Explorations & Revelations


Ahhh...RainbowsOkay, it’s been 3 weeks now that we’ve been back in the Caribbean. And it truly changes you.

Often, friends ask me to talk about the differences between life in the US and life in the Caribbean. I have done this in an earlier post, but only hinted at the differences that I’ve experienced at the core of my being.

Here, I can breathe.

And it’s not about the lack of pollution. It goes way deeper than that. There’s something about the energy of a place where everyone sees time and ambition differently. Things naturally slow down. There’s nothing to prove. Tomorrow is actually another day…and it’s okay to continue what you started tomorrow.

There is a comfort here that feels like stepping off the treadmill and resting.

And while you might not realize it, it’s not just your mind that changes…your body changes too. For me, one of the first things that I noticed as I calibrated to this island energy is my breathing.
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Saba from a planeJoel and I are back in Saba after being “off island” for WAY TOO LONG!

All we can say is, it’s amazing to be back…and in the same breath, why did we stay away so long? (Yes, we expect to be admonished via this blog and e-mail from disgruntled readers!) The reason is that we both got busy with work and travel, keeping us tethered to the United States and almost tempting us back into the rat race.

The good news is that we resisted temptation and we have re-committed to our “island time” lifestyle with more furor than ever.

We are growing an organic garden in our yard, shifting our work schedules and have even more big and exciting surprises ahead, which we will share as we begin to get back into our tiny Caribbean island lifestyle.
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Joel & Heather Flowers in Sugar Hill New HampshireJoel and I have been in the US for a couple of months now, as you can probably tell from our lack of posts recently. What happened was, we got really busy. We got busy because we stopped living our simple life right about the time we arrived in the US. We keep asking ourselves how it happened – how did we go from living such a simple life to being as busy as we are now? We’re chasing time again and in this post I’ll share everything we’ve realized after our experience.

Drivin’ My Life Away
The first thing we noticed was driving. In Saba, we never had to drive anywhere – well, admittedly, we have no car in Saba! But we don’t need one because our cottage is so close to everything. The destinations that require a car are few – perhaps Wells Bay and scuba diving – both easily reached by car or hitch hiking.

King of the Road
The minute we arrived in the US, we started driving…and driving…and driving. 2 hours from the airport to our home in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. 15 minutes one way to the grocery store. 3 hours to Boston for some of the classes and conveniences. And more driving for business trips. It was shocking how different it was to have all those miles of road to drive – quite a difference from a 5 square mile island!

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    If I told you that money really does grow on trees, would you believe me? Would you put on your skeptic’s hat and call me ridiculous, over the edge, breathing too much ocean air?

    At one time, I would have done the latter – full of fear about money, thinking that I had to hang onto my job, save carefully and continue to climb the corporate ladder. In fact, I became an expert at climbing the ladder, securing the bigger paychecks – and feeling like I needed to work harder – take on more pressure – to justify my high salary.

    At some point, I began to question my path, though, as many of us often do. I’d find myself going on vacation and wishing I could just get away from it all – buy a little house somewhere and live off the land, escape. It was hard to admit that the big house, shiny cars, successful job were not fulfilling their promise.
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    Joel & MiniThis past weekend, amidst all of the restoring of websites from our recent hacking experience, we had a little visitor. Joel and I have been wondering if we should get a dog for almost a year now. It’s been a big dilemma – now that we both work at home, have a nice dog-friendly, fenced-in yard and have simpler lives, we have time to care for a dog, right? And who wouldn’t want to see the unconditional love and unabashed excitement that only a dog seems to possess?
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    And She's Buying a Stairway...to Mt. Scenery(Author’s Note: this is one of the articles that was lost after our hacking experience, so if it looks a little different, well — it is! I rewrote it and while it has the same flavor, it is actually a different article! I’m not sure if I’d call it better, just different. See what you think!)

    Well, it’s been one year after leaving my corporate job, starting my own success coaching business and moving to the Caribbean – so I figure it’s time for a few more confessions. What prompted this line of thinking was an e-mail I received from a friend (hi, Caroline!) laughingly asking me if a year ago, I could imagine that my big concerns would be food boats coming into Saba. I admit that my life here in Saba is a far cry from braving sub-zero temperatures and sitting in meeting rooms discussing the merits of global human resources outsourcing! Another friend from my former employer (hi Peter!), suggested I describe my new life by writing something like “I used to…and now I.” Now I really liked this idea, but haven’t been witty enough to create snappy sound bites, so I’ll describe the changes in my own way.
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    Caribbean Corner OfficeHow many of us have tried to work at home and not been productive — or think it’s a challenge to be productive? The things I usually hear as challenges for working at home are all those seductive things you could be doing other than working. Television, laundry & other personal activities, exercise, going outside and just enjoying the day, eating (a beckoning refrigerator) and noise or interruptions from others who may be home (kids, spouse, etc.). Joel and I have learned several things about working at home effectively and we’d like to share them with you — and get your ideas!
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    Does this happen to you? You hear a sound and think it’s one thing — and then realize it’s something else. Sometimes, what you thought it was — and what it really is — is so ridiculous that you can’t believe you thought it was what it was. Hmmm, that sounds like a riddle. Anyway, since I’ve been in Saba, I’ve been hearing new noises. You’d be surprised at what I think those noises are vs. what they really are!
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    Glove -- Good Hiding Spot for Rings!Last year, I lost my wedding ring during a day of scuba diving. I think what happened was I wore gloves — typically a no-no for diving — although in my case, I use them for added warmth. Ok, call me a baby, but I get cold easily — even in warm Caribbean seas. I’m not a jewelry person, so I never really wanted an engagement or wedding ring, but since Joel wanted wedding rings, I compromised. I got the smallest, thinnest wedding ring I could find and had worn it for 11 years.
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    Act I – 1994: Sitting in the Flower Shop Café in Center City, Philadelphia with Jerry, Kay and Joel. The topic of movies comes up. I loved Forrest Gump, they all pooh-poohed it and said Pulp Fiction would be the hit of the year. The next 15 minutes were spent discussing the virtues of Pulp Fiction.
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