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I’m doing a course that requires people to really adventure each week. The kind that gets under your skin. The kind that takes you out of your skin. and leaves you a tad skinless on your own shores. A few of the students keep asking how to adventure. And after pushing it off, ‘I’m taking a stab at the fucking how. Tho, writing about skinless shores is not The Easy.

How to fucking adventure

0. 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.”

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, fun house-dance land. Find your sleeping sloth teenager Fascination and gently whisper to her that it might be time to start thinkin’ about waking up.

2. Stop cleaning and tidying e’rr thing.

Take a stab at learning to abide and breathe through the part of you that simply will not, shall not! abide any unclosed gap, even if the gap isn’t ready to close, even if the question hasn’t been truly answered, even if the journey is not over, the closing note yet to sing out. There’s a level of presence of big picture lens wearing that helps here.

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.

This doesn’t mean going full slob, it means learning to make distinctions around when you are unnerved by a thriving ecosystem because you’re not up to speed with the boom whoosh or when something is truly broken or needs a clean up. The crux of the distinction for me lies in my emotional response, the first makes me feel uncomfortable and I just want to clean it away, where as a true urge to clean, mend, heal, restore order feels relieving, bettering.

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 its very nature, an adventure will carry you into chaos of impossibility, that’s what makes it an adventure: 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 your powers. So useful, if you’re into that kind of thing.

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, (which, is so effing important to me). At the time, my biking playground was closed. I had a bunch of ideas 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, I said yes, I didn’t know I was saying yes to the tiny tip of the iceberg of adventure that I could see, and that I would have to 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.

Here’s how it went: Becca and I sailed out at dawn off the top of the mountain where we’d camped the night before in the rigs with the 13. I can still feel the exhilaration and absolute life force thrill of pulling out onto the open road for the first time. Especially because those first few miles took us down a very steep mountain downhill, crazy fast downhill, in and out of the first rays of sun dropping me back into the cool pine dense patches of shadow, me whizzing so fast, and absolutely that every thought left my head.

Then a hill that I had to climb appeared, and I instantly wanted nothing to do with it. I remembered clearly why I didn’t like biking. That uphill crap was for over achievers! But Becca the Butt was up ahead, clearly not stopping, clearly not struggling. Did I want her to leave me in the dust? I did not. And fuck going back up that nine mile sheer drop off of a cliff I’d just come down.

So forward, up the next Vermont mountain became my yes. 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 (it turned out to be TWENTY SIX miles actually. I have the best skanky lie-face bitch best friend ever) 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 it 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, somewhere I’d not been in a long while, and never accessed biking. 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.

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.

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 fully.

Adventuring well is like log rolling, if you stop before the river has carried you to the other side, you get immediately rolled. In extreme sports this can mean death or mega injury. In adventures of the heart, it might mean becoming inauthentic and misrepresenting yourself. Either way, the heart of the adventure begins to immediately die the moment you stop truly conversing with her.

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 girl balls to expect it or go looking for it.

Beyond issues of girl balls and language acquisition, you’ve got to remember that the 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.

It took me out of the part of my thinking apparatus that confusedly felt that it needed 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.

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Have you ever had one of your big dreams come true? I’m talking about the really big giant dreams that you’ve had for a really, really long time. That’s what is happening for me right now. As I’m writing this, a ridiculously adorable little lizard is climbing up my wall. And, yes, I did dream a little bigger than that. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to live on the ocean. And since the first time I came to Belize in 1996, I wanted to specifically live on the ocean in Belize. And here I am, hence the lizard.

One of the interesting things about manifesting something so tremendous is that it is a little shocking when life continues to be, well, life. There’s a little bit of pressure to feel like I’m supposed to be floating on the clouds all the time. Like I should never have a need for my conscious play tools ever again.

It’s simply not the case. I still get periodically (ok, several times a day) irritated with my toddlers, and even though I love the heat, I occasionally feel uncomfortably warm (I’m typing this naked). I still need to do my morning routine of gratitude and meditation and motion. I still periodically need focus wheels and grids. I still have to stay aware and mind my vibration and continue to care how I feel. It’s just a WHOLE LOT EASIER NOW!

