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For Jim’s birthday I planned to take him sailing. The day came and the weather was rough, so rough there was only one guy that would rent us boat in Southwest Florida. We drove down and set sail in a 16’ Hobie Cat. Thankfully Jim is a very experienced sailor; still, there were several times I was quite impressed he kept the bottom side down! On our past sails the conditions have mostly been just breezy (on the verge of boring). That day was different- The wind was strong and gusty and the water was rough. I learned more in two hours than I had in all of our previous sails. We were flying. I was hanging off the side of the boat and using my weight to keep us from capsizing. Jim was “spilling wind” because our little boat had limits and at times the wind was too much. It was exhilarating.

Isn’t life just the same? Sometimes winds are strong and sometimes there is no breeze at all. At times during calm conditions we think we have to create our own wind. If you were in a sailboat in the middle of the ocean on a breezeless day, would you huff and puff and spend all your energy blowing into the sails with your own breath? What might you do instead? Why do we think our businesses, careers, or lives should be treated any different? How much effort do you put into blowing into your own sails? Conversely how much energy do you exhaust trying to push against the wind when the breeze is blowing?

Looking back at the birthday sail I notice so many more similarities that relate to ordinary occurrences. For instance: When it was time to tack (change directions), sometimes it didn’t go so smooth. Jim and I bumped into each other, emotions got edgy, and a couple times we lost all of our momentum.  On the other hand when we were moving swiftly forward with our sails full there were occasional adjustments to be made, but in the big picture, we were just enjoying the ride.

One factor to realize is: if we didn’t tack and kept that course, we would have sailed our boat into deep waters far away from land… and we were on a tiny boat only prepared for a couple of hours of adventuring. For our own well-being, we had to change directions. The changing of directions sometimes wasn’t a smooth transition. Even though I’m not an experienced sailor, I had complete faith in Jim and wasn’t worried at all. After a few times of turning around and heading back toward shore I also realized this: Even if we came to what seemed like a complete standstill miles off shore- we were still moving and those strong winds eventually filled the sails and we’d be flying again. We continually used the wind to our advantage- that’s what sailing is all about!

How might this relate to you?

Are you in the midst of a change in direction? If your current situation seems muddled or confusing, might the good news be that you are still moving (even if it doesn’t seem so). If there isn’t wind now, there soon will be and it will fill your sails. Let it. Worry and apprehension might give you something to do in the moment, but neither will get you anywhere.  Trust the gale of inspiration will come.

Are you flying and moving swiftly forward with full sails? Receive and enjoy the gale, realize you are the wind, take the voyage and do it with ease.  When we let our ship sail under the wind and give it everything we’ve got, every day is a blast- it becomes seemingly effortless and fun.

My big takeaway from the birthday sail was: I love sailing in a strong wind and in what many would consider intimidating conditions. Sure, when winds are calm it’s relaxing and that can be nice for a bit. BUT, WOW! Was that sail fun!! It’s was a lot more work, Jim and I were both sore, and there were a few times I thought we were going to capsize…. But that is where the living is done! I feel like I am in those same winds in life right now. The wind is a blowing and I love it! I really don’t know where I am going to end up, but that is all a part of the adventure.

What is your take? How might this discussion apply to how you feel and where you are today?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, stories, and comparisons. Feel free to comment below or contact me directly.

Catch Some Wind, Be the Wind, Enjoy the RideSt. François de Sales’ quote (below) was the fuel for this article. I first came across it while reading The Inside-out Revolution last year. In June it popped up again and spurred on a fascinating class discussion (on the same day as the birthday sail!). Then, out of the blue last week, one of my clients mentioned how drawn he is to the quote and the ideas it has stirred in him. Read it, let it sit and read it again:

“Our free will can hinder the course of inspiration, and when the favourable gale of God’s grace swells the sails of our soul, it is in our power to refuse consent and thereby hinder the effect of the wind’s favour; but when our spirit sails along and makes its voyage prosperously, it is not we who make the gale of inspiration blow for us, nor we who make our sails swell with it, nor we who give motion to the ship of our heart; but we simply receive the gale, consent to its motion and let our ship sail under it, not hindering it by our resistance.”

St. François de Sales

One simple message that comes up for me is: propelling our tiny boat across the ocean isn’t our responsibility. The wind will take care of that. It is in our power to work against or do nothing with the gale. It is also in our power to set sail and take an active part in the grand adventure.

