Shutterstock/Rafael Trafaniuc

How To Build your Own Lifeboat

A quick guide to foster reliance and robustness in these times of intense change.

The ’new normal’ is anything but normal. The constant is change. We’re experiencing leaving behind everything we’ve known and are familiar with, and we’re doing it collectively, individually, and all at once! This is a time to think about adaptive capacities, resilience, and robustness. It’s time to build a sea-worthy vessel that can safely carry you and those you love in rough and unpredictable seas. 

Raw Materials – First, think about the core areas in your life that will go into forging your lifeboat: 

  • People – in times like these, it is vitally important to surround yourself in ‘good company’. What is good company? These are life-giving people who support you, see you and challenge you. You feel energized, inspired and grounded when you are with them. You like and respect who you are when you are when you are in their orbit. 
  • Practices – what daily and weekly rituals, practices and habits assist you to stay grounded, calm and fearless in the face of change? Create a self-care protocol that you can stick to that assists you to be the person you need to be in these times. Think about the kind of food that nourishes you, the exercise that makes you strong (in body, mind and spirit), the ways you support your emotional wellbeing. 
  • Projects – engaging in meaningful projects keeps you tethered to your essence and your purpose, an essential still point in stormy waters. Is there a book you’ve been meaning to write, a podcast you dream to produce, a garden you want to grow? Now is the time. 

Other considerations:

  • What (and who) cannot come with you – a lifeboat only has so much room. Are there life- depleting relationships that need to end or radically shift? Scan your awareness for limiting beliefs and narratives that keep you bound. Too much debt (financial and otherwise?), too much stuff? You want your hull smooth, your boat light. 
  • Necessary provisions – fill your lifeboat with your values (what are they?), your fidelities, your wisdom and self-agency. One of the best provisions you can bring is the skillset of knowing how to calm your Vagal nervous system – keeping you and others around you regulated. 
  • Set your compass – the best setting is ‘true north’, that inner centered place that resonates with a deeper wisdom. The place of true north does not get caught up in the external polarities of true or false, right or wrong. Instead, it’s about the frequency with which one lives. True north holds that frequency of connectedness, kindness, gentleness, and peace. When you stand in that frequency, you become like a tuning fork calling others to be in alignment with it too. 
  • Keep a journal – all good sailors do. 
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