My third and final BE Mantra for 2017 is BE Adventurous…
I moved to Denver from New York City a little over three years ago, and one of the main reasons I left a city that I love so much was because I felt that I needed to simplify my life. Life started to feel difficult in New York, when before it always felt like an adventure being lived out in my daily encounters and experiences. I wondered what would be, if I freed up the energy I used just in the day-to-day life of being a New Yorker. What would I be able to do with that energy, if it wasn’t being used to navigate what it takes to live in a city with 8+ million people?
Denver welcomed me with gentle and gracious arms. I discovered just how much I needed to decompress and reconnect to my being. But, three years in and I have come to realize that I am now on the other side of the spectrum. I have become too comfortable and have found that this has resulted in a lack of inspiration and motivation. Where in New York you could just walk out your door and encounter a new type of experience or person, Denver requires that you seek it out – it does not just fall in your lap in the way it does in New York. In reflecting on this for the coming year, I realized that I needed to bring adventure and risk back into my life. My creativity and soul is thirsty for it.
I adore this quote from Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, and it exemplifies my feelings at the moment:
I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty…We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Reading this quote, I realize just how much I have fallen into my day-to-day life being more about monotonous comfort than about adventure. And it is impacting my being. So, I have decided that along with keeping feminism and collaboration at the center of 2017 – adventure has to be in there as well. It is time to shake things up and step outside of my comfort zone. Not necessarily in a big huge way, but in my every day decisions. If I am feeling like something is a tinge bit scary – then my answer to doing it has to be YES.
I need to move way from security and move toward risk.
I need to challenge my established comforts and shake them out of me so that I am reawakened.
I need to seek out things that feel a bit different, and therefore scary, so that I can grow and spark more curiosity.
And this is true for both my personal and professional life – because one impacts the other, and I cannot also hide in the comforts of solely focusing on my work. It’s our ruts that can make us feel stuck – but we have the power to change that. We created the ruts, so we can get ourselves out of them. This might entail something huge like a move to another city, but it also can be as simple as putting yourself out there before you feel ready or going to a new event all by yourself. It is about seeing your life as an exciting experiment where you try out new ideas and methods as a way of solving a problem. It is about seeing it more as a wondrous opportunity to learn and grow then a scary change that could turn into a disaster.
So, throughout 2017 I am committed to trying to tackle my problems and day-to-day life with a sense of adventure.
Be willing to take risks
Be seeking out new ideas and experiences.
Be looking for more excitement and less comfort.