I think often of the Abraham saying that the only reason you want something is that you believe the having of it will make you feel good. And I do. It’s easier here in this place that matches so many of my preferences to lift myself back up and stay there for longer.
Here’s where manifesting a really big dream like this is super helpful. First it is such an incredible touchstone that I can manifest anything. I’ve been lining up to get here for 19 years. I basically feel like a rock star for manifesting this. AND my favorite is that I have realized that one of the reasons I wanted to be here is that it has so many of my favorite play places, and that’s THE EASIEST AND BESTEST way to lift back up, right? Most of the people here are really joyful. There’s tons of music and dancing. There are loads of kids here, and pretty much everybody loves kids. People have a deep connection to their culture, heritage, art and traditions. There’s ocean! And reef! And loads of animals and amazing natural spaces. And oh my Lord, the food!
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And so I realized that is the deeper meaning of that Abraham saying for me. Our dreams, the things we are manifesting in our lives, are almost always connected to our favorite play spaces.
There’s no doubt you can be happy anywhere. I proved that a couple summers ago (perhaps we can talk about that in another post). Happiness is never about a place, but surrounding myself with some of my favorite ways to play has been such a blessing and feels like an incredible step forward for me.

 

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heyo bFullSizeRender-4eauties!

This is a shout out from the road, or, more accurately, The Emerald Coast. It really is emerald.  And manatees really are as fun to swim with as I thought they might be. Wow.

The Travel by Yes mission, now in it’s 11th month, is bringing us deeper than ever into some new fascinating insights about how Flow State & playfulness want to samba with each other and make life easier and way way way more fun and flowy. It’s thrilling. We’re joy guinnea pigs most days.

Which means this guinnea pig has had to learn how to do a lot more Buoying. those little, on purpose play moments that keep the momentum of joy rolling and easy to access.  Sometimes I slip into them on accident.  They help me not get mired or slip under the Blanket of Seriousness and Forgetting.

And that’s where a dare comes in …

Recently, one of my teammates issued a dare to the world, to try your hand at a 100 Gratitude list, where you get yourself into a kind of appreciative frenzy. It takes some finagling to really pull this off, and in order to do it right, you have to keep tuning in.

At the point with others jump off the ship, you steer harder into the turn, find a deeper joy, a stronger whiff of glee.  When she gave the dare, I shied away from it. I have done these. Old hat.  It’s for others.

The next day, I found myself alone at a park, in a state I’ve never been, tired and a bit sick. Everyone was playing and I was half-heartedly twiddling with a piece of sidewalk chalk, bored, tuned out. And then I remembered the dare.

And I remembered the bigger bit about JOY and how freaking important it is.  And so, I began.

It was so much harder than I thought.  Writing that much with sidewalk chalk over rough terrain is surprisingly arduous.  After I began, I leaned into it, which means, I actively marshalled my focus into the task at hand, what is good in my life? What makes my heart glad?  How can I steer into the fun of this dare?  Where is the center of my joy?

About halfway through, some of the team appeared, and jumped in. By that time, I was deep in flow state, locked into the rhythm of the gladness, and the writing, locked into the happy task, the bigness of it, the glory of it, how impossible and fantastic it was.

When the team, and my PRECIOUS AMAZING CHILDREN started helping me, so that we were sharing this amazing goal, and

playing deeply together in what we love,

I nearly cried, no, I totally did, but then the joy went deeper, and I felt myself shifting into that poetic, ethereal shared flow state where we were all moving and laughing and appreciating in harmony, like a murmuration of absolute joy.

I just wanted to share this with you, the sweetness of it, and the usefulness of it.  I hope your heart is blooming, dear friend, and that you find yourself stumbling into more and more moments of genuine play and ease and fun every day.

All my love,

Natalie

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The other day I paused, in the middle of a TRULY magical motorcycle ride through some of the prettiest mountains I’ve ever seen, on our way to a secret glen of naturally occuring hot springs, having just left Play Church and with a juicy recording session ahead of me, yet I found myself struggling to be present. I was missing my bucket list moment.  What was going on?I think back to my sis, on her wedding day, so stressed out from the prep, that she just couldn’t relax and enjoy what lots of folks think of as the best day of their lives.

If life is simply a string of happy moments, why do we miss the opportunity to really let it in?  If now is our point of attraction, and what we’re vibrating at is discontent and scattered energy, what does that mean for our future?

Here’s my go to guide for letting the win IN.

