The word ‘expedition’ came out of my mouth the other day as I was explaining to a friend that I am attending wilderness first responder training.
I didn’t even really know quite what the word meant, but as soon as I said it, it filled me with energy and made my heart flutter. I looked up the word later and found this definition: a journey or voyage undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose, especially that of exploration, scientific research, or war:
As I pack for my first weekend of training, I’ve realized a few things:
I love the cold. It’s not that I don’t love summer and spending time in warm climates, but there is something so energizing about the cold. It doesn't matter how cold it gets here, I want to feel it and be outside. Maybe it’s related to being born in February near the Canadian Rockies. And the right gear makes ALL the difference.
My ideal wardrobe would fit into a small backpack (other than jackets and footwear) - all high quality, technical layers, and the smallest range of options so I don’t have to think about what I’m wearing. I used to live like that many years ago when I traveled extensively, and feel like I’m returning back to those ways again. I got rid of a lot of stuff in my last move, but not enough!
Although I am still so happy I have a book to write, what’s interesting is that I used to think it was ‘it’.. It was ‘the thing’ I was meant to do… I’m now realizing that there is no particular thing that will be the be all, end all of our happiness.. It’s about the unfolding journey, the recognition of what makes our hearts flutter, what makes them tight, and learning how to put aside our fears in order to honor what really lights us up. I’m learning that what really lights me up is relationship - the concept, the challenges, how they push us outside of our familiar patterns, the experience of deep connection. Honoring and feeling immense appreciation, adoration, admiration for people who light up my life and have helped me discover my own strength and my own desire to love as deeply and fully as I possibly can in this lifetime. Because that is what really matters at the end of the day.
I used to have a dream of being on a giant TED-like stage, speaking to thousands of people. My dream now is a tiny stage - maybe in front of a campfire, with only a few people - their eyes are shining, faces glowing - and I’m there with my partner, who sees the world the way I do and who fortifies my sense of being on this planet at the right time and in the right place for what will fulfill my soul. It used to be about me… and now there is something so much bigger at play. ‘Me’ in that sense is subordinate to whatever this expedition is. I have no desire now to put ‘me’ in front of ‘us’. I want it to always be about ‘us’. Whatever this is that has allowed me to see life in this new way, it humbles me and I love it more than anything I could've dreamed of.
Each day, I am continuously feeling stronger in my ability to choose love and generosity over my personal fears and insecurities. I don't think I even really knew that I wasn’t doing that before. And there is still work to do. But being able to notice when I am in a state of mind-induced fear and choosing an alternate path is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. It’s what I wish for so many of us. It makes it so that we act and move and speak from love, generosity - not to extract value or validation or approval from someone, not because we think we'll get something out of them - but because it feels the most natural and liberating to align with whatever this force is that has us all on this journey together.
"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray."
With Love From Me to You
#resilience #mindset #neuroscience #heartbrainconnection #community #team #familyunit #powerpartnership #mission #purpose #endurance #warriorsheart #behindthescenes #offscreens #longtermvision #love #love #love #unity #unifiedpurpose #cometogether #humanpotential #genx #awakening #unraveling #crisis #passingdownwisdom #futuregenerations
On a side note...
I still need to upgrade a lot of my gear, but this is a start. One thing for sure is back-up communication, so I am putting satellite communication on my list. I also need a backpack that’s sturdier and better organized, as well as a ferro rod that’s easier to grip, especially in winter - Fieldcraft Survival has one of these as well as other gear that will be useful for me to add. They have a winter survival course coming up Feb 18-19 as well! If I was able to make that one, I definitely would - and recommend any of you who want to challenge yourself with something new to check it out.
Ironically, since I was in college, my nickname was ‘turtle’ because I was always carrying a backpack with lots of essentials - food, water, layers of clothing, etc. Don’t know where I got that habit, but I still do it! Another nickname I had was ‘the bookmark’. Whenever people get interrupted, I always remember the last thing they were saying so that when the interruption is over, I can help them jog their memory and get back to what they had wanted to say. (there’s a story behind that but I’ll leave that for another time).
I’m going to keep repeating this because I think it’s so important: I truly believe that the mental health of society and especially younger generations would improve drastically if more of us went outside, challenged ourselves and pushed ourselves physically, mentally and socially - in the context of learning-oriented, open-minded groups and communities, and skills that serve a function for better living, higher levels of resourcefulness and strategic long-term thinking and foresight. All of these are what contribute to higher order brain features that I think are becoming atrophied in some ways by current society, and in particular by the dopamine-driven short-term gratification traps that flood our senses.
My first brazilian jiu-jitsu class is tonight! I am really really excited about it. I know it will be a very long and steep learning process, but the power of understanding leverage and the kind of focus that’s needed for it are things I’m excited to learn (even if it’s incremental).
My next post might not be until Monday since I'll be in training.. if I can get something short in before that, I will!
"The common man makes demands on others.
The noble man makes demands on himself."
-Shi Heng Yi