Seeking Stillness

By: Lara Dustin Scriba

(3 min. read)

As we celebrate bringing in the new year, we are also celebrating two months at sea. I find myself so deeply grateful for this incredible adventure we are on and in awe that we have traveled so many miles. Like little herds of turtles, we carry our homes with us as we slowly move from place to place. Savoring each nuance and spectacular offering nature has created for us to explore 

Though we move slowly, life feels incredibly full and full on. Constantly checking weather and sea state, looking at logistics for a successful next passage and imperative details we must know to safely anchor at our next destination. Our minds or bodies are always on the go, and we are not only exploring a new place, but simple tasks take much longer to accomplish.

Grocery shopping, laundry, and trash disposal are all hand carried and sought out by foot. We also travel in a pack, so everyone has to be dressed and packed for at least a half-day adventure anytime we go to shore.

I find as we are settling into our rhythms, I am desperately seeking stillness and silence. A moment to pause, to just simply breathe and collect myself.

After some negotiating, a few trips to shore, and sorting a few logistics, the boat is finally quiet. Our guests on board are exploring the town for the evening, my children are playing on a friend’s boat, and I am alone on the boat for the first time in weeks.

Each moment feels precious as I recharge. Sitting and noticing the sensation of the cool air on my skin, the gentle bobbing of the boat, the sound of music in the distance, and the smell of the sea air. I feel like I have plugged into a charging port, filling my battery, one bar, one breath at a time. Tapping into the tools I know so well: ground, orient, resource. I am here in this one precious moment of stillness and silence 

Life at sea is exciting yet unpredictable and requires constant vigilance. Space is limited, and privacy is a luxury not often afforded. As an introvert who requires recharging alone, this can prove to be difficult, but I’ve learned over the years that it is a non-negotiable.

I love the concept of looking at the day as periods of expansion and contraction. Expansion being a time of connection, activity, or collaboration. Contraction being a time for stillness, silence, or solitude throughout the day. Expansion, contraction… inhale, and exhale, just like the breath, both are required to nourish the body.

Traveling and constantly moving means no day is ever the same, so rather than developing predictable schedules, I need to find a sense of rhythm within the day, honoring my need to recharge after periods of high activity or interaction. Recognizing that each of those in my family has a different way of recharging, we must honor and prioritize recharging as an essential part of our day.

A closed door or headphones are the universal subtle signs of retreat. A quiet request for reprieve from the ongoing commotion and chatter inevitably ensues when four people live together in a very small space. It doesn’t take much, but I find every moment counts, and each minute of silence is worth its weight in gold.

Just as we are learning to embrace this new lifestyle, we are also learning so much about ourselves and, subsequently, one another. Accommodating others’ needs when we can, learning to clearly articulate our own needs, and advocating for ourselves often are essential skills. 

Taking accountability for our own needs, rather than expecting others to anticipate them for us, is an empowering shift. Daily, we aim to learn and grow both as individuals and together as a family.

I often find I am incredibly impressed with the insights and inner awareness that my sons have about themselves and those around them, offering opportunities for authentic connection and genuine, heartfelt conversations that allow us each to feel seen, heard, and nurtured.

Together, we are not only exploring the world, but we are learning to navigate our inner worlds as well. This provides such a dynamic and rich experience on so many levels for our little family of four yet requires that we purposefully create pockets of space for a reprieve from the daily demands of life aboard and the opportunity to recharge in our own way. Inhale, exhale, expand, and contract. Slowly, we are finding a sustainable, steady pace.

Lara Scriba
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC
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