What comes up for you?

 

Catch some wind, be the wind, and enjoy the ride.

 

 

Until with next revolution….

 

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Time. On one hand, it seems a limitless resource and on the other, it appears as if there is never enough.  How do you value and make the most of your time?

Time

What if you saw someone burning money (literally), buying frivolous things, or otherwise foolishly wasting money. What would you think? Most would see them as crazy!  However, we witness people, including ourselves, wasting something much more valuable every day: time.

Why do we think nothing of wasting time, but think wasting money is crazy? Time has the greatest value, because once it’s gone you can not get more of it. Facebook, long drawn-out meetings or years spent waiting to do something important “someday” are just a few actions, or in-actions, that may be more damaging than burning money. Why the double standard?

William Penn brilliantly summed up it up in this statement, “time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”

Despite the fact that time is the one thing we want the most, very few of us use our time wisely, consistently. It’s easy to get sucked in to scrolling through social media, procrastinating, or delaying a big decision. How often do you have a busy day and then, just before bed, realize you can’t remember what you actually accomplished? There is a huge difference between being busy and being productive.

Each day millions of people chase techniques and tricks that promise to find more hours in their day, while others rely on sheer grit and willpower. There are no magic bullet points or supreme spreadsheets that will magically help you free up more time.

Many people think they can will their way to success by multitasking, even though studies show this practice is counterproductive. Some people try sleeping less, working harder, etc. We can make changes through grit and determination, but it’s a struggle. The second we take our eye off the ball, we slip back.

Willpower works well enough so that it appears if we only try harder, it would really work. We think if we are better at it, we will be successful, but even the toughest and strongest lose steam. We aren’t the problem. The way we are going about it is. We want more time. We want to use our time better. We can try and try, but putting our nose to the grindstone is only going to get us so far.  This is not a long term tool for success. Instead, a change in mindset can bring about effortless change and is suitable for long term efforts.

In March I disabled my Facebook account. It was much harder than I imagined. I hadn’t realized what a habit scrolling had become. The first week I found myself mindlessly reaching for my phone. It wasn’t that I was wondering what my friends were having for lunch, rather it was a deep seated habit. Staying unplugged was tough and it took willpower.

After about a month, I realized how full my life had become without social media. I was more productive, at ease, and relaxed.  Around the 4-6 week mark, I had amazing clarity and no longer felt I was missing out. In fact, I realized that for years I had been missing out by wasting so much time on social media. An important change occurred; I had an insight. It was an awareness of a different way of seeing things and it brought about new thought. I just “got it” and it was no longer a struggle to limit my social media time. I rejoined and have enjoyed occasionally connecting without the urge to mindlessly scroll.

Awareness is not about looking for something better; it’s having a different perspective of the world you are living in. It’s not overcoming habits so that you can make a change. It’s as simple as looking from a different point of view and noticing what is there.

“We shall never have more time. We have, and have always had, all the time there is.” Arnold Bennett

Here are three ideas on making the most of all the time there is:

  1. Realize what is important to you and what you want to create in the world. Prioritize around this
  2. Notice your state of mind. Operating from the mindset of well-being brings a higher level of clarity, creativity, and ingenuousness that opens doors of opportunity and a further abundance of time.
  3. Notice instances in your life where you may be letting time slip away. What comes up? Look from a different point of view and see what is there.

If you are also looking for methods to combine with your mindset shift about time, here are are two that can help:

What if we all began to consider wasting time just as foolish as burning money?

Enjoy your time, make the most of it, and welcome the possibilities.

 

Until the next revolution…

 

 

Your Thoughts?

Share in the comments below what is coming up for you. What do you notice? How have you shifted your thoughts and actions?

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In Part 1 we explored ways to calm the feeling of overwhelm, making a master list is one tactic. There are many other tactics that may help us prioritize our lives around what we want to create in the world. Now, in Part 2, we will explore the effect that state of mind has on overwhelm and the connection between our thoughts and feelings.

From Overwhelm to Clarity, Calm, Creativity

It’s important to know that how we feel (happy, carefree, anxious, overwhelmed, etc.) comes directly from our thoughts. Whether or not we feel stressed depends on our thinking about our situation, rather than the situation itself. Having tools and tactics to help quiet the feeling of stress is great, but what if there was a better option? What if there was something more innate that could instantly and continuously change how you think, act, and react to your world?

