On my way across the Pacific from San Francisco to Papua New Guinea I had to cross the Equator, which presented me with three major challenges.

First, it was unbelievably hot. A few degrees north of the Equator you enter the doldrums, so the wind dies and the sun bakes. I felt like my brain was being boiled in my skull.

Second, the heat gave me an itchy heat rash that led to much scratching and gritting of teeth, and lasted for about two months.

going_in_circlesThird, the Equatorial Counter Current flows from west to east, so it was trying to push me back towards North America. Even worse than that, where the east-flowing current rubs up against the west-flowing current, you get lots of strange eddies and whirls that played merry hell with my navigation, often pushing me north as well as east.

I became rather obsessed with these currents. I wanted to know as soon as I got into one, so I could adjust my steering accordingly. So I cranked the scale on my GPS way up high, and peered at it anxiously all the time, constantly alert for the first hint of an adverse current.

That way lay madness.

One day in particular, I remember seeing my track form a complete circle as the currents pushed me around. I started to feel like I was caught up in a never-ending loop, would never get to the other side of the ocean. I bemoaned my bad luck on my blog.

Those of you who followed my ocean voyages may well remember UncaDoug, aka Doug Grandt, a staunch environmentalist who was a key member of my social media team. Doug came to my rescue.

circles we-are-not-going-in-circles-hermann-hesse“Turn down the scale on your GPS!” he implored me. “You’ll see that, overall, you’re still making progress!”

How often that happens. We get caught up in the trees and lose sight of the woods. We feel stuck in the present moment, and forget how far we’ve come. We put our attention on the problem that is close at hand, turning a blind eye to the good stuff that is happening all around.

Sometimes we need to turn down the scale on our GPS to get the bigger picture, to see the present moment in the wider context of time and space, and know that despite current difficulties, we’re still making progress.


Other Stuff:

I’m starting work on a book about courage, and I’d love to hear from you! What do you know about courage? What do you know about lack of courage? Who do you know (especially women) who has displayed exceptional courage? Let me know!

Lots more exciting news to come around the courage project – stay tuned!




  • I go to a self help group called Recovery International. We teach ourselves to change our thoughts to secure thoughts. We teach ourselves to “move our muscles and prove to our faltering brain that there is no danger” And we learn to endorse OURSELVES for all our efforts. Our society and the way we are sold things and kept pacified is fear based. Everyday people are out doing things despite the fear. Thank you for your wonderful being!

    • Jean, that sounds great. We definitely need less fear-based decision-making (and less fear-based marketing!) in the world.

  • Roz,

    Once again, you have the perfect insight for the moment. I was sitting here bemoaning the fact there are several large opportunities for me, but as always there is the decision to be made. My life is on course and I have achieved a great deal in the past several years. The major decision that I have available to me at the moment are only because I have worked so hard to get where I am to even have a chance at the opportunities that have presented themselves to me at the moment. So instead of sitting here over my morning coffee worrying about it, I read this, took the bigger picture of how far I have come and wow, the shift in focus turned my worries into pride of accomplishment. That state of mind is a much more healthy and useful place to make future decisions from.
    Thank you for your timely insight and guidance.


    • Congratulations on all you’ve achieved, Steve – and on getting the bigger perspective. Good luck with your future choices – I am sure you will make the right ones!

  • Roz, you are quietly changing my life as I look so forward to your blog.

    I love the fact we share the same birthday too!

    Courage was one of Maya Angelou best writing…..check her out….

    love you!

  • You are not only bringing hope or are refreshing me and my family but you also bring us the ocean’s salt and scent.Thank you.
    I want to comment about your blog as follows:
    I think as long as we are alive and breathe we always have a chance to move forward.I want to add Mark Twain’s word:
    Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.

    Akif Kıral.

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