To Be or Not to Be ~ Will Shakespeare

Photo Credit to Peggy and Marco Lachmann-Anke


So you know that Aha moment when the answer to a question you’ve been ruminating on becomes crystal clear?

Last Monday I was treated to my first ( at the age of 60!)  sailing adventure ever.

Leaving Chula Vista Marina, with a knowledgeable captain at the helm, the glimmering waters of San Diego Bay beckoned.  I was looking forward to feeling the grace of a 34 foot vessel glide through the water, the sun on my face, the wind in my hair and the adrenaline rush  that a new experience brings.

Hands on the tiller, it is easy to believe that we are the captain of our ship. We set the course, we see the goal, we head in that direction. Setting our sails according, we make the adjustments necessary as we sail toward our destination.

The truth is many of us are most comfortable when the wind is ferocious,  we get to match our wits with the weather. The mental and physical challenge thrills us: adjusting, calculating and re-adjusting, using contrary winds and waves we are able to harness the elements and move forward.

A fierce wind gives a Sailor something to DO.

and Oh, how we love the DO-ing.

Photo Credit to Ann Sheridan

Standing at the helm for my virgin run, my captain generously gave direction then fell silent to see what the morning’s crewing had taught me.  Setting our direction, steering , adjusting the sails,  knowing when to tack… bossing my crew around. Literally laughing out loud at the joy of it and silently concentrating during the times I was unsure. Exhilarating, intimidating and thoroughly addicting.

But sometimes the wind falls off and we are left, dead in the water, so to speak. No amount of machinations will make us move again until the wind picks up.  We struggle, thinking there is something, anything, we can do to get our ship underway again. Fearful that we have lost the momentum, we  agonize that we shall ever get back in the game.  And so we flail, we rail against what could be moments given to rest and recharge.

Does this sound at all familiar?

The discomfort for many of us, me included, lies in letting go of the illusion of control.

Because this is where FAITH comes in,  and TRUST,   and the acknowledgment that,  perhaps, there is a force greater than ourselves at work.

Along with this aha came the clarifying moment of the day for me.  The Duality in stark contrast .

The usual, frenetic pace of DO-ing versus the uneasy, discomfort of BE-ing.

And so the inevitable rhetorical question must be asked: Where else does this occur in our lives?

And the obvious answer: Everywhere.


Our modern life is filled with distraction. Even if we aren’t physically in motion, we are checking our technology. Waiting in line, we feel compelled to read, watch, text…what are we missing by just BE-ing in the now?

Can we embrace the moments when life is still?   Can we be at peace with DO-ing nothing?  Simply BE-ing?

What happens when we sit mindfully in the moment and enjoy the quiet stillness?

When we allow ourselves to see, hear, taste, touch, feel the grace of this moment? the grace in this moment?

Without attachment to what comes next?

As we sat on the water, waiting for the wind to pick up, I was given the opportunity to see the faces of passing boaters and feel their joy in speed. I was able to spot a sea lion basking on a buoy that only a second earlier I had been too busy to enjoy. I marvelled that he enjoyed sun bathing as much as I!!  The sound of the gulls overhead alerted me to their insatiable hunger.  None of it was background.

I carry that afternoon and it’s lessons with new awareness. Life, like sailing, requires us to set direction, adjust accordingly but remain open to greater forces, allowing us to view the perfection of this very moment .

That is the true gift of Be-ing present NOW.


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