1. If you have to force “it”, it ain’t your it (not yet anyway)

Thoreau cautions: ” beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”  I think he was talking about leaving our elemental selves, no, I’m lying. He was literally talking about clothes and how you shouldn’t give your valet your old shoes because only people who went to legislative balls need shoes, but the quote has always stuck with me as a metaphor for not doing something that feels off, not leaving yourself behind out of obligation or a confused allegiance to something or someone other than your most darling self.And we often feel like the road to success and getting what we want requires us to leave our joy and connectedness and muscle in and take your lumps and push hard, but “You’re not ever going to have a happy ending to an unhappy journey.”

If we get all whiggy trying to make it happen, we’re going to only allow in a result that feels a little whiggy to us.  I find that if I take 10 minutes to tune up my frequency that it makes an exponential difference in the quality of the experiences that come my way.  So, one of the best ways to let something in is not lose your alignment on the way to it. Take yes steps each way, so when you arrive at your win, you’re actually there to receive it.

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me, lettin’ it IN!!!!

2. Life is like a fine wine, you need to let it breathe

Spoiler: the next bit is kind of sexy.  My ex-husband and I went to couples therapy and learned how to use breath to reconnect to our sexy bits and to bring flow there.  Reconnecting, individually, via breath, helped us to be more available for the flow between us and the sex got crazy great.  So now, whenever I find myself checking out during sex, I just direct some breath downward into the hot spots and I reconnect myself with my body, with the experience, with the now.  The breath brings my attention and with it goes life energy.  This works pretty well out of the bedroom too :)I live and travel with a breathworker and she’s helped me to notice that when I get stressed out or start to check out, I actually slow my breathing or breathe shallowly, sometimes I just stop breathing if I’m really freaked out and she thumps once or twice like a baby who needs some encouragement to take that first amazing breath. But I am literally stopping the flow of life to whatever is going on by breathing less.  The less I breathe, the less there is of me to enjoy anything.

Sometimes, as a win is manifesting into our reality, we can get anxious and weird.  So that at the exact time we should be relaxed and receiving, our nerves are jangling and we’re either literally and metaphorially holding our breath, and we’re not a match for the full manifestation, so we’ll only experience part of it.  Sometimes I’ll see a friend letting in something they’ve wanted their whole lives and I’ll ask, “are you PSYCHED???” And they shrug, “eh” and usually list something that could be better.  I realize that I AM A MATCH to see the full potential that they were wanting to manifesting because I’m relaxed and playful, but THEY ARE NOT so it DOESN’T MANIFEST FULLY INTO THEIR REALITY.

3. say no. Oh my god, just say it.

When I started the Travel by Yes mission I had a teeny weeny understanding of what yes really means, what the power of a yes is and how, holy hell, to live a life in the key of yes. That’s partially why I embarked on this mission, to ask, with my whole life, how do I live inside my yes?  One of the answers has been to get very very good at saying no.My yesses have become mighty oaks in what used to be a cluttered forest, but I wasn’t always that way, About a month into the trip, I stopped really feeling like I was in my yes, or really enjoying the things I was doing.  I felt overwhelmed, split and chronically starved for time.  After a deep check in with myself during a big epiphany-generating adventure, I realized that I wasn’t really checking in with HOW YES something is. I was just saying yes to all of it, and my plate was too full. My big trees weren’t getting the vital nutrients they need because all the undergrowth was sucking them up.  And nothing was getting very much momentum.

Saying no still remains something of a challenge. There is a part of me that wants everyone to approve me at every moment and this part of me never says no.  Put that’s not my highest self. My highest self is needless of other’s approval.  She is clear and clearly focused on the fun of feeding and dancing fully with her highest yesses and what others think of her is not relevant or even all that interesting. She knows that what is buzzing as a yes for each person is deeply individual because it is an indicator of you being on path, and we each walk and play on our own paths.  So, she doesn’t want or need others to understand her choices and her path because she’s so deeply enjoying her path.  

