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No book, no conversation, just the wind on the waves. No beers, no tears no big waves to drench and delight us but the slapping of the sails.

To be stimulus free teaches you to be idle. Teaches kids to be idle. Over scheduled kids who never get to play in the streets alongside the ghosts of their grandparents when they were small.

What if you have nothing to do but stare at the coast, look at the bays, look at the sails, steer the boat slightly, maybe go in that direction, or maybe not.

If you can sit and observe the world quietly, without stimulus, without the need for fun, without the usual expectations of friends, food and fine wine… there gradually develops a growing sense of contentment with the world being as it is.

To just trundle along, not actually going anywhere, just busy in the act of going.

When we go sailing with the kids, and there are no friends onboard, or if there isn’t a huge wind and the boat isn’t going sideways… if the sea is serene,

well then the kids are bored.

I realized one day when I was explaining to the kids that sailing is more about “what is” … than “where to,” that I should be practicing what I preach because I too secretly thought it was all a bit boring… and secondly, it occurred to me that if you can sit and observe the world, or rather… sit and be with the world then it is easier to sit and observe yourself.

Relaxing in front of the TV is not really relaxing… it doesn’t refresh you. It’s a neural distraction.

I found that I had to practice abstinence before I could learn how to apply moderation. If you are always “high” on the moment, its pretty hard to be “in” the moment, and many beautiful mundane moments are then lost…

… and there is joy in those moments.