable future, that would keep us moving forwards instead of bogging down in petty political haggling and clinging onto the past? Wouldn’t it be so much more FUN if we were focused on all the exciting aspects of this brave new world instead of dwelling on things we have already lost forever?
If you subscribe to the Law of Attraction, we get what we focus on. If we focus on The Problem, we perpetuate the problem. If we focus on What We Really, Really, Really Want – then that is what we will get. And hopefully what we want is a green, sustainable future.
And finally, let’s bring in The Alchemist. In that book the hero is on a quest in pursuit of his “own personal legend”. The climate change conference in Copenhagen this December gives us an opportunity to pursue our collective human legend. What will it be? Is our legend going to demonstrate courage? Or cowardice? Commitment? Or confusion?
In 200 years time, will our descendants look back at this pivotal moment and admire us as visionaries? Or will they look back and wonder what the hell we were thinking? In fact, if we don’t find the courage and the commitment to create our green, sustainable future, will there even be any descendants? Or will the human race be history?
Whether you believe in climate change or not, and whether you believe in the Law of Attraction or not, doesn’t really matter. What does matter is What We Really, Really, Really, Really Want – and rising to make that vision a reality.
Me? I’m excited. I can see an amazing future in which humans have risen to be heroes, our better selves, and have pulled together to create a clean, harmonious world. And that’s where I’m going to put my focus.
[photo: taken this afternoon - looking for the silver lining]
Damage limitation mode today. The wind has been from the southeast all day, and I’ve been swept relentlessly northwest, diminishing my chances of making landfall on my preferred choice of Tuvalu, as well as making for some rather discouraging statistics in my logbook. Despite rowing all day (and half of last night) I’ve now lost 20 miles of southerly progress. The forecast is for the wind to move into the east at midnight tonight – but with all due respect to weatherguy, I’m the last person in the world to pin future happiness on a weather forecast.
And then, just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, a booby bird landed on my boat and crapped all over my solar panels. Sigh. Is this a rowboat, or just a public convenience for passing boobies?
To be honest, I’m feeling a bit low and could do with a big hug. In a rather selfish way it cheered me up to get an email from Mum this evening saying that Mick and Chris of goldengateendeavour.com have also had a tough day or two – just goes to show that this ocean rowing lark is not as easy (???!) as it looks!
But there WAS some good news to cheer me up, and is increasingly true it came from the Rozling community. In yesterday’s blog I put out a plea for donations to pay for a filmmaker to come to Island X to record my arrival for posterity – and also record interviews with locals about the impact on their lives of climate change. And I am DELIGHTED to announce that in less than 24 hours we are already half way to our target of $2,500!
It was especially lovely to see the list of donors and discover that some old friends have evidently been following my fortunes, although keeping a low profile on the comments. Donations have varied from $10 to $300, and are all very much appreciated. Our total so far is $1,287.38. I’d like to give special thanks to:
Katie Donigan, Michael Dimas, Sajeev Pillai, Sindy Davis, Angela Hunt, Steve Gronek, Frederick Graus, Katharine Weber, Darren Mace, Douglas Brown, Lorrin & Nina Lee, Cece Gannon, Mark Hensel, Doug Grandt, Karen Morss, Ginny from Silver Lining Images, Ene Timusk, Ike Stephenson, Joan Sherwood, Abigail James, James Crittenden, Tim Mussche, Julian Gall, Jeffrey Roberts, and Clark Sargent.
If you haven’t yet got around to making your donation and would like to help out, please go to rozsavage.com and click on the PayPal button. And remember, these donations are being matched up to a maximum of $2,500 – so in effect you are giving TWICE as much!
Hawk – great idea to auction some memorabilia to raise funds, but I won’t be auctioning off any oars just yet, as I need them for Stage 3.But there WILL be an auction on eBay of various other items at the end of this stage. Baseball caps for sure – I’ve got about 10 on board – and probably rowing gloves and various other items too… although most things don’t look too great after 100+ days at sea. And nor do I!
UncaDoug – I loved your idea about the “carrots” to encourage me on my way to Island X. Thank you for the donations – and I have forwarded your suggestion to Evan as a possible future development on the RozTracker. Nice one!
Jo – thanks for the support on RowPro/Oarbits – much appreciated!
Sindy – the Pageant of the Masters sounds fun!
Joan – 23 is my favorite number. For no reason other than that my birthday is December 23, and my only sibling’s birthday is May 23. So it just seemed significant.
Marv H – spiritual and/or religious? That’s a big question, and I might well devote a blog to it. But in brief for now… no, I am not religious, but I would say that I am spiritual . I definitely believe in the existence of an energy that can’t be perceived with the 5 human senses. Yet there is also a scientific basis for it – my belief is based not so much on faith as on my own life experiences.
Position at 2050 HST: 02 33.338N (sob!), 176 52.735W
Wind: 10-20kts SE
Seas: 3-5 ft SE
Weather: early squall, then sunny and fine most of the day, but with big
black clouds rolling in towards sunset
Weather forecast courtesy of weatherguy.com
Latest tracker reported your position as: 02 16N 176 22W as of 06Aug 1107HST.
As of Thursday morning 6 Aug 2009. According to measured data, there have been Eerly winds up to 20kts and rainshowers in your area, which might help explain your gain in westward longitude. Eerly winds extends to the Equator then shift to SEerly 0-12kts. Winds will be very shifty next couple of days becoming Serly 0-15kts by 1600HST 06Aug. Then shifting back to Eerly 0-12kts by 08Aug 0000HST. Forecast aids indicate Eerly winds 0-15kts persist for remainder of the forecast period. Uncertainty remains in the forecast, as previously discussed. According to satellite imagery, there remains moderate convection with rain showers and squalls overhead and to your north. Minimal cloud activity south of 01 00N.
Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered moderate rain showers, squalls, and possible thunderstorms.
Forecast (low confidence due to extreme variability in equatorial regions and naturally occurring small scale fluctuations in
direction/speed in the Doldrums)
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
06/1800-08/0000 S 0-15 2-5
08/0000-11/0000 E 0-15 2-5
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