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Posts from the ‘Adventure’ Category

The Paths

“You can’t change who you are, but you can change what you have in your head, you can refresh what you’re thinking about, you can put some fresh air in your brain.” – Ernesto Bertarelli

“If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.” Heraclitus

We drive to our “regular” places on the same road, no map, on autopilot. Passing the same landmarks again and again. The periphery unnoticed as we spin on repeat, unaware. Patterns, habits and familiar paths remove the need to overthink and choose from too many options. We are information rich and insight poor. Autopilot in the transactional areas of our life allow us to keep moving, making simple decisions and completing necessary tasks.

However, if our days only consist of task checking off activities, our lives become stale and shallow. Turn off autopilot daily and weave adventure, trail blazing and wandering to foster wonder, joy and adventure. Keep autopilot on to get the mundane tasks off your list as soon as possible to create time and space to break off the beaten path into the mystery of fresh ground.

The world around you right now is abundant with unbroken paths ready to be explored, traveled and danced upon. Feed your sense of awe, delight and adventure by breaking new paths each day. Turn off autopilot, take the wheel and steer into places unknown. The road awaits your paving.

“I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.” – Muriel Strode

Trail Management and Blazing!

“There is no glory in star or blossom till looked upon by a loving eye; There is no fragrance in April breezes till breathed with joy as they wander by.” – William Cullen Bryant

It’s important to establish routines, rituals and daily practices to focus our attention, effort and time to create habits to reach goals, check off resolutions. Discipline, repetition and commitment are the ingredients of progress, growth and fruition.

In addition to the mechanics of “trail management” which include plans, goals, actions, discipline, accountability and efficiency, we also need to integrate “off trail” adventures to find joy, play, fun and magic. “Trail blazing” is messy, iterative, inconsistent, inefficient exploration that fosters imagination, creating new patterns, connections and deeper ways to see the world. Life balance comes with the integration of mechanics and magic in our daily life.

For the past nine months, almost every Sunday morning I’ve done a long run as a part of marathon training. After completing the marathon in October, I’ve continued the “Sunday practice” to stay in shape, albeit not as many miles or structure as marathon training. Jeanne would meet me with water and join me for the last 4-5 miles.

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” – Karl Barth

This morning, we decided to break the Sunday routine, because we had the opportunity to walk with Bob at Como. One of Jeanne’s superpowers is to meet and connect with people who soon become fast friends. She “picked up” Bob, an 82 year old sweet soul who walks 1.6 miles around Como every day and has for years. Bob’s going to Arizona for a few months so he asked us if we were coming to Como today to say good-bye. Rather than a quick “hi” in passing, we opted to walk with him to enjoy conversation and connection. We stopped four times to take a break. It was the slowest and most important workout of the month.

We were wise enough to open the gift of connection, conversation and time over plans and routines. We went snow shoeing after to get an additional work out. Today we chose both trail management but more importantly trail blazing. That decision is not only is good for the body, but for the mind, spirit and soul, our whole being.

As you look at the schedule for the week filled with meetings and “trail management” activities, make sure that you start booking some “trail blazing” time to wander, to laugh, to add meaning to all of the activity. Find the joy in the JOurneY.

Now, off to do some more trail blazing tennis ball chasing activity with with Abby and Sasha in the woods. Cast light, chase joy.

Clear the Deck, Burn the Ships

“It’s never too late in life to have a genuine adventure.” – Robert Kurson

“Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” – George Eliot

When I got new floors in Spring, I donated a lot of items and only put back what I really wanted into my house, leaving space, organizing and eliminating piles. My goal is to have my basement and garage fully decluttered and organized by spring.

Each day, I organize a shelf, create a file rather than a pile and chip away one step at a time. I’ve collected a lot through the years plus items from my parent’s and Aunt’s house after my Dad and Aunt passed. At the time, I couldn’t part with the items, but now realize that they are not required for me to remember them since they remain in my heart, voice and stories.

As I am decluttering physical spaces, I am noticing that it creates a sense of order in my mind. I can find things easier and am not filling space with new stuff recreating clutter. Not fully a minimalist but on the path to deeper meaning which equates to more with less.

Clearing spaces naturally leads to the clearing of the mind. If we are willing to clear the shelves in our thoughts and narratives, we expose old thinking, limiting beliefs, “should” lists, “others expectations of me” lists, people pleasing habits that no longer and never served our becoming and coming home to ourselves.  It isn’t as easy as cleaning a shelf, but the journey is worth the destination. As you unravel trappings of ego, vulnerability and fear, you create space for expectation, joy, creativity, renewal, light and freedom.

And the journey both ends and begins when you arrive in a “new world” and “burn the ships.” In 1519 when Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in the New World, he ordered the burning of the ships signaling that there was no turning back. For King and Country has a song called Burn the Ships:

“Burn the ships, cut the ties
Send a flare into the night
Say a prayer, turn the tide
Dry your tears and wave goodbye

Step into a new day
We can rise up from the dust and walk away
We can dance upon our heartache, yeah
So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships
And don’t you look back”

Until we are willing to “burn the ships,” we will keep returning to the past, assuming the future is a continuation and replay of what was. Clear the deck in all spaces, keep the lessons and burn the ships.

Cling to nothing so you can embrace everything.

New Year, New Trails

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“The truth is that, given enough time, life bestows its gifts, a drop at a time, if we find the courage to stay open to the mysterious flow that is larger than any one event.” – Mark Nepo, Finding Inner Courage

It’s but one day, but this year, there’s a heavy sigh of relief with the calendar turning to 2021. This new year is an invitation to release the weight of 2020, while holding tight to the plentiful lessons. 2020 has been a master class in empathy, hope, resilience, priorities, generosity, kindness, authenticity, and the power of the human spirit to persevere and overcome.

While “pandemic class” is still in session, the distribution of vaccines offers hope of better days coming soon. And we don’t have to wait for better days when we become prisoners of hope and chasers of joy.

Beyond circumstances or events, even a pandemic, we have a blank page each day to write our own story, to find joy in moments, to break trail, exploring the unknown with optimism, gratitude and wonder.

What story will you write this year? The pen is and always has been in your hands. Pursue, hope and create your own path. Happy New Year!

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee

Forge New Paths

“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

With the ping pong of warm, cold, warm, cold, snow and cold has won the game. Winter has arrived as it always does and it’s staying whether we “fight it” or not. We choose to fight unwinnable battles rather than accepting the seasons, change and uncertainty.

We waste time and energy in opposition to the inevitable. If we choose, we can go right through the middle with a sense of adventure in pursuit of joy.

Last winter, I cross country skied everyday through the holidays, so I got new skis in January and continued through the winter. Yesterday, Jeanne (my adventure partner) and I bought snow shoes – new tools to keep moving through winter, forging new paths “at our age,” proving that age is a number and youth is a mindset.

There are more lockdowns across the country with a surge in COVID as we enter the “long” winter months. The holidays will be flipped upside down. We certainly have all of the reasons to be disappointed and dismayed. And still, we can choose a different path.

Getting out in nature, doing new things, creative endeavors, fostering gratitude, optimism and hope are not locked down. They are in our control as they always have been despite our circumstances. Do not succumb to despair of the “inevitable.”

Transform routine into rituals, ordinary days into sacred moments. Forge new paths.

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