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Archive for October, 2011

In the average American’s work day, we have two 15-minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch. This means we get one full hour to ourselves during normal daylight hours. Depressing? Yes. Could be worse? Totally.

It is so easy to sit at our desks all day or run around doing our jobs all day being stressed OUT. I’ve come home on numerous days and taken one look at my partner, Josh, and we see it in each others’ faces: I don’t even want to TALK anymore…I just want to sit and check out for a few hours. The day was too long and stressful and we spent the whole of it INSIDE. Two situations that are worst nightmares for us.

What would motivate me to actually take a break and try to do an adventure during my work day? I started this online workshop with the intention of helping women to take time out of their daily lives and seek adventure. The problem is, I haven’t really been doing this on a consistent basis. I’ve been a weekend warrior at best. Where’s the motivation? Where is the priority?

I’ll be honest: It didn’t really exist. There is already so much to do and it would take energy and I’d have to plan…and then go OUTSIDE and it’s COLD and then I’d have to hurry because I have to get back and punch in at that gawd-awful beeping punch machine and then I’d have to go back to WORK. Sad face.

Today, I finally did it. I built a mini-adventure into my day. Do you want to know what motivated me? This blog post. That’s right. I have had this as a draft post for three days now. It was just sitting there, waiting to be written. I had to write it. I had to “walk the walk” if I am sitting all up on the blogging horse “talking the talk” about how life adventures are important and we have to feel alive and we have to go out and DO stuff…so here it is. I did it. And it was AWESOME.

I took my two fifteen minute breaks and did a brisk walk around the property. It’s gorgeous. And I can smell snow.

Three things about myself that I reflected on:
1. I love where I live. I love the crisp air and the Adirondack mountains.
2. I am a total tree hugger. I was irritated that buildings and fences and walkways kept getting in the way of bushwhacking and picture taking. That’s right. I BUSHWHACKED in my work clothes. I felt like a renegade. I felt like I was breaking the rules and it felt GOOD.
3. I should totally take a walk outside every day. Scientifically, it helps your brain reset and gets your blood flowing. Personally, it helps me feel less bored and jittery sitting at the desk all day. I felt less trapped the rest of the afternoon.

Three places that helped me realize these things:
1. Bushwhacking down a hill on the backside of the property – in ballet flats and slacks.
2. Sitting in an Adirondack chair looking up at Mt. McKenzie.
3. Spotting a cairn on my walk back in to work. Whoosa.

Go on a daily adventure. Re-set your perspective and give yourself a few minutes to yourself.

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Roam Your Soul is all about amazing women doing amazing things that inspire other women around the globe. Let’s inspire and motivate each other. Support each other and learn from each other.

Recently, the Roam Your Soul staff teamed up with Against the Grind, a two-girl bicycling team that have endeavored to cross the country to create a documentary about amazing, every day women, doing amazing things.  They are currently parked in Savannah, Georgia before they had out on their next journey and have just finished their first video about girls and bikes (one of my personal passions).

Dirt Divas from Against the Grind on Vimeo.

Bicycling has a funny way of empowering women. I have been a part of several women’s mountain biking clinics as both participant and instructor and it’s amazing to see how empowered and successful women feel after finishing a women’s clinic. I spoke to two women this weekend from IdeRide and Kingdom Trails who have created women’s clinics for MTB and have had over 90 women sign up for the workshop. Women like to be challenged. We like to feel empowered. We like to be adventurous.

Kingdom Trails, VT

Check out M2M – an organization that utilizes bicycling to bring awareness to the lack of liberties to women in countries around the world. Shannon, the founder of M2M, is currently riding her bike through Afghanistan (which is a prohibited activity for women in that country) to bring awareness to the country and the rest of the world.

And finally, look at yourself. We are all amazingly capable and empowered women. We do amazing things every day. It’s time to take that to a global community level and start supporting and empowering each other across the world.

Against the Grind and Roam Your Soul will be working together to create a unique Adventure and Reflection Task for the Roam Your Soul workshop that starts in December, 2011. Get ready to feel empowered. Get ready to inspire others with your story.

Sign up now for our 4 week online workshop. For $15, it could change your whole perspective.

– Christine

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Traipsing through the woods with my pack on my back and my little dog by my side, red and yellow leaves started flickering down through the branches as the wind blew crisp against my cheeks. I felt tingly and alive and my feet felt like they were flying over the mud and rocks as my legs powered up and over, up and over. I was taking in every moment and every movement. It all began to melt together into one entire experience. I had discovered my “flow.”

