Currently I’m in what I call “RE entry” mode: Coming back to civilization after an adventure deep in nature. My recent adventure was on the deep blue ocean where there was:

  • not many people
  • lots of time for relaxing
  • down time to search for treasures
  • hope for seeing green flashes
  • stargazing at night (Scorpio always puts me in awe)
  • exploring new island destinations.

Nothing to accomplish on a time frame except getting from point A to point B with enough time before the sun sets to be anchored safely in a peaceful bay. Energy was spent sailing and strengthening skills while taking on first mate duties. It isn’t all easy breezy; all my emotions flow and when the sun goes down my head hits the pillow and I sleep until the sun wakes me up. Being in nature and challenging myself physically and mentally resources me in my life and leaves me with a sense of accomplishment. I’m reminded of my strength, life’s fragility, my senses, and that my instincts and intuitions are somewhat reliable and somewhat not!

Long sails offer plenty of time to relax and ponder my intentions and the things I long for. The space between departing and arriving is where I get to feel, think, move, and understand myself. It is where my ideas, my visions, my longings, and my desires come to life with a noticing of how societal, familial, or work values can often intrude. There is plenty of time to capture the ideas, behaviors and values that don't belong to me so they can be shed in a burning contract session. 

Letting the ocean support me as I burn contracts and throw the ashes overboard, letting her discard the old, has a gravitational pull that anchors me to the earth in a meaningful way and leaves me with a clear sensation of what being supported feels like. It lets me make space to nurture new ideas, new beliefs, new values, and new behaviors. 

Out at sea there aren't really any challenges to those new ways of being. Reentry and transition back into the real world where one must navigate being a part of a fast moving society can be tough.

This vacation I tried something new. An attempt at making the transition a little more gentle.

The last night on the boat I made a reservation on shore at a magical restaurant. (Sheer Rocks. If you want to a glimpse into a magical world of ocean views.)

We enjoyed an amazing sunset around people, an amazing meal, and I began the closing of the vacation. My son, my husband, a dear friend, and I shared what was magical about our trip and mused about what we wanted to take back with us into our everyday lives. My friend and I gathered flowers from the property and brought them back to the boat to make an offering to the ocean, thanking her for the experience and wishing her well. We sat on the aft of the boat and one by one made an offering to the ocean reflecting on our magical experiences and thanking the ocean for her part in our rejuvenation.


Upon reentry, the next day, I notice the effect the hustle and bustle has on my senses and my feelings. I don't like it. I take a deep breath and remember I can approach it differently. I'm not holding onto the conditions that presented the calm sensations, instead I'm holding onto the calm sensations, the feeling of the oceanic gravitational pull and knowing myself so I can navigate the world in a new way.  

Once home I notice how quickly I fall into the behaviors I’d like to shift-the busy work that causes a pit of heaviness in my chest. Here is where the internal work of bringing new behaviors, ideas, and values into my life begins. What do I want to curate in my everyday life? After all, I am the architect of my experience.

I recognize there is more burning to do. On the fly burning. On the fly resourcing.

The shifts won’t all come right away, but the beginning of a shift is anchored.

There is space. There is time. I have ideas. I am navigating and exploring. Wayfinding.

Reentry hasn't been too tough. There is a new sensation of having enough time and remembering I have a choice in how I engage in my life. Holding space tenderly for new ways of being to move into the voids created at sea feels delicate, tender, and kind. There is a real sense of timelessness for these shifts to happen in.

I am the architect of my experience. It is oceanic. Gravitational.


Antonio Damasio says: “gratitude is induced when we receive meaningful aid or support that is motivated by compassion and is associated with significant positive effects on health and quality of life.”  When we can connect to positive, enjoyable, pleasurable experiences we get to have a break from the little pains in our lives. It has an analgesic effect.

How do you make space for filling the void burning contracts creates?

Do you have a gratitude practice?

How do you connect to the positive, enjoyable and pleasureable experiences in your life?



Andrea Watkins