4. make peace with whatever the heck you’ve chosen to do as much as you possibly can
 

I’m sitting here at my laptop in the midst of a very poppin’ festival, writing, on a laptop.  Like a derk.  And before I wrote that sentence up there, I was struggling a little with the voices in my head, all wearing little weeny should hats: “you SHOULD go do festival things” “you SHOULD never miss an opportunity” “you are missing out” “You’re a bad/internet-head person and you’re escaping” but the flat-out truth, when I get beyond the haze of should-ville, is that the festival had inspired me to a place that I’d been trying to get to all day until I was so happy and clear that the only thing I really wanted to do was to write the blog post.  And now I’m having a good ol’ time, snuggled up in the RV/Play Nexus office between the permaculture labyrinth and the chicken coop, jamming out to Daft Punk and writing my durn heart out. Bliss.  But I had to give myself permission to be all here. I had to choose it, or else I was only partially here and the rest of me was worrying about what all my cool festivaling friends would think of me, or what I might be missing.  Fuck missing things!  I choose now. Now is all I have and I choose to be here as fully as I am able and make peace with the shoulds.

For example:

  • I sure will MISS EVERYTHING if I keep being indecisive.
  • I trust my urges!  When I follow a warm buzz it always blooms miraculously!  
  • I am where I am supposed to be and the more I line up with that the more true it will be.
  • Playing in writing is one of my deepest flow-state inducing ways to play, as real and fun and viable as the naked woman on a trapeze 20 feet away.  It may not be as sexy, but it’s as on my path as that kind of play is on hers.  
  • The more I value and make room for my play the more room it makes for others to value and make room for it.
  • Now that I’m calm and beyond the shoulds, it actually make sense that I would leave the shin dig in order to go deep.  It’s the trajectory of most play experiences, unless you interrupt it with lots of booze and drugs.  Also, those people are going deep together in the music making and performing and it’s perfect for me to use the inspiration and elevation and all the energy and channel it into my funnest, brightest projects.  
  • People have confused ideas about how long people should stay or about ideas of anti-socialness that serve no one.  I love being in my business and following my highest yesses.

 

5.  Choose your snowballs wisely

I heart momentum!  I mean, I heart POSITIVE momentum!  Somedays, like today, where I received news that someone has fraudulently stolen my son’s identity and I get to see that a bad feeling I had about things a while ago, has BLOSSOMED into a bit of a manifested nightmare and I can clearly trace the build up of momentum that I didn’t find a way to shift.  But that kind of moment I don’t heart.   Even though it teaches me more about momentum than my positive momentums do!

I like realizing that my “wins” are simply the logical result of an uninterrupted positive momentum.  Like pushing a car down a hill.  But how do you keep from interrupting a positive momentum? 
My favorite way to feed a positive momentum is to love the shit out of what’s going right and to just leave the rest off my plate. I don’t pick it up in my mind, in my words or in my deeds, I just let those unsavory momentums fade away from lack of attention.  This takes me deeper into my win. What do I love about this? What’s magical about this?  This helps you to let it in more and to have more fun with it.

Try it now, take a look at all the threads going on in your life as if they were tiny snowballs that are going to head down hill and get bigger.  Which of these snowballs do you want to roll majestically down the hill and get huge? And which do you want to just melt in the sun and not follow you into your tomorrow?

Choose one of the ones you want to get big (for example, you may have just got a promotion or some positive recognition at work) and now lets feed that momentum with some glad heartedness.  What’s great about the promotion or recognition?  I feel valued.  I love that I get to explore a whole bangarang opportunity. I get to learn cool new shit!  I get a sexy secretary like James Bond … and so on.

Do you notice what you’re NOT doing as you’re focusing EXCLUSIVELY on the good bits?  You’re not scared, overwhelmed or worried which is where lots of people go when positive momentum starts to really bloom.  Having some discipline around your snowballs will let life get really good for you AND it will help you to enjoy the getting good bits even more.

My response to hearing people say, “I’m bored” or “I’m lonely,” used to cause a strange uneasiness, and I never could place it. Once I gave myself permission, I realized I was actually a little JEALOUS of the opportunity they had to get lonely or bored.  

From my place of feeling chronically overwhelmed and time-starved, and, holy criminy, totally short on what the Muppets call “Me Parties”, I would occasionally fantasize about going to jail for some minor crime (maybe amatuer sleuthing?) and in my fantasy I write like a comet, meditate Dalai Lama-ish for long, blissfully uninterrupted hours, and then sway to opera and esoteric jazz that I totally have time to appreciate, followed by much working outness and getting buff as shit.

CLEARLY not a vortex perspective on time.  

