Let’s start off in one of my favorite ways and look at the dictionary definition of Adventure. M-w.com says: 1. an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks; 2. an exciting or remarkable experience.
I love adventure. In the past, I’ve loved big ones – like moving to different countries, re-inventing myself and my life in new places, starting new careers. I may still like those very external type of adventures.They certainly taught me a lot – about others, about life in general and about myself.
I also love the internal type of Adventure – the kind that stretch me in ways I never knew were possible. Internal adventures means looking at the foundations of your life – things like Trust, Love, Money, Creativity, Purpose… Yeah, just minor things like that.
Delving into these types of topics can certainly involve danger and unknown risks. It’s disconcerting to evaluate things like money or love or trust and realize you want to re-write what you always thought to be true. It can feel lonely and dis-orienting at first.
Recently a client of mine went on an Internal Adventure when she re-wrote what ‘support’ means to her. She is a caring, thoughtful, warm, supportive person and she values friends and family immensely. In the past, her formula of support meant that when someone needed help, she pretty much dropped everything (including herself). Wrapped into this support, was also concern and anxiety. This often consumed her and wore her out. Somehow, she had believed that giving support meant automatically that she needed to be concerned for them and worry that things would work out and that they moved into the priority position.
Once she embarked on the adventure of redefining support, she realized 1) that support at the expense of herself wasn’t really support and 2) support does not need to include anxiety & worry since neither of the latter helps anyone. With this clarity in place, the type of ‘support’ she gave changed. At first, this felt odd for her because it was almost like people wouldn’t need her in the way she was used to. Slowly, though, this shifted. She realized how her support now fueled her because it was grounded in a ‘cleaner’ energy – there was no worry or anxiety. When she let go of the old definition she couldn’t see what the new way would feel like, so it did feel a bit dangerous and unknown. However, as the new definition settled in she was able to see the difference it made to her and others.
Whether internal or external, Adventures get us out of our routine. They allow us to stretch, learn, grow and play. They invite us to connect with an inner call for something exciting, new and different – something that will allow us to be more of who we are.
Adventure asks us to lean into it. When we feel that scary unknown, it can be tempting to put the brakes on. Doubts come up and if we let them, they might take over. Instead, the invitation here is to lean into the unknown – in awe, wonder and curiosity. When we do this, we are opening up the doors to a remarkable experience – just as the definition above tells us – and to things we never even knew were possible.
What’s calling you? What adventure will you explore this week? Feel free to comment, ask a question and/or share a thought in the Reply box below.