Adventure is when you don’t know what is going to happen next. Life is uncertain, full of surprises, and we never know what’s around the corner.
So, life is one big adventure, right?
Why does it not feel like that all the time?
Why do we sometimes feel that our daily lives are packed with monotonous “to do” lists, obligations, “the same old, same old,” and not enough play?
And those “adventure-like” surprises aren’t always what we want, are they?
I put pressure on myself quite often and forget to just enjoy the daily ride of life and it’s natural vicissitudes. I have frequently struggled balancing adventure and play with growing up and being responsible (my mother’s voice in my head, telling me to “get a real job”).
I began working in the outdoor leadership and experiential education space twenty-three years ago. While my family didn’t understand the life-changing work I was doing (with individuals and groups from sexual assault and military trauma survivors to senior management and VP’s of Fortune 500 companies), I knew the work was having a positive impact. From stuck to success, angry to inspired, and unhappily married to single and thriving, the life-affirming stories I’ve had the privilege to witness over the past quarter of a century continue to inspire my work today.
The acceptance of life’s uncertainties so positively transformed my life, I wanted to incorporate the therapeutic use of adventure and intentional travel to serve and impact others for good.
My offering (a blend of Adventure Therapy, Personal Discovery Coaching, and Guiding Sacred Vision) is most powerful in the immersion and group setting. As I prepare to lead another wellness adventure retreat this March, I look forward not only to the fun we will have and the laughs we will share, but the sparks that will ignite transformation. The specific goals of the individuals vary, yet the shared vision of our retreats is always some version of “to experience my authentic self, seek adventure and create a vision for my life in a supportive setting.”
You’ve got to be on board with this vision to play our way! We are equal. We all deserve respect. We all deserve the space to face new beginnings, scary adventures, and evolutionary partnerships. From CEOs, nonprofit leaders, and solo-preneurs; to single ladies, married mamas, single mamas, and everyone in between, our common ground is a love for nature, our selves, each other, and new experiences.
Adventures are opportunities for expansion, growth and self-discovery, specifically if the experience is framed and guided in an empowering way. Being prepared to handle unexpected or unwelcome challenges and struggles is an art form that requires a well and fit mindset.
Cue the adage: attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. It’s a good thing mindset is something we can cultivate and practice as we navigate life’s uncertainties.
I consider our adventure retreats a really awesome playground for “practicing life,” both a metaphor and blueprint for kicking more ass in our day to day. Not only do we practice yoga and cultivate other skills and strengths, like working out, paddleboarding, swimming with enormous sea creatures (whale sharks and playful seal lion pups!), some will learn to kitesurf or meditate for the first time on our retreats.
The magic of these practices is the meaning we make during and after. Our work is the embodiment of the learning and how we apply new insights to our lives.
Do we stand rigid and hunched over on the paddleboard or will we bend our knees, engage our core and flow with the rhythm of the water below us, and therefore life all around us? Do we freak out when we jump in the cold water and start to hyperventilate and scream, “I can’t breathe, get me out?” Or are we willing to be guided to a different experience?
Yes, this happened. One woman had never snorkeled before, and she was skeptical that the little plastic tube bulging at her lips would allow her to suck in air from above. Plus the open bay water was colder than she expected. Already struggling with anxiety and self-doubt, she immediately went to, “this is wrong. I feel bad. This is dangerous. I can’t breathe. Get me OUT!” She wouldn’t even put her face in the water to see the incredible marvel of a twenty-five-foot Whale Shark peacefully drifting below her.
I had seconds to support her embodying a different experience as she splashed and lurched towards the boat’s ladder. I reminded her that indeed, she was still breathing, that her body would forget the cold water once she opened her eyes to the magic below, and that yes, she was floating, held in the community of support, and I’d be right next to her. I wasn’t going to force her, but I was hoping to make a quick and compelling argument for her to stay long enough to be transformed from her limited mindset and transfixed by nature’s gifts.
The physical experience of anxiety and stress can feel identical to excitement and bliss: racing heart, rapid breath, lack of focus. I reminded her that there might be a possibility to be excited by all the newness instead of the fear/flight default mindset triggered by these physical sensations.
With the support of two of us beside her, she stayed in the water longer than anyone else. She got back on the boat with a smile from ear-to-ear and nonstop giggling, bubbly joy, and open-hearted conversation the rest of the day.
This is more than a motivational moment. It’s an embodied experience. She perceived fear, but choose to move through it, with the intention of growth and expansion.
The next step was connecting the dots of her powerful choice in this moment… to committing to a broader, more expanded version of herself and what is possible for her life. From swimming in open water, to yoga on a paddleboard, to intimate sharing in front of a group, this woman experienced many firsts on that journey. Most importantly, she experienced the willingness to be led by others to a greatness she didn’t know she possessed.
This power of adventure and sisterhood, of experiencing ourselves in new ways, through challenging activities and different landscapes, allows us to clear the pathway for humble self-discovery and new possibilities.
We will never go back to small, safe, and business-as-usual.
I hope you’ll join us if you want an immediate and powerfully positive (and lasting) impact on your life.
Yes, you are going to have a meaningful, empowering and super fun experience.
Yes, you will also be challenged emotionally and physically.
AND…absolutely, you will go home with clarity, vision and a plan to implement change and consistent, restorative retreat and wild adventure in your daily life.
Join Wellfit Women’s upcoming retreat:
La Ventana, Baja California Sur, Mexico
March 1-6, 2018
EMERGING WOMEN receive $200 OFF
OR Customize* your group adventure to one of our locations in Costa Rica, Baja, Mexico, Peru, Croatia and Greece
*Custom groups can include families and all genders