"Never had I understood that I command, with absolute authority, the ship of my life! I decide its mission and rules and discipline, at my word waits every tool and sail, every cannon, the strength of every soul on board. I'm master of a team of passionate skills to sail me through hell's own jaws the second I nod the direction to steer." -- Richard Bach
I am a sucker for metaphors with a message that make life a more meaningful experience. I resonate with the above quote by Richard Bach because it is a brilliant reminder of who gives the sailing orders and sets the compass for the ship of our life. It is a wake up call to the fact that we are the masters of our own destiny through the development and use of the skills of conscious intention, commitment, self-discipline, accountability and passion -- all of which are needed to get us to the destination of a life worth living.
Metaphorically, have you ever thought of the span of your lifetime as a journey and that your sailing vessel is your body. In his inspiring book, "The Living Universe," Duane Elgin writes, "Our bodies are biodegradable vehicles for acquiring soul-growing experiences. Everything we think and do has lessons for the soul." Staying with the metaphor of the sailing ship we can further that idea by saying our body is simply a carbon-based, biodegradable, disposable vessel which our soul commissioned and boarded at birth so it could circumnavigate the world, exploring the unknown, and collecting vital information needed for its own evolution, expression and expansion. Then, at the end of the voyage, when the "hull" of the vessel (consciousness) has reached its capacity of wisdom and understanding, the soul jettisons the vessel and returns to the ethers from which it came, with its karmic payload of wisdom intact, to continue the journey elsewhere.
If this metaphor works for you, then it makes good sense that the captain of your vessel must be your conscious, decision making mind, and the wind that drives the vessel forward is the impartial energy of the universal law of cause and effect, which effortlessly takes the vessel in whatever direction and depth the captain (that would be you) sets the rudder of his or her intention. It's very easy to be lured into complacency, allowing any number of people or things, including family, friends, the economy, the media and so on, to become the influencing factor that sets the direction in which our lives will go. That's why it's important to remember, as Bach infers, that you can choose to command, with absolute authority, the ship of your life, each and every day, one day at a time. Perhaps that is a mantra worth personalizing by writing it on a piece of bright yellow stickie paper, and pasting it on our forehead, the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, or the dashboard of your car as a reminder to repeat it a few hundred times every morning before we set sail into the new day: "I command, with absolute authority, the ship of my life!"
So, understanding that your vessel follows the direction of your "nod" (agreement) and that the precious cargo your vessel transports is the essence of your wisdom collecting soul Self, what kind of sailing orders will you issue to the crew (your conscious intention, commitment, self-discipline, accountability and passion) when you get out of bed and set sail tomorrow morning? Be mindful of what you agree to because the Universe conspires to make it so.
Your crew is ready, willing and able and they await your command. Give some thought to who is sailing your ship -- you'll enjoy the journey of your life ever so much more.
PS I am pleased to announce the release of my latest book from Tarcher/Penguin titled, The Art of Uncertainty - How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It available now at major bookstores and Amazon. I invite you to join me by coming to the edge of your own uncertainties...and leaning over, where the mystery of that which is yet to be awaits you with open arms!