Trusting the Journey
A wise person once told me, “see, life is like rafting on a river. Your journey is more or less guided as you go down river and the flow never stops. At this level of the picture you don’t really have much control. However, on the raft, in the present moment, you have great influence. Feel yourself pry and draw away from big rocks, brace as you run rapids, sometimes simply try to just stay afloat! From this place of moment to moment awareness, you begin to realize, hey, I do have control of my life, and, I trust the bigger journey”.
When the vessel crushing rocks enter from the left on your river journey of life, can you find the awareness to respond consciously? What happens when you do? Do you find a deeper sense of empowerment? In what ways do you bring more ‘present moment awareness’ into your life? Please feel free to share your journeys and comment below!
Trusting your gut
Recently it wasn’t a rock that entered my river of life, but a fork in the journey. On one side lie a familiar stretch of river – banks I had walked before and even some areas I have paddled. The other side was like a whole new world (vision twisting trees and plants you have never seen followed by mysterious, soul enticing sounds. Why not throw in some mist for added dramatic effect). You get the idea- I came to a crossroads in my life– go left in a known direction, or go right and venture into the unknown.
I don’t believe in a uniform system of decision making – some process, or fabricated formula that works the same for every being. That formula would be a ruse and misleading as it would not consider the subtleties and the unique complex realities we actually inhabit.
Although admittedly, as I was standing at the crossroads, I wished that dang formula did exist! I wished I could just plug in some values and have it spit out an answer to satisfy my logical, and linear mind. Ok, fine- I’d thought. I’ll just settle for a quick step into the time machine and take a sneak peek of the projected futures on each path *tries to adjust dials of time…universe laughs..*
Yawithme? Ok, so there I was in the present moment (because that’s where we always are after all right?) and instead of tapping into the brain for an answer, I knew I needed to get to a different level. So, what I did at first was conjure up an aspect of one of the paths in my mind (ex: on this path I will be outside more, on this financial security, on this palm trees and baby seals). Next, I consciously moved that aspect away from my mind and down into my gut. At this point, I politely told the thinking mind, “hasta luego, you are not needed here”, and tried to feel a new response.
(NOTE- I use the word gut here because for me, deep in the center of my body, I find my life source, vitality, fire.. in athletics, this is the place that I tap into to keep going, push through when I am tired. It is for many where the ‘primal fire’ is stored and abundant energy exists. For others, instead of moving from mind to gut during the decision-making process, it may be useful to send the thought to your heart, or maybe the big left toe. The point is to find what works for you! Try it!)
After feeling into the aspect I am considering, I bring it back to the conscious mind and attempt to decode whatever arose in my gut. Sometimes the feeling translates into thoughts and words, at other times it prefers to stay in its visceral form. If necessary, and time permits (i.e. you are not literally about to crash your boat into smithereens) take another aspect and repeat the process.
Through trusting our gut’s response (or heart, or left big toe) we are honoring the intuitive wisdom that lies within. This is not some fairy-hairy stuff- this is deep work and listening. When we honor what comes up we are simultaneously honoring the bigger picture. Trust your gut, trust the journey…
For me this is how I got here. Writing my first blog post, co-creating the Adventure Stewardship Alliance, planning and scheming this season’s expeditions. Although the ‘bigger picture’ looms over the horizon and dances in the dark like the stars above, I trust the unfolding of the present moment and am constantly amazed.
***Sometimes on the journey of seeking clarity, we find ourselves dwelling in the dark and heaviness of the clouds. This is OK. May you find the trust that the sun is still there***
Thanks for reading and welcome to the Adventure Stewardship Alliance. Feel free to check this season’s upcoming Three Rivers Project page, join the mailing list, or swap some stories. A follow up blog to Trusting the Journey, Trusting your gut is already in the works and it has to do with translating your dreams into action. See ya soon!