National Geographic explorer Elizabeth Lindsey explains the value in finding stillness on an everyday basis.

Over the years she’s had the fortunate opportunity to have learned and practiced from different Wayfinders.

A few years ago Elizabeth was on the Andaman Sea, just south of Myanmar, and lived and sailed with the Moken, who are sea nomads, choosing to live on the sea rather than land.

They were the only clan of people that didn’t sustain any injury when the tsunami struck in late 2004, because they were paying attention to the indicators of nature.

The birds had stopped singing. The dolphins swam way out to sea. So they followed them. The ones that were on land went as high as they could.

These were indicators.

“What I have learned is that the most powerful thing that each of us can do is to find stillness on a regular basis.”

She believes we should make it a discipline – exercise that muscle as we would anything else.

“We live in a society that really dismisses or at the very least marginalizes the value of going into quietude, and yet as a Wayfinder, one of the best ways of gaining our bearings is to find that center point or that still point where the latitude of the mind meets longitude of the heart.”

It’s like recalibrating our instrument when we’re able to come back to that place and hold it.

The more we practice and the better we become at doing this allows us to more easily recognize when we’re in an environment that feels off because by contrast it becomes so much starker.

It helps us determine whether there’s an issue with the environment or with our self.

In Lindsey’s estimation, is probably the most significant thing we can do.

Catch the full podcast here


Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey is the first female and first Polynesian to become an explorer for the National Geographic Society. She has made it her mission to find, preserve and share the knowledge and traditions of indigenous populations before they disappear.