A few months ago I felt a very clear knowingness: I needed to leave my known life to slow Travel the world.  This was one of those dreams that I had let go of a thousand times, particularly each time I had a new bebbeh, or started a new community, or was feeling poor or confused.  

And oh! To have the dream resurface in the All Systems Go, every Green Light Blazing fashion was baffling and resplendent in equal measures. I had no idea what or why or who or how, but I recognized the feeling of something true and resonant to me lighting up on my path.  (And have a strong history of following those buzzes and having having things turn out brilliantly)

Dialoguing with the dream as it unfolded and came to be was, and holy heck, continues to be, a crash course in following my Yes.  

In the beginning, there were so many no’s to see and activate around, $? Work? Crew? etc, but if I was a good steward of my focus, there was also a very juicy and powerful yes to locate myself around.  Planning the shift from local to mobile business, appreciating the magical manifestations as they flowed in, doing energy work to clear out all the stuck stuff that had been keeping me from being a match for this dream all along etc.  For two months I leapt from Yes to Yes to Yes until the yes was to drive away, literally, into the sunset.  

That  yes leaping led me to getting more playful about my beliefs around time.  And as Abraham says, A belief is just a thought you keep thinking, even though the embedded beliefs about time felt as real as my bones and about as painful to remove.

I simply didn’t know exactly HOW dinked up about time I’d become until, in the midst of arguably the most time-starved periods of my life, I accidentally swiped a book from the house I’d been renting called “In Praise of Slowness.”   The book made its way into the bags I’d speed-packed in order to go slow travel the world. And to add to the irony of it all, when I actually discovered it, I almost tossed it. I mean, who has time for such things? Slow is not attractive. Speed is, fast is sexy.  


My unconscious reactions almost kept me from receiving the gift of my higher self (who apparently is not above swiping books) and was conspiring to turn on the lights in a room that had been rather dark: my unconsciousness around the truth about how to play with, in and through time.  And how do you know you need a switch flipped until you do?

We’d only been on the road four days, and had just landed at our first magically manifested space, and I was about to Get My Bustle On, business, scheming, doing doing doing.  And even if I wasn’t really doing this, in the back of my mind, I was thinking I should be.  

Of course I didn’t realize these things.  I was in them, woven into them and I had so many momentums going, so many projects, had my fingers in so many pies that there was always something, someone that needed my attention.  I was moving too fast to check if these were Yes or just stuff I’d inadvertently activated.

Then, suddenly, outside the RV, there was a human puddle, of tears and of a precious girl’s missing on her mamma, crying for her own sadness and for the unborn daughter in her womb who would never meet her grandmother.  

And the switch flipped.  I felt so absolutely inspired and clear, it was as if I were being physically moved as if by a great unseen wind.  In under a minute I grabbed a bag, blankets, water, and the Slowness book, and finally, her, oh so very gently, I led her up the mountain, with the children following slowly.  At that moment, I didn’t know exactly what had happened, I only knew that we needed to be on the mountain.  The procession was dreamlike.  Her crying came in waves. I felt into myself for the feeling of absolute synchronicity I feel in deep intuitive dancing, or in improvisational singing. I slowed way down to feel into the infinite field between us, matching my walking to the rhythm of her tears.

We made a nest for her in the crevice of some large rocks high atop the mountain and she asked for room to be as loud as she needed to be.  I climbed higher, looking for my own space, and found it in a kind of Lord of the Rings circle of mossy stones where I could feel the pull of the book, could feel its magnetic charge, the way you know someone has a gift for you by the lights in their eyes.

As I began reading, I could hear her crying and it was perfect. There was nowhere else to be.  Nothing else needed to be right now. There was room and time for the totality of this experience. I felt the gears in my heart slowing down.  

I read late into the morning, feeling relief, astonishment, relief relief relief.  Oh how thirsty my soul was for a mental confirmation of what it has always known, “slow down to the pace of your true delights” was some guidance I’d received six months ago and had quickly made a picture out of to share on FB and raced past any kind of real experience with such wisdom.

In the book, I learned about how the idea of time had come to be, in order to sync up people so they could work and connect.  I felt my shoulders release when I read about how time had been made into a virtue, how being on time was associated with being a good person, and how I had struggled with that my whole life as someone who gets lost in play and is often “late.”  I let myself fully feel the lifelong desire to have time be less rigid, to be harmonized by beingness instead of the box of preconceived time.

