i skied with a friend on Monday morning. She is on the precipice of MAJOR CHANGE. already following the path to health and healing and growth that has been lighting up before her. She’s peering so close into her destiny that the charge of energyandexcitementandenthusiasm is palpable.
She mentioned an email or blog or something-of-that-nature she had recently received. It resonated with her. It was about “Burning the Ships”. A legend of an ancient warrior leading his men to battle. Upon landing on enemy ground, where they were significantly outnumber and out-resourced, the leader ordered that the ships be burned. He gathered his men on the shore and had them look out to sea at the burning ships. He told them the only way home was to win. and they did.
She sent me the email. The prelude to the story involved the idea of making a radical decision, and following through. To summarize in my own experience, that once you make that radical choice, the universe conspires with you and the impossible is happening right beneath your feet.
I went to bed that night assessing my fleet. What ship was i ready to burn? the conclusion i came to, was none. the experience of existing our here this winter was radical enough. my regular old life has the intensity that keeps me swimming, and often just treading, in the waters outside my comfort zone.
I burned the ships when i declared i’d line up for the Tour Divide. I was neither a cyclist nor an endurance athlete. (rather radical since it is an endurance mt. bike race). All of the things the email described happened. i was cosmically lifted. i had to work to line it all up, and the work was not always my regular cup of tea…so i grew most before the starting line.
it was a 2.5 year process. it began by building the ship. the ship was built on the hardships, and obstacles, troubles, and struggles. 20 out of 26 months of pregnancy. back-to-back C-sections 14 months apart. walking away from a career and a paycheck. living in small square-footage with an infant and a toddler…often alone…always a million miles away from my family.
i am not currently feeling the urge to burn any ships. i know that this is a time that i’m building new ones. ones that will be sturdy enough to set sail and take me to the shores of the next adventure. the next radical decision.
as i hate rushing, i’m not too eager. the life that plays out for me day after day is my current placement on the cosmic highway. i am deeply integrated with the environment around me. i am sharing my love with my wee family day in and day out. i nourish us as best i can with the limited resources of our remote mountain town. my days are filled with physical activity that functions as daily living. i have a steady and solid yoga practice. creative outlets have high priority, i paint, sew shirts, print cards, write letters, write blogs, and decorate things. it is intentional living. right now, it is enough.
i know that ships are safest in harbor, although that is not the function of their design. While mine are in port, i will tend to them. to honor their deliberate construction. and to remain keenly aware of the signals that will alert me when it is time to set sail again.