There is!  Being in a high level state of mind changes everything. Operating from the mindset of well-being brings a level of clarity, creativity, and ingenuousness that opens doors of opportunity. Think of a time when you were in an extremely great mood. What was it like? What did you notice about your interactions with people and clarity of ideas?

If you were in a happy, free, fulfilled state of well-being: How might you respond to a loved one who is upset and having a tough day? Imagine floating through your day at this level of peace of mind as your loved one walks into the room.  He (or she) is short with you and upset. How do you react? You might love on them, try to help them, or let them be and shrug it off. His or her reaction probably wouldn’t affect your state of mind much at all. What if you were feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and in a low state of mind and your loved one was short with you and upset. How do you react? It will not go nearly as well for either of you as compared to the previous scenario.

The only difference in these two scenarios is your state of mind. State of mind changes everything. Can overwhelm exist in a very high state of mind? When appreciation, happiness, peacefulness and love are oozing from your pores, is it possible to simultaneously feel stressed? Pause and think about that for a moment.

When we are feeling overwhelmed, we lose perspective and see things as black and white. This narrowing of our thinking is what fuels the vicious cycle of stress. When we are living in that clarity of a higher state of mind, ideas come to us. Things that once seemed like problems suddenly clear via creative solutions. The monstrous list of things to do begins to organize itself. New ideas pop up that change everything. Without realizing it, we get things done with efficiency and simplicity. We may even do more than we ever have before, but now with an ease and flow we can’t explain. This is not possible when we’re dragging ourselves through the quicksand of worry, stress and overwhelm.

Now, are you wondering how to get to this high level state of mind? If you try to control your state of mind, you won’t. It’s counterproductive. You can’t will yourself into clarity, well-being, and creativity. That would be like throwing a saddle on a wild mustang and trying to get it to take you for a ride like a pony at a petting zoo… it ain’t going to happen.

Instead of trying to make it happen, be open to letting it happen. Trust that it is possible. Trust that our natural state is well-being and calm. Be willing to step outside of your current thinking and notice what comes with the stillness. Trust that when you take a deep breath, step back, and settle in, you will effortlessly begin to float back toward this natural state of broader bandwidth.  In that stillness, you may find that peace and ease are already there. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong or cleaning up your mess, you’ll have more time to do what you want. You’ll begin to move forward with ease and grace.

I have lived from both sides. Right now I have a few more “things to do” on my plate than I did last year, but a totally different perspective. Back then, I was in the quicksand of overwhelm. I wasn’t as productive, my temper was much shorter, and I was living from a space of scarcity (scarcity of time, energy, money, love, bandwidth, etc). Comparing then to now, my surroundings haven’t changed, but everything else has. How did it happen? It was a change in perspective that was born out of the support, encouragement, and deep conversations with my coach, Andrew. It’s been a life changing journey.

Sure, I experience low states of mind and can get stuck there for a bit-that is part of being human. Now, I notice my thinking and feeling more often. About a week ago I had a heated discussion with someone close to me and I wasn’t in the best state of mind. Normally, I would go do something physical outside to find clarity and clear my thoughts. This wasn’t an option, but knowing well-being was my natural state, I took a different approach. I laid down and quieted myself by focusing on my breathing and purposefully noticing physical sensations in my body. In less than three minutes I was feeling calm, peaceful, and had clarity. Experiences like this continue to confirm that well-being is much closer and more accessible than it previously seemed. Well-being is our natural state… give it a try.

Clarity will be abundant when you come from a state of well-being and use your tactics, like the master list. In that state of well-being you have more common sense and more creativity. You’ll be able to identify which tactics and tools work for you. You’ll be streamlined and innately know what is best. You’ll be able to clear any unrealistic expectations and also clear limits you have placed on yourself.  This is our natural state and it is much closer than you may think. If you’d like support in your journey, begin with experiencing the power of coaching for yourself by contacting me directly via the phone number or email address listed below or by applying for a complimentary strategy session.

Well-being, calm, and limitless creativity are available to you. Be open to noticing and allowing yourself to experience it!

