Navigation and Sea Shanties

The Sea Witch

Doyle brought up the most hilarious sea shanty on YouTube the other day, by The Trailer Park Boys. The Kittyman Sea Shanty is a jaunty tune for the cat owner and lover alike. It takes its rise from a more traditional shanty, Wellerman (or Billy of Tea, depending on who recorded it…) Regardless, it’s hilarious. I’ve loved sea shanties for a while, along with Celtic and Breton traditional music. Kittyman just puts a whole new spin on it.

It’s probably why I had navigation on my mind during a recent coaching session. As many know. I’m finishing up the training for my certification as a professional coach. Part of that training is to give and get coaching in front of an audience of fellow coaches and a teacher, all there to evaluate what you did and how you did it. It’s supposed to be about the coach. For me, getting coaching was, you guessed it, supposed to be all about me. I didn’t talk with the rest of the class about these revelations that I gleaned… just sharing them here.

I struggled to find a “real problem” in my life that I needed to talk through when it came my turn to receive the coaching. When you are doing these sessions, it’s always supposed to be something that you can actually work through. Life, being pretty good right now, provided just a few thoughts on this. I came up with the idea that I should talk about my goals. I usually do my goals every September or so, around my birthday, to just keep a steady compass on my life. Am I going where I want to go? Doing what I want to do?

So, I brought this up as my idea to work though. I found my theme of navigation helpful, so stayed on it. I use goals to navigate my life. But, lots of things niggle at me, questioning this paradigm. Someone once told me that goals are worthless, and all I was doing was setting out tasks for myself. In a way, they were right, so I switched to ideas and values instead, with milestones and tasks underneath. I tried mind-mapping, I tried story boards, and all manner of journaling. Nothing seemed to “spur” me on, like it used to. Understand that I’ve been doing these for about 36 years, every year.

I realized that maybe it’s good to have goals when you’re 21, but not when you’re in your fifties. No, that didn’t seem quite right. Maybe my time frame was too distant. Maybe I need to take the view that I have already accomplished a lot. It’s a shorter life now, with what I have left to live. Maybe it’s about shorter targets and not longer ones. Maybe it IS about tasks, and that is okay. Why isn’t it okay to say I want to get something done in a year or five? It’s not. But, many people have their opinions on goals. Goals are good, successful people have them. Goals are bad, they limit you. Goals are useless because you’re just going to do what you need to do anyway. Argh. Then… that brought me to the point I think I am constantly asking myself – what do *I* really think? Not what “do other people think?” What is important to me… me, the person I was supposed to be taking care of here.

One of the things I noted was feeling rudderless. I was drifting… I felt like I had no direction, or perhaps I had too many directions. I was Pangea waiting to become present. Being rudderless means that you have all possibilities and no method to choose one. You can go anywhere, and no where. You are left to the whims of the ocean, river, or stream. To me, this meant left to the tides and time of emotion, not the ‘who I am’ that I want to share. Maybe this was a symptom of Covid-land, but I couldn’t help shaking the feeling that I needed to figure out the map out of this lake, with or without a rudder.

It was in talking with Doyle that I realized that perhaps the reason I didn’t need a map any longer was because I was the map. That is, I had the answers inside of me (hello, coach!) but I didn’t have the vision, the higher view, that I can and do draw on them at any time. I have experience and knowledge and yes, wisdom. (She gasps! Can I say that now?) I have a strong intuition about things that are ‘correct’ and right, for lack of a better term. I needed to trust in that, and perhaps rather than trying to draw my map from wherever I am, I trust the map that is laid out inside of me. Where I go – that’s part of the intuition. I see that there is a higher point to goals – and that is values. I don’t need to be reminded what my values are; but, perhaps, I like to be reminded. I LIKE to see, that visual play, what is important in my mind, and perhaps why I chose it. I certainly have lots to learn, but can I trust that I have learned something and that I am constantly stepping toward Truth?

So, for 2021, when the time comes, I’m going to think of something extremely beautiful, timeless, that expresses what is important to me at this moment. The first thing that comes to mind is a big photography montage of my own making. My own photographs. The possibilities are endless. I just have to turn on my own personal G.P.S. and get going.

Happy weekend, you all! And thanks to my coaching class for your inspiration. And my family (you know how you are…) for coming along on the ride.

One thought on “Navigation and Sea Shanties

  1. coremichael says:

    Thank you for your lovely sharing, as always, Kris. YES you do have wisdom and an innate barometer that reads what it needs and reflects back the information in an accessible and applicable manner.

    I love that you are the map and the journey. Thanks for your thoughtful insights.

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