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  • Natalia Cohen

Defining Moments

I simply cannot believe it 🤯

It’s 5 YEARS today that we set off on our oceanic journey.


Four women in a pink boat taking a leap of faith, embracing the unknown and united in a dream...to be the first team of women & the first fours boat to row across the Pacific. What an adventure!! ✨



How utterly crazy it feels to know that this time 5 years ago we had no idea what the future held and no idea how our lives would change.


What a life defining moment! So…in honour of this, this moment, this day, this experience and the 5 years that have followed it, I’d like to share a blog post that I wrote out on the ocean about just that…


It encapsulates a quote by Maya Angelou beautifully.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

I believe that experiences in life are more about those moments that have an impact on you, make you stop and question, reflect and grow.

It's all about making sense of moments and either finding beauty or reason for them occurring. I like to hope that there is great learning from those moments that take our breath away.


Leg 2, Day 11 (between Hawaii and Samoa)

Defining moments

Asking the girls random questions is always a great way to get to know them a little better and also an opportunity to give myself something to think about during a shift on the oars. Today I asked Lizanne to share one of her life’s defining moments. Her answer was a fascinating one and led me to thinking the rest of the afternoon about what exactly a defining moment is and how do they impact our lives?

Some would say that a defining moment is one that changes your life. It alters the way you perceive or react to something and it has a lasting effect. A defining moment may also just be a moment that makes you stop and take stock of a few things before continuing on. It may be just that – a moment – but there is a chance that it could shape you and also last a lifetime.


The more I pondered the question whilst staring out in a hypnotic state watching undulating waves glitter in the sunlight, the more I came to the conclusion that life is filled to the brim with defining moments and in fact maybe that is what life is about…learning, growing and developing as a person from all of these moments. We should be open to all these moments and embrace them fully when they occur.

Your first day of school, your first love, the first time you ride your bicycle without stabilisers, graduating, a birthday, getting a job, being promoted, learning a new skill, an accident, moving home, falling ill, undergoing chemotherapy, having a child, losing a love, recovering from an injury, experiencing a new culture, doing something that scares you, death, accomplishing something you or others never thought possible…

The list goes on…almost anything we do in life could become a life defining moment…and that thought greatly excites me.


“Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.”


I have no doubt that all of us out here, traveling across Oceania, embracing the unknown and taking ourselves the furthest outside our comfort zones we have ever been, will experience a number of defining moments. I know I already have.

  • I’ve learnt first hand how much strength lies in having self belief

  • I’m amazed to find how much compassion and respect I can feel for people who ordinarily would never have crossed my path

  • I’m in awe of the power and beauty of Mother Nature

  • I’ve been humbled by the generosity and support of friends and strangers alike


I equally believe these moments can be experienced anywhere if you allow them to happen.


Who would have ever thought that this experience would have been so similar to the one we ALL currently experiencing?

Without a doubt we are all united right now in living through a potential life defining moment. This global pandemic has changed the way the whole world behaves.

Under this umbrella of uncertainty and suffering, there is, however, an unmistakable feeling of inspiration, hope, unity, solidarity, love, community and change. It is providing some form of shift - which ultimately a defining moment does and sometimes it's the most challenging times that unite us as friends, family and a society.


Take some time today to stop and reflect on all your own personal defining moments in your life so far.

Big or small, regular or infrequent, I urge you all to look for those moments that take your breath away, drink them in and allow them to enter your soul and make you the incredible and unique person you are and will become.

Just to give us all something different to talk about - I challenge all of you to take 5/10 minutes today and reflect upon your life’s top 3 defining moments and then share them with someone and get them to do the same.

Natalia x



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all photography and writing © 2020 Natalia Cohen ​

No images or text can be used without prior written permission

 

Contact: natalia@nataliacohen.co.uk