 

Until the next revolution…

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What if “stress” or feeling overwhelmed wasn’t a problem at all? What if overwhelm was merely an intrinsic message—your inner wisdom suggesting a change?Calming Overwhelm

Though feeling overwhelmed often feels like quicksand (the more we try to escape, the more we sink in) it may be more akin to the “check engine” light on your car’s dashboard. It’s purely a signal to make a change, and the change may be simpler than you believe.

We can approach overwhelm two ways: as something that “happens to you” that can be “fixed” or as a feeling. In the latter, your state of mind intrinsically facilitates a shift towards (or away from) a state of wellbeing. To fully explore both of these views, this article is divided into two parts. This week we explore taking action, and next week, we dive into the effects of your state of mind. It will be interesting to see how you relate with each view!

In the “check engine”-light metaphor, imagine a very busy day: your plate is full; you’ve got several errands to run; you’re wondering if it’s possible to get it all done. As you jump in your car and speed to your next stop, your dash goes off like a fireworks show: buzzers ringing, lights flashing. This isn’t just a “change the oil” suggestion. This is something serious. What do you do? What might happen if you ignored the alarms and kept the pedal to the metal? Chances are you could blow the engine and put your car permanently out of commission.

So what are you going to do? Most people, despite their hurry, would realize the risk of continuing on. They would realize those lights and buzzers signal problems, and would pull over to investigate or call for help before larger problems arise.

Compare this to the feeling of overwhelm: if you are the car, stress and overwhelm are the lights and buzzers on the dashboard. They are communicating the need to make a change immediately, or you could blow your engine. No matter your workload or schedule, something must change or you’ll be going nowhere soon.

Amid the frustration of overwhelm, it can seem difficult to pull over and check under the hood. Stop and consider what could happen in your life if you don’t.

Calming Overwhelm

For those wanting to calm overwhelm, the questions I would ask are: What is important to you? What do you want to create in the world? How might you organize your day around the triad of what you find important, what makes you happy, and what is effective?

As counterintuitive as it may seem, in the midst of feeling overwhelmed you must stop, re-evaluate, and make a change. Instead of trying to “manage time,” identify your priorities.

First, be upfront with yourself: there is no magic spreadsheet that will instantly change your life. One person’s way of prioritizing may not fit everyone, but ideas on getting started and getting organized can help you find your ideal approach. Here’s a simple method that’s a great way to begin your journey:Calming Overwhelm

Clear your mind!

One of the easiest and most productive ways to “reset” is to make a list of EVERYTHING on your plate. List absolutely everything you have to do personally, professionally, with your family, in your career, your volunteer activities, etc. Get it all out of your head and onto paper.

Imagine walking around with a massive swarm of flies buzzing around your head, flies so thick they form a black cloud. They are buzzing in your ears, your hair, and your eyes. You swat at them, but it makes no difference. This is often what overwhelm feels like. By writing (or typing) everything on a list, you get those flying, buzzing thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Consider keeping this a “living” list: continue adding to it whenever you think of things you need or want to do. Often this one act alone can calm the feeling of overwhelm. Don’t be surprised if your initial list is well over a hundred items. Once you have your list, consider grouping the tasks in categories as well.

Prioritize

What do you deeply care about? What do you want to create in the world? When you hone in on that, life gets a lot easier. With these ideas in mind, choose one thing on your list that, if completed, would make things easier, or -better yet- make other things on the list melt away. Then go do that one thing. Complete the task. Re-evaluate and choose the next thing. If choosing one thing is too daunting, try selecting two or three things at most.

The Master List

Many find it best to put the master list aside. Complete those 1, 2 or 3 important tasks and re-evaluate. Day by day progress will be made. Constantly seeing the master list may not be helpful. Consider glancing at it once a week, max. I make a monthly, weekly, and daily list of what I want to create and it has worked well for me. Start simple and notice what works for you.

A few more things to consider in reference to your master list:

  • What can you delegate?
  • Which of your tasks are out of line with what you want to create in the world?
  • What can you stop doing?
  • Can you hire people to take care of some tasks?
  • Are you allowing for self-care (sleep, exercise, quiet time to recharge, etc)?
  • Consider time-blocking.
  • Consider setting time limits. Ex: I’ll do this for 30 minutes.

The key idea to remember is: Overwhelm is not a state of being, it is a feeling. It is a signal to make a change: List, Prioritize and Re-commit.