I realized how embedded in my psyche was the idea of maximizing time and how fucking unrelaxing that notion is.  It’s frenetic and scarcity based and completely untrue.

This low-riding urgency to Always Do More had become a kind of sickness.  Perhaps this is why I’ve felt so driven to get very good at playing deeply in lots of things, a way of saving myself from the chronic stress of Never Enough Damn Time.  And I only find absolute relief from it when I play very deeply, or drop all the way into meditation or deep creative, flow-inducing play.

After a while, the book closed, and I fell asleep.  It had given me the gift of turning on the lights.  I started to let myself unravel on the mountain again, watching the urges to go do something productive, to get things done, waves of urgency and hurry washed over me as I laid there and slowed down enough to be truly present with being truly present.  

I realized that there is no pace better than another. Fast or slow is wonderful.  Not moving or vast movingness, but what was actually going on was me realizing that I needed to be more honest about what I was actually lined up with. That the momentums of my life and what I was really aligned with were not happily lined up, and this created perpetual stress.  I realized that one of my hopes from the Travel by Yes mission was that it would help me reclaim my playful relationship with time.

In my mind I began to grid into the winged new region, what would it feel like to be loose and lined up with the pace of my dreams? What would a life sans urgency or discontent feel like?

I nearly laughed out loud.  What FREEDOM! and huge BURST OF JOY and SATISFACTION, a thousand layers deep.  I would feel so available to the dance of life, and so excited and so well tuned. I would feel that perfect balance between relaxed and activated presence that I find in flow state.  I would be in FLOW, oh, so flowing, so going with it, so glad for all of it. I would be in LOVE, oh, how my heart bursts open when I relax the urgency!

My heart is bust up in the writing of this.

I will always remember and re-enter that moment of coming off the mountain, and finding my friend, slowly eating an apple.  I knew exactly what to say, how to be.  I was an absolute and unresisting instrument of the Yes energy and in my great giving over to it, time disappeared, and I was free inside the love.



Now, I still forget how malleable time is, how joy expands it, how sharing joy expands it, how stories about time shortage draw in realities that are busy and urgent and lack any kind of deep presence or richness of time. But every time the old urgency comes over me, I remember the mountain, when I slowed down to the pace of my yes, and returned home.

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Yesterday was Frankie Blue’s first day as a Play Darling.
A Play Darling is the name for one of the 2 awesome people who will facilitate the day and help coordinate projects, tend the rug rats, offer bandaids and well-timed sandwiches.  But most importantly, they offer playful opportunities to help our growing team stay connected, happy and evolving together in the e’er joywardly direction.
Frankie insisted that we not stoop to lesser forms of tag and instead try this new fangled version of tag, where everyone is it, all the time.  We love it because it levels the playing field.  A young child can “win” for a moment, as easily as an athlete.  

The Rules of Perpetual Tag, (as I understand ’em, having heard the rules just once)

1.) Skip the part where you pick an “it” because you are all it, all the time.2.) You’ll need a jail!

3.) When you tag someone they go to jail!

4.) If you tag each other at the same, you’ll need to solve it with Rock, Paper, Scissors.  One round, loser IMMEDIATELY goes to jail.

5.) If the person who tagged you goes to jail, you get out of jail!  You get a count of 5 to get clear of the jail before you can be tagged again. Count LOUDLY!

6.) Rinse. Lather. Repeat, until you’re so happy you’re ready for the next Yes!

As I travel, sometimes I encounter something that just takes me to my knees; a contrast so difficult that I have a hard time even remembering that I can approach it consciously and with love. 

Recently I discovered that a beautiful old friend of mine has gotten a taste for drugs and is chronically out of alignment.  At first I felt such a wallop of emotions I scarcely knew what to do with myself: grief, anger, profound sadness, disappointment, frustration, despair at being able to help, all coming in a tsunami that threatened to topple me.

Luckily, I’ve been practicing what I preach and doing my conscious play tools every day, and often several times a day, and have been feeling really grounded, steadily delighted and in flow with All That Is. So when I discovered this, the pain was so unfamiliar that it couldn’t get any real traction and pretty soon I decided to pull out my Adventure Bag and sift through to see what tools might help me come back to grace on this subject.

