Although not originally from the state of Maine, I lived there many years – specifically along the southern coast. Without a doubt Maine has a rugged, natural beauty that captures the essence of its harsh climate. Winters seem to go forever, the sun seems to take extended vacations leaving dark, temperamental clouds to carry the duties of the vast firmament and spring tends to bait and switch for weeks before finally deciding to stick around. However, like most things in life, that which is not easy oftentimes render the greatest rewards. When the sun returns and the summer weather unfolds, it is easy to understand why ‘Vacationland’ is printed on the license plates as the state all but dares you not to notice it’s stark beauty.

For those who live along the coastline, seeing boats working their way up and down the channels is a relatively common scene. Seeing a boat sitting in dry dock can be just as common.

When boats are in need of repair and/or maintenance, they are hauled up out of the water with massive rigs in order to be serviced. Once the vessel has been repaired, it is released into the watery depths to float free, to sail and to move as it was intended. Sometimes however, a boat will sit in dry dock for long periods of time…weeks, months, years…usually due to a limitation in resources to pay for repairs or a limitation in time to invest in the work required.

Seeing a boat in dry dock was always a little fascinating but seeing a boat in dry dock for extended periods was always a little sad. Many times we became quite accustomed to seeing a certain vessel in dry dock, some were never released, seemingly stuck, held up out of the water, limited and stalled. And sometimes I would wonder if the same things happen to us.

We weren’t built to be stuck, limited or stalled yet it happens. We may not be held in place by a rig, but sometimes something holds us back; something limits us to being able to float free, to sail and to move as we were intended. Just like the repairs to the boat, until we invest resources or our time and effort into getting unstuck we’re likely to remain in dry dock – limited only by our unwillingness to sail free again.

Since fear is the basis for our bias’, prejudices and self-imposed limitations, fear is the likely culprit that keeps us in our own form of dry dock. The feeling and pull of wanting more from our experiences, to be courageous and curious, to want to color outside the proverbial lines, to stay up past our bedtime, to spoil our appetite, to break from rut and routine and float free is a likely indicator that we may be in dry dock and no longer want to be there. The experience of pure joy, spontaneity and uninhibited bliss cannot come from being dry docked in a holding cell. Dry dock can offer safety, after all, a boat won’t sink if it’s not in the water…but a boat wasn’t designed to be in dry dock and neither were we.

The safety and monotony of routine may offer a measure of stability or security but if we aren’t mindful we could get too accustomed to residing in our own version of dry dock and that compromises our ability to live.                

                     Residing is one thing, but living is something altogether different. 

Glen Frey sung,‘you can see the stars but still not see the light’, a line that reminds me of how susceptible we are to being deluded by our thinking and unable to recognize how we live.

                            You can reside in dry dock for years, but you can’t live there. 
                                                               Where are you?

Thanks for reading,
~ Haven


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