 

…until the next revolution

 

Check out Part 2! Here we explore the effect your state of mind has on the feeling of overwhelm and your wellbeing.

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Create Luck!

Why is it that some people seem to be so lucky? Do you believe in luck… is it real?

In the spirit of St. Patrick ’s Day and the luck of the Irish I have been mulling around the idea of “luck.” Some people seem to be so lucky—they have the best experiences and are in the midst of astounding situations entirely too often. Whether or not you believe in luck, blessings, good fortune, coincidences or any other way to describe life’s fluke marvels it certainly is nice to be the recipient from time to time. What if there was a way to up your chances of being the beneficiary of luck? Well, (said in a whisper voice) it’s 100% possible…. It’s your choice to significantly up your odds at being the lucky one.

The Lucky One

While chewing over how to write this article I was lucky enough to have an astounding conversation with a friend who had a stroke a few weeks ago. Let’s call her “Lucie,” for the sake of this article and her privacy. Lucie had a severe stroke, so severe that the survival rate was 20%. Most patients who survive this type of stroke are aware of everything, but are completely paralyzed and have no way of communicating. This was what Lucie was facing. Here’s another kicker- Lucie is in her 30s, has three young children, is very active, and was in perfect health when an incident occurred that very nearly took her life.

At first glance, this appears to be a very unfortunate situation for all involved, right? In my first conversation with her since the stroke, Lucie happily declared that she was “Lucky to have the stroke.” Instantly my ears perked up and my little voice inside said: “WOW!! Buckle up kids and enjoy the ride! This conversation is going to be one for the books!”

Lucie happily shared that prior to the stroke she was stressed, felt pulled in too many directions, overworked, etc. Since the stroke, all that has changed. She is relaxed, has free time, and is enjoying her recovery while connecting with friends and family. Moreover she realized how many people are willing to step up, help out, and genuinely care. My guess is she is also grasping what a difference she makes in the lives of others. She is loving her post-stroke existence.

Two Views on Luck

There are a few ways to look at Lucie’s thought about being lucky to have a stroke. Here are two:

  1. Lucie thinks she is lucky to have the stroke, therefore she is lucky.
  2. After the stroke Lucie changed how she is being in her world, which changed her world.

Option A:

Lucie thinks she is lucky to have the stroke, therefore she is lucky. She could have been absolutely devastated while thinking thoughts like “Why did this happen to me? I don’t deserve this. My poor kids. Life sucks!” The great news is she is choosing to focus her attention on the opportunities she has. Her thoughts are encouraging her to be happy, healthy, relaxed and enjoying her relationships. She is in a wonderful space of gratefulness. This is why she feels lucky. Her life and the lives of everyone around her are fundamentally better because of her state of mind. She truly is “lucky” and that is awe-inspiring.

Option B:

After the stroke Lucie changed how she is being in her world. Faced with the alternative of death or permanent disability, Lucie’s health and wellbeing suddenly became her top priority. She realized she had to take care of herself first. If she didn’t take care of herself, there would be absolutely nothing to give. So she made the change. Lucie feels she is lucky because she thinks the stroke forced her to slow down and encouraged those around her to give her space and care for her. Suddenly her life became more relaxed which is giving her space to heal. Although, was Lucie’s change really due to the stroke?

What was the cause of the lifestyle change? The way I see it, the stroke was a defining moment and surely inspired the change, but the stroke was not the cause of the change. Lucie’s thoughts caused the change. She could have had the stroke, come home from the hospital and continued to stress and not make her health a priority. Some people may have done that, but not Lucie. Her thoughts and priorities shifted and so did the thoughts and priorities of her loved ones and those in her circle. Lucie (and everyone who knows her) wants to heal, so Lucie’s healing took precedence.

Here’s something to ponder: Could all of those changes have taken place in the absence of a defining event like a stroke?

Could Lucie and her loved ones have created that shift in thinking and made Lucie’s health and wellbeing a priority anytime? It might seem improbable, but it is possible. The same is possible for you, your loved ones, and everyone else. What are your priorities? How might we all discover a bit of wisdom in this experience? Lucie was lucky to have the stroke because she was able to change who she was being and realize her priorities. You can too… and you don’t have to wait for a massive life event to decide to change the way you are thinking and feeling.

