Reflections while crossing the Panama Canal 

It’s 6.30 in the morning and I’m sitting in a hammock on Kapowai inside the Panama Canal. No one on the boat is awake yet and I have some “quiet” time to reflect on life. The dredgers have been working all night long, which is why I haven’t slept very well. I’m watching all the cars line up and go across the one way bridge as the shift change happens on the other side of the canal. 

I can’t help but think how incredible it is I’m here. I’m inside the Panama Canal! To some it means nothing, to others they would kill for this experience. In fact, a lot of people died and risked their health to build this canal. It’s an incredibly impressive piece of work and as we entered, I took a minute to thank all of those who survived and didn’t, for building this. It really is in the middle of the jungle and far from anything. In the early 1900’s, they didn’t have all the fancy machines we have now. As Captain Mom said, “Just imagine back in the day, all the men who had shovels digging out the edges along here.” It really is in the middle of nowhere, it really is huge, it is incredibly hot and humid and there is definitely a presence of mosquitos!! How amazing the human race can be, when we set our minds to something… 

I remember learning about the Panama Canal in school and thinking what a monstrosity it was. I remember thinking how one day, I would like to buy myself a Panama hat and stroll along the canal. I’m without the hat, but in complete disbelief I’m here. In February 2015, I visited the Panama Canal museum and thought, that would be sweet to go through. It probably won’t happen. Just 17 months later, I did it. My intentions ARE heard by the universe! 

It will be just short of three months that I left for my adventure to cross the Atlantic. It didn’t happen, but wow, what adventures I’ve had in that time!! Instead, I got to cross the Panama Canal with some amazing people and that is equally as exciting and invigorating. I’ve explored a bit more of the Caribbean, had some good quality sail time in, met many people who have lit my path and helped me to be where I am today. I’ve had mini romances, a few tears, done some deep soul searching and had a lot of laughs. 

Most importantly, I have a different outlook on life. The experiences I’ve had, have taught me a bit more about what it really means to live. Luckily I have heaps more to learn because life is a constant learning curve if you chose it to be. That’s what I’ve chosen. 

I realised I was tired, fed up and a bit lost. In the last three months, I got more lost, found my way (a couple times) and most importantly, found a way to just be chilled. I always knew and said that there’s no point in stressing. I’ve been in quite a few situations over the last few months that normally would’ve stressed me out and sent me running pulling my hair out. Not this time. Yes, there were a few times I used alcohol. However most of the time I either closed my eyes, took a deep breath and repeated an intention I had (for example, I am patient, I am calm, I am alert, I trust in the universe and know all will be ok) or grabbed my yoga mat and took time to re-energise and ask my guides for support. It really works. Of course you have to believe, but it works. Working with the universe is a beautiful thing. 

I have a deeper tolerance for people. There was one particular strong personality on this boat and for whatever reason, at times, she really made it a point to make it known she wasn’t happy I was on the boat. That’s cool. I could see her insecurities and I was able to distance myself from them. It didn’t upset me, at times I needed a break from the force, so I came up to the fly bridge and sat in the hammock. Before I would’ve been complaining and a bit hurt. She has her journey and it doesn’t need to affect mine. I don’t think I’ve ever been at this point in my life. Let me tell you, it feels really good. It feels amazing to be free of letting someone’s energy interrupt mine in a negative way. I am liberated!

Tomorrow I will make my way back to Cartagena where I left and never thought I would return. As my cousin said, “Never say never.” I knew my defensiveness to that comment meant I would be back. I am filled with mixed emotions. I wouldn’t chose to go back just yet as I’m enjoying exploring. My pocketbook has other ideas. I am a tiny bit scared things will go back to how they were. I just know this is the right thing.

Overall, I just know this is what I need to be doing right now. I am excited to see Captain Cool and enjoy his cooking with only fresh ingredients and no meat (I trained him well!). I am excited to feel a loving embrace and have the type of laughs that only lovers can have. I am excited to see a dear sailing friend I haven’t seen in nine months. We kept in contact this whole time so there a lot of details we need to catch up on. I’m ready to feel the positive, upbeat and warm energy of Cartagena run through my body as I walk through the streets listening to the Latin American music and smiling at all the wolf whistles as I pass men on the street. I am ready for a haircut at my favourite salon!!

As this journey ends and I start a new journey trying to find a way outside of the rat race to financially survive, I have no expectations. Of course things will have changed because life is constantly changing. They may not have changed in the way I think they should and that’s ok. All I know is that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be at this moment and I know whatever happens, there is a reason and it will all be ok. No need to worry or stress because that won’t change anything. I am simply open to messages life has to offer me and will enjoy what’s in front of me today. 

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