My moment of flow

The father of “flow” is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Mee-hi Chicksen-mee-hi). That guy’s name is a mouthful. A Hungarian born later to be psychologist, M.C. (we’ll call him) discovered that flow can be experienced during anything you really encounter. Look him up. He started out in the 70’s defending artists and letting people know that weren’t as desperate and depressed as everyone made them sound. In the 80’s he explained that teachers have known about flow for years – how do you think they motivate kids to learn? And now, it’s been adopted by educators in the outdoors and adventure leaders around the world. We need flow to feel fulfilled. We need flow in our adventures.

Part of the Roam Your Soul experience is finding that flow in your daily life. Experiencing that out of body transcendence that comes from complete submergence into a moment. All five senses are being used. Your body is working and moving at it’s maximum competency and at your mastery rate.

Are you aware of the sense of flow in your actions, the sense of flow in adventure, the sense of flow in your day? When are you aware of flow? Roam Your Soul is about finding that flow. It’s about experiencing the moment. It’s about getting lost in what’s important in life. Find your adventure. Then Roam.

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GUIDELINES FOR ONLINE DISCUSSION

The Way you Communicate Influences the Whole Group of Roamers:
As a participant, you are a member of an online community. Your postings can help push the group to think in new directions and create a sense of community, or they can be divisive. Think about what you want out of this workshop and help create that experience for yourself and others. Any intelligent person loves a bit of sarcasm and dirty humor…be careful dishing it out online – some people might take it the wrong way. Be accountable for your actions and words. Respect other peoples’ stories and characteristics. Remember our purpose: to grow and learn together.

Speak up, lady!
Don’t be afraid to speak your thoughts. Your perspective, whether it is similar to that of others in the group or different is important. Be heard. “Listen” to others. The discussion can go as deep or as surface as you like. If you think something, write it! The stories and experiences that we all share is what makes this workshop unique. This is an amazing opportunity to learn and experience new adventures through one another. Share your story.

On the other hand…don’t be a loudmouth!
On the flip side of speaking up…speaking up too often takes away from the opportunity for others to share. Be aware that your story IS important…and so is everyone else’s’. “Listen” as much as you speak. Encourage others to share their stories too. It’s important to have leaders and positive instigators in this workshop. Please help move our experience forward! Just be aware of the space and make room for others to share and be part of the conversation too.

Be a cheerleader!
Your words are powerful. Sharing comments and participating in discussions can encourage others to do the same. The more you share, the more meaningful this workshop becomes. Be a little vulnerable. Encourage others to share their thoughts. Your words can open up the window to all of us sharing deeply, wholly and personally.

Hey, Chatty Cathy! Get to the point!
With up to 30 participants in the group, there is going to be a lot of reading going on! As you’re writing your reflections, telling us about your adventures and sharing your thoughts, remember that if you take too long, it’ll be overwhelming to try and finish and we may not hear all you had to say.

Just because no one says anything doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful.
If you post something…give it time for others to read. This workshop is a once a week check in and post workshop. If you post your story up and no one responds…give it some time. Also, if no one responds, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t important. It means we read it, processed it and internalized it without sharing our own thoughts. If you want feedback or have questions on how we might interpret something, just ask – or contact the facilitator. The facilitator can help start a discussion on topics that are important to you.

E-mail vs. Discussion Board – What to do?!?
As a general rule, use the Discussion Board for all workshop communication. It’s private just to us. If you connect to another Roamer, I encourage you to share e-mails! We are here to make friends and connections. If it’s a topic we can all benefit from, share it with the group. E-mail should also be used to communicate about issues unrelated to specific workshop content.

A final thought…
Adventure is a funny thing. It can bring you to new heights and make you think differently about yourself. It can scare the shit out of you and make you wish you never tried. There is a fine balance between crossing new frontiers and throwing yourself off of a cliff. Know your own limits. Be aware of others’ limits. What might work for you, may not work for someone else. What others can do, you might only wish you could do. This is a place of encouragement, support, and growth. Try new things. Help others move out of their comfort zones. But take some baby steps along the way. Reflect often. Be true to your own heart.

Sign up now!

Contact info: Christine@roamlife.com /+1 (914) 297-8446 or use our ‘contact us’ form to request more information.

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