Upping Your Odds

As luck would have it, there have been studies done on the science of luck. The findings overwhelmingly show that people who think they are lucky, are “luckier.” This scientific study on superstition showed that people who had a lucky charm, crossed their fingers or did other things they considered “lucky” performed better! Why? Because “activating a superstition boosts participants’ confidence in mastering upcoming tasks, which in turn improves performance.” The study is not saying a lucky rabbit’s foot is going to help you win. Instead this study (and many others like it) uses science to show that if you think the rabbit’s foot is helping you, it probably will. It’s your thoughts that matter… not the foot.

Professor and experimental psychologist, Richard Wiseman, has dedicated his studies and written books and articles on the psychology of luck. He has identified “four basic principles that lucky people use to create good fortune in their lives.” Here are his four principles:

#1 Maximize Chance Opportunities (create, notice, and act on good stuff)

#2 Listen to Lucky Hunches (go with your intuition and gut feelings)

#3 Expect Good Fortune (…a self-fulfilling prophecy)

#4 Turn Bad Luck to Good (there’s always a silver lining)

Notice how Richard’s four principles of luck relate: Each principle has to do with your thoughts. Also notice it is not about “positive thinking,” it’s about noticing, believing, and looking forward to great outcomes. Ultimately, we all have the innate ability to think ourselves into good fortune. When we shift our thoughts, our world shifts. In Lucie’s heart of hearts she sees the silver lining, expects things to turn out wonderfully, is going with her gut, and is noticing the opportunities all around. Even more, she is thoroughly grateful to have the chance to live an amazing life. She thinks she is lucky, therefore she is!

We Are All Lucky

We are all lucky to know “Lucie’s” story and being able to witness her strength, humility and resiliency.

Immensely upping your chances at being the lucky one and having a similar impact is well within your reach: Create opportunities; notice and act on the good stuff; go with your intuition; expect great things to happen to you; and always notice the silver lining. Do this and everyone wins.

It is 100% possible to shift your odds. It all starts with your thoughts.

Be the lucky one!

 

…until the next revolution.

 

 

Join in! Live Interactive Session on Creating Luck

Join in Monday April 12, 2017 to dive deeper into greatly increasing your odds at being lucky and creating more success in life, business, and retirement. This is an interactive session and life changing discussion facilitated by Kristy Halvorsen at The Microsoft Store- University Town Center in Sarasota, FL from 8:30-10:00am. For more details and to register for “Feeling Lucky” click here.

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On a whim, Jim and I went on an adventure.  It was unplanned, spur of the moment, and  life changing. Numerous events culminated perfectly to allow this adventure to be a possibility–some were awesome surprises and some initially appeared to be huge letdowns. We lived the definition of “coddiwomple” in our camper for 26 days.  Below is a collection of a few of the experiences, insights and life-changing thoughts that showed up along the journey. For each idea, there is an explanation, an invitation to apply the thought, and inquiries to bring about your own awareness. Enjoy!

Grab the chance!  Go!

Do it! Whatever “it” is, give it a shot.  This amazing adventure was an “it” for me. Sure, there were countless thoughts centered around why we shouldn’t go or why it would be better if we waited. The timing isn’t perfect. We’ve got other things we need to do. It’s going to cost too much. We don’t have a plan, etc. We went, the experience was more amazing than we could have imagined, and it all worked out better than we could have planned. In life, career, business, retirement, or anything else: Grab the chance and go.

Thought: Hopes and dreams are much easier to achieve than most think; it’s all the thinking that gets in the way. Grab the chance and go!

Experience: If you wait, chances are it may not get any easier, something else will get in the way, and you will wonder why you waited. Whatever “it” is, give it a shot. What is an “it” for you? What if you went for “it” by pointing yourself in a direction, taking the first step, and figuring it out from there?

Take in the beauty ALL around!

What would happen if you purposefully took the time to appreciate the beauty all around you? During the big adventure, I settled down, opened my awareness, and was able to take in splendor that I normally would have missed. For example: In the stillness of a canyon, just before sunset, I heard birds fly. It was amazing. Flocks of birds one after the other flew by; I heard the air rhythmically rush around their wings and their tiny bodies. It was so beautiful and piercing;  I wanted to stay and listen for hours in this “special spot,” where flight was music to my ears.  Ever since that experience, I notice that I can hear birds fly everywhere. I didn’t noticed it before but, now I am aware.

