Casting off

Casting off - Magalie Laniel Blog

— This is an old post transferred from my « » blog —

Something redundantly happening in my life: casting off. Sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally.

Most recently, I left my job. Not for another job, but for another life. I retired from the corporate world, as I like to say. The feeling of not living my life fully, of not working in line with my values, of not following “my own path” slowly grew on me in the past year or so. Until at some point it became obvious that I had to leave. I think this feeling visits a lot of us, daily. But it doesn’t necessarily grow on everyone. For it to grow enough for us to understand the message clearly, we have to let it be, let it flow, let it shake our world. It’s a scary thing to let something unplanned shake us up, because it feels like we are not in the driver seat anymore. (And we love control, don’t we!) I do not intend to say that most people should quit their job. But by doing what “a lot of people don’t dare to even consider”, it really hit me how so many people also have that “empty” feeling towards their work life. By being a real life example to their face: yes, you can just quit if you want to, it seemed (to my great surprise) to have lite up some old dream of theirs, carefully buried away a long long time ago… And to be honest, it made me really sad.

My husband and I often talk about change – especially these days as we are creating a curriculum of “life coaching videos” that will soon be online under We talk about change at the present tense, because we are living it, we are experimenting with it (him at 200mph, me at 50mph… maybe), but we are also conscious that change is one of the hardest thing to do. Change can look scarier than a large screaming hairy bigfoot trying to catch you! At best, it makes us uncomfortable, at worst it gives us a panic attack. But change never killed anyone you know… Just saying… 😉

Casting off is not, by itself, a good or a bad thing. (Actually I believe that nothing is good or bad, everything just is. But that’s not the topic I want to cover here.) Casting off, to me, is just the first physical step of changing direction. And where I’m going with this, is that this action should feel good. If you are following your heart, you will know that this is the right thing to do for you in this moment. It doesn’t mean it’s not scary. Even if you sh*t your pants, if you are following your heart, go for it!

Some people say that it takes courage to “cast off”, or to make drastic changes. I don’t agree with that. It’s not about courage, it’s about faith. Faith in ourselves. Faith as in “I know it will work for the better”.

Casting off is not a destination or an end result, but it is something we can still practice by starting small, like in building a new habit if you want. I remember the first time I set sails for a single-handed regatta (videos: part 1, part 2). I had never done this before, my boat was not rigged for single-handing at all (we were usually 6 to 8 people onboard for racing). Casting off from that dock, all by myself that morning, was scary as hell. I still feel the butterflies in my belly as I’m writing this 8 years later. But you know what, it’s the little things like that, the little pushes that you give your own limits, that makes you just a little more confident each time, just a little more prepared, just a little more comfortable.

Follow your heart into the uncomfortable. They say that’s where the magic happens. I agree.

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