Cast Away

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Have you ever felt a deep longing to do something, but fear held you back?

I’ve always wanted to live a simple life on a beautiful tropical island. I tried it once with my husband when we were young. We loved it so much that I wanted to try it again with our kids. I wanted to immerse them in the peace and beauty of nature, to nurture an appreciation for the little things in life. That was my dream.

Then the Great Recession hit. It was a time of stress and sickness, a time of loss. But somewhere deep inside me a glimmer of light flickered in the form of a feeling, a craving, a question:

Why can’t we live our dreams?

The more I thought about it, the lighter I felt. Then it hit me…

We’d already sold our house and most of our possessions. Why not Go with the Flow? Why not sell it all?

Why not sell it all and live our tropical island dream with the kids?

But I had to sell the idea to my pragmatic husband first. I needed a pitch, an angle, a hook. Hmmm… What could it be? What was my hook?

Hook. That was it! Fishing was my hook.

You see my husband, Brian, is an obsessed saltwater fly fisherman. For him, casting a fly to a tailing bonefish on a shimmering, tropical flat is a potent stress buster, a powerful form of meditation.

I had my hook. Now all I had to do was cast out my line. The conversation went something like this…

“Bri-an,”

“Yes?”

“I was thinking…”

“Oh no.”

Nervous chuckle.

“How would you like to live in a place where you could fish for bonefish every day?”

“There are no bonefish here.”

“Yes, I know.” Pause. “But what if we lived in a place where there are bonefish? Somewhere hot and tropical with beautiful, crystal-clear flats?”

“We can’t afford it.”

“But what if I have a way to afford it? “

Direct eye contact.

“Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” I could almost hear the reel scream.

That was the short version of my pitch. Of course there were many other conversations, but generally the whole process was easier than I thought.

Instantly the energy shifted. Instead of serious resignation and a sense of defeat, we felt an almost child-like excitement. A spark ignited. The spark of adventure.

Three months later we packed eight bags, swapped our cell phones for fly rods and moved to a tiny, tropical island in the Bahamas. It was then that I realized:

Loss can lead to living your dreams.

Change your attitude. Change your life.

So if you really crave something, cast away and see if you can catch it. Don’t spend your life wondering… what if? Don’t let regret rule.

You really can live your dreams. It’s all up to you.

Live light and live happy.

Karen

Go with the Flow

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Lao Tzu

Think back through your life. Can you remember a time when you wanted something so desperately but obstacles kept thwarting your path?

Did you ever consider that perhaps you were being guided in another direction?

Sometimes all we need to do is tweak our perspective and try a fresh approach. It can mean the difference between swimming against the current and floating effortlessly downstream.

When things kept going “wrong” in my life and I lost the things I thought were secure, I reacted with knee-jerk panic and fear. Too scared to let go, I clung to my comfortable, privileged life. I was terrified of change. But one thing after another continued to collapse around me. Finally I felt like I had nothing left to lose.

So I decided to try something different…

I decided to Go with the Flow. We’d already lost our home in a fire sale. Why not keep going? Hell, why not sell it all?

Why not swap our stressful and expensive life in the suburbs for a simple life in a beautiful place doing what we love?

So we did.

We sold our cars and most of our possessions. We uprooted our kids and our geriatric cat, packed eight bags, and moved to a tiny tropical island in the Bahamas.

It was one of the best things we have ever done in our lives.

From the moment we made the decision to Go with the Flow, instantly I felt the energy shift. Instead of everything going wrong, suddenly things seemed to click.

In my next post I’ll share how stripping away the clutter in our lives can set us free.

Until then,

Go with the Flow.

It seems like a small change but it can make a big difference.