Lots of us want to be more liftable to adventure, less dense and stuck in patterns of who we’ve already been and don’t want to be anymore. I wager that we can use adventure to greet our new inner shores by kissing new outer ones.
0. Initially, and because your vibrational familiarity is with who you have been being (who is infected with what Rumi calls “fake adult dignity” and gives automatic no’s to most things and isn’t all that thrilled, honestly, and probably has a bet little addiction you think you would rather indulge in privately, even though your true self would really freaking would not) so, you’ll just have to do some ground hurling; it’s a little a lot like the advice for how one might learn to fly in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, meaning,
“You must learn how to throw yourself at the ground, and miss. Pick a nice day and try it. The first part is easy.”
Don’t let your first set of bruises make you forget that you are trying to fly. When I biked to the top of Mt. Mitchell on a whim the first hour made me convinced that all the muscles in my body had been replaced by overcooked spaghetti that had sat in water overnight and was disintegrating. When I arrived at the top I was resplendently grateful I had somehow managed to remember the point is to remember how to fly.
1. In the movie Spanglish, the dad character played by Adam Sandler gently wakes up his kid with, “good morning. It’s not time to wake up. It’s not even time to think about waking up, but it’s time to think about thinking about it.” Pause for effect. “Are you thinking about it?”
You are the Adam Sandler dad character. Tiptoe on into your psyche-lair. Find your sleeping sloth teenager True Fascination and gently whisper to her that it might be time to start thinkin’ about waking up.
Now tip toe back out. Don’t be a pushy parent.
2. Stop cleaning and tidying e’rr thing.
And by this I mean YOU CAN HAVE A CLEAN HOUSE AND A THRIVING adventurous thrilling life. But if you haven’t worked on believing that, then it’s like that you’re spending a fair amount of time in what you are familiar with and quite good at, cleaning. The momentum of this is seductive and unclean houses are unpleasant to almost everyone, so it’s easy to forget to nurture the baby momemtums of Listening to maybe quiet feeling urges to Go Giantly Play in some true fascination or say yes to a dare.
Help yourself by pausing to imagine yourself feeling buzzy and fun and warm about someone (especially you) daring you to do something and you saying yes and it being fucking fantastic and you walking out of that experience sparkly with Essential you-ness.
Also helpful: get friendly with primordial ooze. It is on the chaotic edges of the oceans where the vast majority of sea life teems, writhes and frothily abides. Don’t clean up what doesn’t want cleaning. Don’t unduly or prematurely tidy or you’ll become allergic to the chaos necessary to adventure.
Abraham asked a woman who was struggling over the mess in her house, “when is your house actually clean?” She replied. “When I’m all alone, when no one is there.” And she realized that the mess that she was so bothered by was actually the beautiful mess of a creative life in progress. Once she made peace with that, she could develop systems to keep her home clean without being emotionally triggered by the delicious primordial ooze of the creative process.
And, all honest lives are creative expressions of pure life force energy. As such, they require whatever the essential artist requires of her inner and outer studio: wild spaces, quiet places, and hidden aces. To keep her in inevitable proximity to the essential vitality.
3. Tigger the shit out of the impossibility by just enjoying something challenging as an adventure. This will elevate your perspective on it enough to keep you awake about what’s really going on and the experience will carry you Deep into yourself, and deep into the heart of the universe. An adventure is a direct encounter with your personal threshold in an area of your life in manner that allows you to explore and even push out that edge a little.
You can use the energy and details of that impossibility like a navigational star chart. The difficulty, impossible situations, and primordial oozes all bring a laser focus to the exact place you need to activate a better quality of attention.
At such an impasse you have to tune in about 200 clicks to be able to discern or invent a way around. You may find yourself stranded and have to dig very deep for sleeping and forgotten resources and skills and capacities. This is the moment when you may realize you are on an adventure and that you don’t want to call for help. You actually want to Be the help.
4. Which brings me to my next bit, kick the stool out from under you. Or as Cortez and Alexander the Great did, burn your damn boats.
Here’s an example: while on the Travel By Yes mission, my friend asked if I wanted to bike to a cafe 5 miles away. We were traveling with 13 people in 3 large rigs, with little time for personal exploration. At the time, I had biked in over a decade. At all. I had a bunch of beliefs about why I wasn’t biker and didn’t like it. But my desire to be free was slightly louder than the voices telling me I couldn’t bike. So, in saying yes to the tiny tip of the iceberg of adventure that I could see (five miles downhill, no biggie!) I had no idea that the 26 mile bike ride up and down Vermont mountains would askn nay, require that I continually up and expand my yes to keep up with the bigness of the adventure as it carried me deeper, further than I’d ever been before.
I can still feel the exhilaration and raw life force hoo ha of pulling out onto the open road for the first time.
And when I tuned in, I realized something neat and unexpected, my legs actually liked it. I mean, they REALLY liked what they were doing. The precious burning, the all in fucking going for it, like a corvette that’s been unused in a garage for a year just wants to rip it all the way out on the highway.
I also discovered that laziness was thinking was an absolute no go. The second I started thinking negatively, I started to lose steam whatever steam I had, immediately. This became increasingly important as the miles unfolded and I had long since completely drained whatever known batteries in my legs, and started operating on god knows what stuff. I was approaching the part of an adventure that gives the word adventure its street cred.