I began with the Ho’po onoYesso wheel that our magus engineer designed. I’d not seen it since he finished it and I was blown away to discover, within this problem, places where I could own and release the reflection of the problem in myself. I felt relief and growing betterness as I proceeded through the wheel.  After I finished, it was clear that I wanted to meditate, one of my favorite tools in my Adventure Bag.  It allows me to leave the tangle and return to my clear, Source-connected perspective on a subject.  

After I meditated I realized what was bothering me: the playspace I shared with him is not truly open for me because he is being dishonest about his own experience and so no true intimacy could bloom.  That was where my wobble was. I felt unsafe playing with someone who wasn’t willing to own their choices.  I must be expecting or focusing on that to bring it in so I headed over to Grid land and started a grid for how I wanted to feel in all my shared playspaces.  


Free!  Loved, safe, trusting, all there, no holding back, healthy, high on life and Source connectedness!  Drawing in clear, high up freedom seekers, blessed.  Clear, Sure, Happy, beloved, joined, satisfied, in flow together, riding Ikrans like in Avatar.

After I finished with these tools, I felt so much closer to Solution/Yes energy and so much further from Problem/No energy.  I realized I’m excited to have an honesting, loving talk with him and to true the laylines of our playspace.  I feel deeply grateful to the situation for showing me where I have some wobble in my vibration.  

I’m so grateful to the Travel by Yes team for helping to co-create and evolve the Conscious Play Framework.  You’re seriously the best team a girl could ask for.  Nathan you outdid yourself on this project!  I’m so excited to be seeing so many more people thinking of how they can play in and through something rather than fixing.   I’m seeing people gently gathering up the nuggets and insights from their playful epiphanies and lovingly packing their adventure bags and I GLOW with mama bear pride.  

So much love to you beautiful players!

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Today is our 90th day birthday!  
Whee HAWWWW!!!  We’ve been home-free & yes-bloomin’ for 90 days.  As Dickens likes to say, “it was the best of times, it was the most expansive of times…”  Wait, I think I’m misquoting.  But it has been one hootenanny of an adventure.

Let’s begin with a word about promises, especially all the ones we made at the beginning.  There’s a a chance that they may have been just a scoche cavalier. Like how a mother-to-be promises to scrapbook and journey every precious moment in her baby’s life, and then barely manages to scribble a single entry: “tomorrow you’re one!  Wowee! Mommy’s tired!”
For example, that whole, “we’ll blog regularly and let you all know what we’re doing thing every step of the way” thing was so much easier said than done!  Some days so much of our energy was going into the wing building that becomes super necessary when you deliberately hurl yourself off a cliff.  Also, about half way through, one of our members attracted in someone with less than wholesome intentions, so telling everyone where we were in every moment stopped being a yes (see Season of Shadow Dancing below).  But it’s been, bar none, the most exhilarating, life changing, thrilling and gorgeous time of our lives, so here’s a little of what we’ve learned along the way …
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1. There are seasons of slow travel.  There is a Season of Much Goingness, where the days are centered around Hard Travel, and there’s a Season of Stop Moving and Be Here and Receive Many Gifts. There is a Season of Yearning, and a Season of Delicious Balance, where everything is going well, and though growth opportunities still exist, mostly all the systems are clicking smoothly into place and there are no huge gaps. Which leads me to probably my favoritist one which is the Season of The Huge Gap, where you discover a brand new desire that you didn’t even know you had, and in the moment of discovery, you’re far from it. In the Season of The Huge Gap, you begin the oh so, oh so delicious journey towards this brand new dream.  And then there is the season we just passed through, a Season of Shadow Dancing, where something you didn’t know you have in your vibrational Craw becomes really REALLY clear. Here the structure of the travel keeps you so wide awake that you can’t numb out or ignore, so you listen, dance with, play into, and allow the energy to unstick, to flow again, and release stuff you’ve had stuck for eons.Sometimes the seasons line up perfectly with the natural cycles of the earth, like how the season of Shadow Dancing bloomed open for us in a blistering Omaha summer,  which was like being in a sweat lodge.  The things that we had ignored in our previous lives were suddenly there, ready to be played open into the highest versions of themselves.

It’s been really soothing to discover these seasons.  It lets me relax and stop trying to fight them.  Trying to produce during a Season of Shadow, or a Season of Hard Travel is like trying to cook spaghetti sauce on the wing of a jet in flight.  It’s messy, and impossible in the unfunnest of ways. But now, in this Season of Slowness and Sumptuous Clarity, I can’t stop producing. Songs, activity books, poems, and outlines for new books are just flying out of me like birds out the open window.

