This website is my way of giving back and inspiring others who want to follow their bliss. It’s for those who haven’t given up on the dream of really being fulfilled and especially for those who suspect that happiness doesn’t come from our outer circumstances but from within our own hearts. Here I share inspiration, practical resources and my own journey to help others create lives of freedom and happiness.
In early 2010, I made a big decision to leave a life that many dream of – the perfect job, financial security, an amazing community of friends and one of the best cities in the world (Portland, Oregon, USA). Leave it for what? Well, I wasn’t really sure, but I just knew that I had a deeper calling and that it was time to follow it. I began my journey in May 2010 as a crew member of a sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean, hence the name Sailing Smitty. There was (and still is) no return date, no next step, no big plan.
In the process of listening deeply, following my inner wisdom and letting go of the ideas holding me back, I have found a sense of happiness and fulfillment beyond what I ever dreamed possible. I frequently have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming! My writing focuses on the experiences, tools and insights that have helped me on this journey. While living abroad and exploring different parts of the world are a part of my lifestyle right now, the new places and sites are not my focus. Slowing down, being present and living a deeply fulfilling life are.
Who am I?
My intention is to be no one on the road to “nowhere” – the road to “now here”. I don’t want my past to define the ever-changing present moment that Life gives me. I try to honor the flow of life beneath its apparent solidity. Perhaps one day, I’ll reside in that state, clinging to nothing and honoring everything, but for now I work at it every day – that’s why it’s called spiritual “practice.” So, I’ll tell you a little about my history, but don’t think it’s “me” because “me” is just an idea.
A brief history – 1980 – present
I was born, Brandon Connor Smith (a name I still use), in 1980 in Florida, USA and went to high school in Birmingham, Alabama (Southern charm, BBQ, fried okra and all). At the University of Florida, I studied all sorts of things, Psychology (major), Cultural Anthropology (minor), International Business (Master’s), journalism, linguistics, ecology and lots more. I’ve always been insanely curious. I studied abroad twice (France and Mexico) and traveled to 23 countries before graduating with my Master’s degree in 2003. After walking a 500 mile pilgrimage trail across the north of Spain, I moved to Portland, Oregon where I ran the business operations for an innovative, environmental non-profit called the Cascadia Green Building Council for six years. Since leaving Portland, I’ve sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, visited friends in Europe, completed a 6-week silent meditation retreat, watched my mom get married very happily, traveled through China and Japan with friends and taught meditation for 3 1/2 months at an Ashram in Northern India. What an incredible journey it’s been! The best part about the experience has been reconnecting with friends, making new ones and having the time and space to deepen my spiritual practice.