Point of Departure - Designing and Building Your Sailing Craft:
Below the Water Line
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Jung
The goal of this travel guide is to assist you, the traveller, in embarking on an adventure on which you will encounter a variety of different terrains. This is achieved by completing several activities and practical experiential exercises. In doing so you will be given the opportunity to revise and learn new life skills that will assist you in reaching your full potential.
In this section, you will be provided with an overview of where this guide and course is planning to take you, and how to use it.
In this chapter, we are going to explore your
Keel: Sense of Purpose
Hull: Beliefs and Values
Rudder: Emotional Awareness
Anchor: Support Crew and Resources
These have been depicted in a model of the Aurora sailing craft.
At the beginning of each section, under “Travel Bag,” you will find a list of resources that you will need to complete the activities for that particular leg of your journey.
For this section, you will need:
• a journal
• coloured pens
As you progress on your journey you will be given the opportunity to explore the ideas presented by doing several exercises and engaging in personal reflections in your journal. By doing these, you will have the opportunity to integrate the ideas, concepts and theories presented into your life. You have the opportunity to mark each of these off on the Viewpoints page.
In this journey, you will be given the opportunity to explore your gifts and talents and learn how to apply them in several scenarios. You will be the captain of your own sailing craft. The model we will be using is that of building a boat and crossing the seas to the desired destination. You will also explore ways of engaging with other travellers, and pirates that you may encounter on your journey. The illustration of the craft outlines the concepts that it represents.
The purpose of the journal is to allow you to explore freely the thoughts that continuously whirl around in your mind. You will be encouraged to write in it regularly and use it to track your progress. Date your journal entries. This helps you to reflect on certain recurring thoughts and feelings and to perhaps link them to certain events.
1.1 Activity: Make Your First Journal Entry
Make the first entry in your journal now. Write down your expectations for this course. At the end of the course, what is a specific and measurable goal that you would like to achieve?
In this section, we are going to explore the essence of your being and how this impacts your outlook on life. Imagine a sailing craft that represents you, with different parts of the craft symbolising different parts of who you are and who you might be in the future.
The keel to reflect your sense of purpose, and the hull of the boat will depict your beliefs and values. Though mostly invisible below the surface of the water, it is the keel and hull that maintain the balance of the vessel. In turn, the boat is directed by the rudder, which represents your emotions and feelings. On the whole, our emotions remain out of view, but awareness and control of them are fundamental in determining your direction and how successfully you can navigate your way through unknown waters.
Finally, the anchor represents what grounds you in times of turbulence, insecurity and transition.
Keel: Sense of Purpose/ Meaning
Our life meaning is a coalescence of our cultural and religious beliefs and is mirrored by our experience of life and how we choose to interpret life events. The keel of the craft represents your sense of purpose and meaning in life. The keel is fundamental in determining the overall design and capacity of the craft. It provides the foundational supporting structure for the whole vessel.
Victor Frankl, in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, suggests that in any situation, there are three possibilities for experiencing or creating a sense of meaning:
o We can take or learn from the experience.
o We can create or add to the experience.
o We can choose to adopt a position or attitude, no matter what the circumstances.
Hull: Beliefs and Values
Beliefs are unconsciously assimilated—from the moment we are born to the day we die. This is particularly so during the first five years of life. These beliefs are generally reflective of the culture we are born into, and such cultural values are reinforced as we grow.
Beliefs are often adopted unconsciously and are typically ethnocentric: they can be seen as the only way of doing things and should always hold true. They tend to remain unexamined and occur at an unconscious level. Our beliefs are reflected in our patterns of behaviour; style of dress; assumed roles of males and females in the family, and youth and the elderly; language; manners; economic and class relationships; ways of coping with silence; and personal space. Our beliefs affect every element of our existence.
What we believe largely determines how we perceive the world, what social and environmental cues we look out for, and how we choose to interpret these cues. With the interpretation comes our behaviour, which for a large portion of our lives has the potential to be mainly reactive. However, the more conscious we are of our beliefs and thoughts, the more we can consciously choose our emotional and thinking responses—and ultimately, our behaviour. This conscious awareness allows us the freedom to be happy no matter what the circumstances, as we have the free will to choose our state of mind.
‘Charting Your Course to New Horizons’ provides the reader with a structure to develop and build personal life skills using the metaphor of building a sailing craft and going on a journey of self-discovery. The content has been developed from evidence based counselling theory and includes many practical self discovery exercises. Many of the exercises are suitable to be applied in a counselling setting.
The book is of value to readers who want to embark on their own journey of self-discovery, either on their own or in a group setting.