Thought: You can experience beauty and brilliance everywhere.

Experience: No matter where you may be, there is magnificence everywhere, all the time. The more you look for it, the more there will be. What are you noticing?

Be present, feel connected, and come alive.

Close up of the rock’s surface

One of my most profound moments came on a guided hike in Seminole Canyon State Park, in South Texas. We hiked up the canyon from the riverbed, into a huge cave in the canyon wall; it had been carved away by the rushing river over thousands of years. This cave had been the home to a tribe of Native Americans. There was ancient wall art, carvings, and artifacts (in addition to stunning views of the river below).

Inside the cave was a massive shiny rock that literally shook me. The rock was waist/chest high and so wide I could only reach halfway across it. The top surface was smooth like glass and had a slick, oily feel. It was smooth and oily because it had been doused with animal fat for hundreds of years. It was used as a cutting board and place of ceremony by Native Americans thousands of years ago. Since then, hikers have continued to touch the silky rock and the oils from our hands keeps it shiny.

I placed my hands on that rock and thought about all the people that stood right where I was. Standing and touching that rock, right where I was touching it; going back thousands of years, before there was electricity, buildings, or recorded history! While feeling the silky solidness of that rock and imagining all the people that had done the same, something inside lit up. It was energy of unity. I felt extraordinarily connected with all the people that were there before me. The feeling was amazing and something I will never forget.

Thought: Being present and connected is a gift you can give yourself anytime.

Seminole Canyon

In Seminole Canyon, the cave where Native Americans lived is just above my left shoulder

Experience: I am realizing more and more, no rock is needed to feel that alive and united… I just smiled typing that 🙂 How might you feel more connected?

No master plan- No problem!Adventure- Hiking to the Rio Grand

Just a month prior to our amazing expedition, the thought of taking the trip had not even surfaced yet. We decided to go the week before we left. When we pulled into a location to set up camp, we never knew where we would go next. Overall, we knew the general direction we wanted to head, but kept our options open. We usually planned our next location during down time of the day before.

Thought: Keeping things relaxed and flexible opens up opportunities.

Experience: Apply this idea to the adventure of life. How about pointing yourself in a direction and going with the flow? What if you grab the chance, make a move, have some fun and then say “What is next?” In what areas of your life might you benefit from applying a similar idea?

Listen to your heart and choose to lead.

We went for a hike at McKinny Falls State Park but couldn’t find the trail. We searched up and down the river before I realized the trail continued ACROSS the river. How the heck do we get over there? The river was wide and deep.  40-50 people were enjoying their day on our side of the river and not a soul could be seen on the other side. We checked the map- no roads drive to the other side and no walking bridge either. Heavy rainfall had engorged the river and covered the trail crossing. So, I decided we should ford the rushing water and regain our hike on the other side! The best place to do it was just upstream of the waterfall which was also where one slip would send us over the 20 foot drop. “Let’s do it!” I said. The water was freezing! We went for it and made it. Crossing the river was fun and allowed us to enjoy an entire network of trails on the other side. After we made it across, many others followed.

Thought: Sometimes hanging with the status quo might have you missing out on the best part of your hike. Take the chance and enjoy the experience!

Experience: When you choose the path less traveled, the possibilities are endless and others may be inspired to do the same! Where do you do this currently? How might you expand that?

You need much less than you think.

Camping on a deserted beach on Padre Island

Camping on a deserted beach on Padre Island

Most North Americans live in a perpetual state of too much stuff. I thought I packed very minimally, but I only wore about a third of the clothes I brought. We didn’t touch many of the tools, toys, and other extras either. Sure, there were times when we wish we would have brought a certain item, but we made do just fine without it.

Thought: Simplicity brings ease and breeds creativity.

Experience: Imagine the difference in your home, office, camper, etc., if you had all you needed and nothing more. Think of a simple way to start. What comes to mind?

 

Consider taking one (or more) of these ideas and putting it into practice this week. Notice your thoughts, how you feel, and any changes that transpire.

  • Grab the chance and go!
  • Take in the beauty ALL around!
  • Be present, feel connected, and come alive.
  • No master plan- No problem!
  • Listen to your heart and choose to lead!
  • You need much less than you think.

What are your thoughts and experiences? What was your last adventure and what made it special? Share in the comments below!

 

Until the next revolution….

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