Some of us, don’t seem to be scared of anything. Adventurers, explorers, born without the “fear factor” gene. And so, fearless, we seek impossible challenges in life, and chase those dreams in hot air balloons with honest and very sincere intentions. You know these individuals; their spirit, their readiness to take on a seemingly impossible risk or dare. They push all boundaries of possibility and scoff at failure. I myself can only suspect that they have no choice but to live this way. Being courageous is in their blood. They are the visionaries, the daredevils. Like Steppenwolf sings, they are “born to be wild.”
Not all of us have the streak of adventure and feel the need for that adrenaline rush. However, living life on the edge has some merit. It’s all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Trying new things. My lovely readers, not to sound like canned spam, but we all need to add a little zip line to our daily lives. Do something every day that scares you, even if it is simply looking in the mirror and facing your perfectly flawed self. We all need to step out of our comfort zones and shake things up a bit. It’s what make life interesting. It makes good memories and great stories. Shake it up a little. Do something that shocks you. There are no rules for adventure. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You are a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional being, and so is your life.
Adventure can be found in our humdrum, boring lives. Really. Honest. It’s not about the big stuff. It appears in tiny bursts throughout the day. Try to remove the idea of limits from your mind’s vocabulary. Free your mind. Let’s all do something that scares us, every day. Talk to that woman in front of you on line. Try a new type of food. How about a new class at the gym? I even tried yoga. Wow, that was a boring adventure, but I survived. The kickboxing was definitely more adventurous. And it was scary. I’m a small human with very little upper body strength. But I loved the rush. Be bold, wear what you want even if it doesn’t fit the norm. Hell, my Doc Martens still get plenty of wear. Be bold and unconcerned. Stay a little scared. It helps you keep the edge and feels exhilarating at the end of the day.
My biggest adventure? All the little ones. One of my favorite memories is from a weekend long ago in the 1990’s. My roommate and friend, Carrie, decided we should go for a hike. Now this was a normal activity for us, after all, we lived in the Adirondack Mountains. I was really not into it, having been out waaaay too late, but she promised me a great sunrise if I moved my blooming arse. Unconvinced, but not wanting to hear her whine and beg, I got ready. Pocomoonshine was splendid at the moment before dawn, when we arrived. We started up the trail, but halfway up the first section, we sat on an outcropping for coffee (yes, even at high altitudes, this chicklet needs her morning beans☕️.) My slowly awakening eyes beheld the most beautiful sunrise over the Saranac Lake. We ate some GORP, and continued on. Wow, it was strenuous, more so than usual. When we finally broke through the trees and onto the alternate path (it’s better if you don’t ask) we looked behind us. Somehow, without the right gear or shoes, we scaled the rock face. We had lost the trail and by some miracle survived. Guess what? One of the most exhilarating moments of my life.
So now you, and me. Time to start saying yes. We all need, my lovelies, to begin saying yes to all those things outside our normal scope of life. I’ve done some pretty amazing things by saying yes, and I bet you have as well. I have hiked and toured out of the way hidden gems in foreign countries, I have Velcro Wall Jumped, I went hang gliding, though we were stopped mid-session for another glider who had landed in a tree. It’s all about saying yes when you are absolutely, positively scared witless.
Learn to say yes, my friends, when you are terrified. Be strong and push yourself. Soak up all that energy, apprehension and the amazing feeling when you’ve surpassed your limits. Life is rarely comfortable and seldom easy, but pushing yourself and propelling yourself through those scary times is how you get moments of wonder and memories of a lifetime. It’s how you catch yourself in that moment of glory, asking your inner self, “How is this my life? When did I get to be so lucky?”
OK. Now there are some rules. I do not condone life threatening activities that are beyond the realm of sanity. No tightrope walking between tall buildings with no net. Do not go scuba diving in shark infested waters without a cage, even if Jacques Cousteau himself rises from the dead to guide you. But do start to spice things up. How you ask me? Well start small. You are a daredevil, you just haven’t realized it yet.
Let’s begin with your comfort zone. Leave it. Physically. Mentally. Once we start something that we were scared of, it’s amazing how fast the blocks in your mind come crashing down. Once you surprise yourself by daring yourself to do something uncomfortable and different, the exhilarating rush is indescribable. It puts you on a mental high that feels like nothing else on earth. It leaves you feeling self satisfied and somewhat elated. I feel this way every time I pen a post or an article. And if I am published…WOW! But it’s frightening, as it should be.
On this note, now that you’re already uncomfortable, (sorry, but I had to do it) do something out of your element. Something you’ve never done before. Have a drink, and then sing karaoke. Even if you are tone deaf, like me, it’s a fun night out with the girls. Laughter is one of those happy hormones. And, you’ve been adventurous! Maybe, you just need to learn to try things on your own. If you want to hike or take a paddle boarding class, do it! Begin slowly. Don’t wait for that friend who is always saying she’d love to but .. (Fill in the blank here my loves.) Push yourself once a month, then more often. You will find yourself pushing, expanding and being braver, bolder and more adventurous every day.
So my sweet friends, a few tips in anticipation of your new adventurous spirit. Prepare yourself. Prepare your soul, the deepest, most terrified part of your soul. Be open. Every adventure should be embarked upon with an open heart and mind. Also, be receptive to all the new experiences and feeling. Even sheer terror. Oh, and flexibility. All adventures have the potential for something to go off course. Change is about the only constant, so you will definitely need to learn to adjust. Next, be a bit reflective. Think of the all the challenges, the triumphant endings, and everything else mushed up in between. Feel grateful for friends, strangers and the lifetime of memories you create for yourself.
So go on now. Say yes even when your automatic response is to say no. Go on, get out there, do it now! Living an adventurous life doesn’t mean you have to get on a plane to deepest, darkest Peru tomorrow. It is rarely that exciting. Living adventurously is actually in your head. It is the mindset that allows you to toss out those tight, restrictive limits you placed on yourself. If you believe anything is possible, then you are already beginning to be adventurous. Adventure takes great courage. But if you find yourself afraid, nervous or holding yourself back, just take a deep breath and keep going. I promise (I think) that you have an inner strength which will allow you to be brave. Learn to live in the moment. Put away the phone and tablet. Don’t look at your emails. Don’t stress. Be mindful (yeah, you knew I’d sneak that in somewhere!😃). And if you feel the need to get to that exotic island somewhere in the South Pacific? Well, as long as you want it, and decide to get there, someday, somehow, you will.
And now dear readers, I leave you for my adventure. Oh, and by all means, tell me, how do you live adventurously?
Stay motivated and caffeinated. 😉☕️