ever dream about quitting your job, selling everything, buying a sailboat, and sailing away? our friends, dan and carla bedell, packed up their family and did just that. and then carla wrote a book about it. i was a little hesitant to read it because tim and i have already quit our jobs, sold everything, and headed down south to the land of the pines...what if carla opened my eyes to how much more free we could be? we'd have to go. we would totally go.
but about half way through her adventures i started to see that these were the bedell family adventures. they were big and they were a bit scary to me. we have all been given our own dreams. i was overwhelmed with how strong and brave my friends are. you gotta be fierce and you gotta be bold to follow your dreams. but more than that, you have to be intuitive and you have to hear the voice inside of you. carla described that this way...
Dan and I sat down on the bow of the boat. Neither of us said anything for a long while. We just sat there and watched the waves crash onto the beach. What were we going to do? More waves crashed on the shore. A few pelicans lazily circled above us. The day was moving on peacefully, oblivious to our situation.
There were no answers to be found. None of our options felt right. We both knew it at the same time, though I said it out loud. "I don't feel we are supposed to do anything. I don't feel we are supposed to make a decision right now."
As crazy as it seemed, that was exactly what we were supposed to do; just go on with our day and see what would unfold. So that's what we did. I made lunch for the kids, we did a little schoolwork, and basically we just waited. For what, we had no idea. We didn't have long to wait...
and then the answer came to them. as clear as a carolina blue sky. this is how tim and i make decisions. we sit and talk and listen and wait. some might call that prayer. what is best for us comes to us as we go about our lives. carla's story confirms again and again that everything we need we already have. whether we call that the universe, intuition, the voice inside of you, a gut feeling, or God, isn't really the point. we get so distracted by the noise of others and how they say we should live, act, talk, think, work, love, vote, dress, buy, eat, learn, be...only you know what is best for you.
As I trudged along, ahead of everyone else, I thought back to our old life before the trip. I remembered...when Dan and I bought our first sailboat...Out on the lake one afternoon, my friend had asked me, "Do you feel rich?"
It was a strange question coming from her, and it always stuck in my head. Dan and I had worked hard in the corporate world and measured our success in dollars, possessions, and the amount of hours we worked. Even though money-wise, we were very successful, we hadn't felt rich. We'd felt tired and stressed, but never rich.
Maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was the fumes from the passing cars, but I could hear my friend's voice again asking me, "Do you feel rich?"
The words made me catch my breath. At that moment, for the first time ever in my life, in the least pleasant conditions, the answer was absolutely yes. I realized being rich wasn't about how much money I had in the bank; instead it was about doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, with the people I loved. Right now...there was no place I'd rather be than walking down this road, under a blazing sun, singing a song with my family.
while deeply aware that we have no idea what true poverty feels like, it is also true that for the first 8 or so years of following our dream, we had never been so poor and never felt so rich. our dream was to do what we love for a living. the bedell's dream was to sail away for a while. following our dreams is what opened our eyes to how free we could be.
what is your dream?
It's an amazing feeling to follow your dream, but it's just as amazing watching your dream influence someone else to follow theirs. - Carla Gray BeDell