I’m not someone who appreciates the idea of going on a cruise. I understand that some folks love the idea of being on a fully organized trip, with a structured itinerary set up by someone else. Arriving to a floating hotel, where you’re greeted like a special guest, where there’s one of a hundred suites awaiting you, coupled with a myriad of on-board options that are like choices from a dinner menu. Meals are timed and choreographed like a great ballet to make sure you are seated, fed and entertained like clockwork. And, for the adventurous, a select number of pre-planned options are available to explore outside the cocoon of a hull when in port for a layover. It is comforting, predictable, safe, secure, and not for me.
Some of my favorite signs include: PROCEED WITH CAUTION, NO SUPPORT SERVICES BEYOND THIS POINT, WILDERNESS BOUNDARY (AKA “You’re on your own from here”).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a danger-monger, I’m actually a pretty safety conscious person. But I’ve noticed something astounding when I’m “Beyond Help”: I feel alive, I stop looking for others to answer my questions and look to myself to provide what I need. And, I experience personal powerful.
It’s like coloring outside the lines, adult-style. When the structure and rules you expect no longer apply, it’s a wake-up call. When 9-1-1, “expert advice,” “industry standard”, “what others are doing” or “conventional wisdom” are no longer there for you, things change quickly. All of a sudden, it’s all ON YOU, because it’s all UP TO YOU. And that can be either scary or the most freeing experience ever. And here, YOU get to choose how you see it.
What will you do from here? Stay on the trail? Scout a route through the woods using only a compass? Follow the game trail left by the deer? Blow off the day’s itinerary to stop and hang out by a gorgeous lake? Double your pace and mileage for the day to get to lower altitude in advance of an approaching storm? When you drop the myth of predictability and “safety” an amazing thing happens. Current circumstances, conditions and facts become clear. Now there’s choice, real choice.
I suggest that you start by having a good laugh, dance a quick jig, or sing a silly pop song. Life’s serious enough. True choice, freedom and power come from living an intentional life where “you are all you have, and you are all you need.” (copyright, I’m sure, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks).
Let’s FLEX that muscle this week. What condition, circumstance or fact is no longer tolerable, and what will you do to shift that this week?
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