Listening through the Storms

  • We’re in the British Virgin Islands, enjoying a bit of vacation and writing time for me. We are blessed to have a beautiful sailboat named Abundance that is our home away from home.

    The winter often brings northern swells, high seas and cooler temperatures. Yesterday I woke up after a stormy night on board the boat, moored in the Bight, off Norman Island.  It was if Mother Nature was ridding herself of the last remnants of wind and rain from hurricane season. The morning skies were ominous and I heard a voice warning me that we were going to lose the boat today.

    After 20 years of sailing these waters my first reaction was, “Where did THAT come from? What a silly thought!” I quickly dismissed it and said prayers of gratitude, surrounding our boat with prayers of protection. Bringing the foul weather gear topside with me, and verifying the location of the life preservers, we set out for a 14-mile sail.

    We reefed our main sail to accommodate for the strong winds and the heavy swells and headed out into the channel. After a quick stop around noon to pick up some blankets, we continued on our journey to The Bitter End, in North Sound, Virgin Gorda.

    Several squalls blew past us, dosing us with rain and wind. One particular storm looked like a mushroom cloud (so I took a photo of it for you). At one point we dropped the sails and decided to motor the rest of the way, chugging through the ever-growing high seas.

    About two hours later my husband, who was at the helm, abruptly turned around when he realized our dinghy was no longed tied to the sailboat. We headed back the way we came, retracing our course over the 7 miles since our last stop, scanning the grey waves for our tiny grey dinghy. I still wonder where she is, as we never did find her. She’s most likely having an adventure of her own somewhere in the open seas of the Caribbean.

    For me this was a great lesson in listening to that inner voice instead of dismissing it. When I heard we were going to lose the boat, I assumed it was the sailboat and chased the voice away. In 20 years of sailing here I’ve never lost a dinghy, so why would I think of that boat! I was too focused on the stormy weather to take the time to listen, instead of focusing on the calm I knew was coming after the storm.

    Just like so many times in life we’re too focused on the stormy times to take the time to listen.  How many dinghys have we all lost by not listening? It got my attention. So today, I’m writing this from a beautiful beach bar in Leverick Bay where I’m taking the time to listen. Okay, right now I’m listening to European techno music in the background, but I can still hear the lapping of the waves on the beach and a bushwacker with my name on it calling me. More later.

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of, bringing the best inspiration to the world. provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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