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2. Home really, really and freaking truly, is in the Joy.  

Our ideas of home have been so radically challenged by this Travel by Yes mission.  We began where most people begin, “home” refers to a specific house where the bulk of living occurs, and travel takes you away from that.  But embedded in the very notion of slow traveling the world, is the concept that we will be home inside the travel. In fact, we choose it because we believe it’s our current best option of being home in the world.

We’re uncovering and sifting through all these distinctions for ourselves, or as Rilke says, every day, we “live the question.”  When we find ourselves sitting across the table from a new person, who was a stranger two hours ago and is now a soulmate, and we’re sharing our hearts and giving each other the gifts we came to this life experience to give.  During those times, we are no longer thinking, “this kind of intimate, extraordinary connection is only possible while traveling, and soon I will go back to my “home life” because that dichotomy is gone.  There is no “other” life to compel our attention, nothing to go on vacation from.  In the Travel by Yessing, we are discovering how to live within our highest, yessiest choices.

The other day my young son asked me if we were home.  I told him that I feel home when I’m happy.  We were standing in a river and I asked if he was happy. We both agreed we were, and then he yelled out, “I’m home!”  I admit that there’s more to it than that, like beds, and keeping clothes dry, and all of that. But at its core, this truth feels clear, singing, and a beautiful place to stand while we continue to live the question.

And yes, I could and likely will write some really sexy things about our expanded and fluid notions of being an intentional nomadic community at home in the goingness, but suffice it to say here, we’ve realized that our joy is where we come home. And yeah, houses are a nice thing to be in.  Because showers.  And stoves.  And comfy-wumfy beds.  But so are tents, RV’s and the shadow the moon casts on the giant oak I slept beneath last night.  Home, home, home.

3. Dumbledore knew what he was doing, or, Wizardry really is the new black.  

We’ve noticed that when we’re doing our Conscious Play tools regularly, we’re able to show up more authentically as the playful badass butterfly-winged ninjas we are.  We’re not confused or flustered by the pace of this living. We’re up to speed with it and ready to put up more sails, take more wind, say bigger yesses.   But when we just float hither thither without using our CP tools to steer towards our highest yes, we tend to vibrate haphazardly. We give attention to any old thing, and that creates a more dramatic trajectory than any of us have any interest in.  

Ironically, this play company has gotten more serious about tuning our frequency than ever before.  In our prior, pre-leap lives, we could be sloppy with our thinking and draw in strange stuff, but still have a home, and jobs. But out here, in this fast moving stream, it’s more obvious when we’re being careless with our thoughts and drawing in stuff we don’t want to experience.  

Developing the systems and playful rituals that support us in being able to galavant, wizardly forward, has been some of the funnest co-creation I’ve ever been involved with.   And it gets yummier and more magical every day.  Which leads me to the 4th thang:

4. The best is yet to come.  

What an exciting thot!  We’re co-evolving an eco resort and dive shop down in Belize with the Yes-Mamas group. Neverland Beach Resort operates on the principles of Conscious Play and is destined to be one of our favorite places in the world.  We’ve got the first of six activity books in a series called The Yes Book, which helps you play your way through the six core playgrounds in your life coming to press very soon.  We’re scheming out a year of retreats and playshops all around the world, including the First Ever Conscious Play Summit in Maui!  And we’re dreaming forward a super fun contest that involves our RV and $100,000 going to a new Travel by Yes crew before we launch the European section of the tour.  We’re so excited to keep offering our playshops, guerrilla art and dance shenanigans everywhere we go and to keep co-blooming the systems that support us in playing on purpose in our gorgeous lives that we love with every drop.  More discoveries, frontiers, delicious encounters and slow perfect dances! AND next month is YesPlayMess!  Which we’ve been excited about for half a year!

We know we’ve only scratched the surface.  Ninety days has flown by.  So much growth and shared delight, it nearly overwhelms. So many dreams coming true and new dreams being born. We’ve realized that our forever favorite season is the Season of the Next, all shimmery with infinite possibilities.

So much love to all you Yessers out there in your perfect Season of Now.

Love,

The Travel by Yes Crew,

San Francisco, CA