Do you know the part? If you’ve read this far, maybe you do. Maybe you’ve been ushered into an exquisite new corner of the secret garden of yourself on the wings of an adventure. I’m talking about the part of an adventure that steadily holds you over some chasm that you’ve been backing away from in your normal waking life, and here, now, in this heightened state you are suddenly in a situation where it’s inevitable that you are going to make it across, mostly becasue you have no other choice (I cannot emphasize the burning your boat thing enough, burn, baby, burn).
And so, with trembly legs and wobbly emotional swings like a bipolar rhino in heat and on angel dust, I had to find that part of me that I hadn’t seen in awhile, that secret sixth gear.
Those last “five” miles I rode in my newly rediscovered sixth gear. It felt like suddenly becoming photosynthetic. Here’s where the game of me using language to carry you the reader along falls apart. To say I was exhilirated and beyond my own yen is tiny. To say I was seeing as God sees, tasting everything, tasting the music of the wind and feeling how lusty and wild the sun is, pales in comparison with the fullness of that unforgivably alive state.
(Yeah I’m talking about how All-In, inevitable Burn Your Fucking Boats adventures fling you into the optimal state of being known as Flow, but I wanted to be a little complicated and storytelly so maybe you’d feel and not try to know it so much, and maybe even glean a taste for the possibility of it, maybe even remember a little of the essential lust to be all the way alive. Which is the beginning of every endeavor worth its salt.)
4. Bare the stark and haunting sudden wallop of loneliness and freezing isolation that comes when you disengage from the steady warm drizzle of distracting yourself, rather than engaging your life.
And by this I very much mean: I dare you to leave your fucking phone at home. And do your human life a favor by remembering that the things you did in order to NOT follow the innate call to adventure well and fully with your life, will likely NOT go softly into that dark night and you just have to be firm with yourself as your familiarity with being entertained and hand fed experience fades away, and your willingness to become familiar with what it feels like to actually hear a true urge. It doesn’t come on logic channels so we have lost the skill of hearing, translating or properly acting on them and yet they are often the very ways in which our deeper selves are wooing us back into the Aliveness.
5. Expand and enliven your adventure repertoire. An adventure is determined by the state of being of the participants, not by the action. Last night, dancing on my roof and then painting translated dreams onto people’s arms and backs was not an adventure for me, but a pleasantry. I do it all the time. It was vivifying and delightful, but took me nowhere near my personal edge.
It’s more of an adventure for me to sit through a conversation with a lover and not run away even though I’m saying what’s really true for me and that terrifies me and makes my legs wobbly and knees nauseous. I know it’s an adventure because tho 99% of me wants to call a lifeline in to haul me out of the jungle, one very important percentage of me wants to break through into the secret sixth gear. Every lover has a secret sixth gear! What a fucking thot!
6. Explosive shit ass day got you down? Great! Use all that nutrient rich emotional volatility to launch yourself off on a really fucking great adventure. Next time you get into a tangle or a fuzzle and don’t know what to do with yourself, just walk out the door. Just how you are. Keep walking. Make up the rules that feel right to your as you go. They’re the right ones for right now.
May your fuss be a mighty wind to launch you into Mighty Adventuring. Don’t Netflix it away when you could use that magnificent and unresolved passion to blow your sails straight back. Home. Back home, baby HOME.
7. Hang the fuck ON! When your soul is calling you towards adventure, the Universe responds, powerfully.
Adventures that feel so bright and right, feel so, because they are so.
Adventures concierge you into little known parts of yourself, make the connections, and help you really get to know the city of your secret sixth gear self. But you’ve got to participate by staying focused on the game at hand, tending your thoughts, renewing your yes as it deepens and leaning into the fun in your own unique way.
8. Keep your ear to the ground (you’re always listening for buffalos).
Depending on the nature of the adventure, your primary mode of moving through the adventure may depend entirely on your own fascination; in any given situation, there is always something a little more glowinger than other options.
That’s the right way. And the more woke up and dressed for success your own fascination is, the quicker you’ll be able to identify the glowingest bit and take timely action to engage it delectably and in your own tender perfect you way.
9. Become fluent in the language of Heart of Adventure. It’s in the options for languages on the app Duo Lingo. Just kidding. Just kidding about being just kidding, how do I know? It probably is and I didn’t have the gender-free balls to expect it or go looking for it.
Beyond issues of GF balls and language acquisition, you’ve got to remember that your heart of adventure speaks a unique language as rare and endangered as a polar bear and that by becoming fluent in it we not only preserve an ancient and essential dialect, but add to it because in the moment you leap o’er that chasm, grow those wings, and do the impossible thing, some new and as yet nameless essentiality sails into being.
Embedded in the very sailing forth is the urge to name, to know, to own, to control, to be able access more fully. That urge awakens the fairies of language to shape and shadow, to light and set on fire the nameless impossibility we’ve just found, by gifting it a name.
10. Let life do you. Once when I was cramped and confused sexually, I followed some bright and inspired urges, which led me to an interesting relationship with a partner who loved S&M. For a gorgeous span of sexual adventuring I recovered my inherent capacity to let go and let life do me. (Haha, I did a pun!)
It took me out of the part of the place in me that used to make all decisions, the thinking apparatus that confusedly felt that it needed to make everything happen of its own accord, or to organize, fix, support and do everything.
The adventure gently and sexily walked me into a very receiving trusting, relaxedly passive and curious way of allowing life to inspire, lead, and astonish.