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Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

When’s the last time you woke up in the morning, packed an overnight bag, and just…went somewhere?

So often, we let days pass us by. We get pulled left and pulled right and all around meeting deadlines, getting things done, and perpetually rotating between what “has to get done” and “things I have to do.”

Look at the calendar and count back the days and find how many it has been since an entire day consisted of only things you WANTED to do.

How many days has it been?

This personal time is critical for growth. Personal time to pursue activities that you enjoy and that excite you makes you feel more complete, more capable.

Combine that with creating a sense of adventure – and now you have a real, life changing, eye-opening experience that will stay with you forever.

What if you had an entire day to work on you?

A self-sustaining adventure means to give yourself a day of adventure – a full day,

all to yourself. 

Self-Sustaining means self-sufficient. It means that you have with you and within you all that you need for an entire day of adventure on your own. Whether you pack a bag and head to a new coffee shop, go to the local climbing wall, or find a remote part of a park to spend your day, this day is for you to experience something new, reflect on what you’ve learned, and enjoy an entire day on your own.

What would your adventure be? 

Adventure consists of doing something you’ve never done before and providing moments of learning and new experiences for you to take with you and keep with you forever. Adventure is excitement, seeing things from a new angle, and trying new things.

What would you plan? 

Adventure doesn’t have to be hair-raising or terrifying. In fact, it doesn’t have to be out of this world at all. It just needs to be something new  and something that gets your heart rate going. 

For me, it was a trip to Burlington, VT.

I started planning my self-sustaining day. It took three weeks to find a day on the calendar that I could block out, cordone off, and refuse to schedule anything. I then grabbed my favorite pack and started throwing things I thought I might need into it. It looked something like this:

Packing the bag and getting out of town

An entire day by myself?? Not doing anything for anyone else?? What would I need for that? How would I entertain myself? I packed every electronic I could think of plus a journal, a pen, and the Kindle. What if it rained or what if I got cold? I packed sweaters and gloves and hats and scarves…

It’s important to keep this part simple. A self-sustaining day doesn’t mean you can’t reach out and engage with others or buy a new pair a gloves (which I did in Burlington, by the way). Self-sustaining means mentally prepare to be aware of your environment, actively engage in learning new things, and seek out new places you have never been.

I have been living two hours away from Burlington for six months and have been longing to visit. Burlington has a great music scene, is an organic-hippie kind of town with a central market and natural stores, and is pleasantly walkable. Great restaurants and quirky stores line the main promenade. Off the beaten path you’ll find colorful art installments, tattoo shops, community centers, and cozy little coffee shops. I was excited to be in this new and vibrant place.

But where was my adventure??

I had no clue. I hadn’t gotten that far in the planning and the day snuck up on me before I figured the adventure part of the whole self-sustaining day out. I started brainstorming…Get a new tattoo? No. Rummage sales racks at the thrift store? Eh. That’s no adventure. Walk around aimlessly? Too cold. I decided to just play the day by ear and roll with it.

I ended up at Speeder & Earl’s Coffee House to start my day in a caffeinated way. I asked the woman for the strongest coffee they had and sat down with my coffee and some Words with Friends to try and get my head about me on this self-sustaining adventure.

The coffee roaster @ Speeder & Earl's

I sat staring at that machine wondering where to go now. I took a walk along the Church Street Marketplace and found all sorts of great shops.

Church Street Marketplace

My stomach growled when I passed The Three Tomatoes so I decided for an early lunch and some Kindle reading time. I was finally starting to relax and enjoy some time with my thoughts and being by myself. No adventure yet, or was there? I realized that just being in the moment, being by myself, wandering by myself and meeting new people and seeing new things on my own was an adventure in itself. I had coffee with the sunshine and was about to eat lunch with a fictional character from a story I was reading. I met new people and was able to spend extra time chatting with the barista and learning about Burlington from the eyes of my waitress at The Three Tomatoes.

Three Tomatoes, Church Street Marketplace

My adventure became an experience through other peoples’ eyes.

How were people viewing me? Alone and chatty and curious? Where I was to go next depended solely on the conversation I was having with a stranger now. My heart rate had definitely gone up. Going on advice from my young and friendly waitress, I headed over to the City Market. City Market is an organic grocery store that blows Whole Foods out of the water. This place is legit. First, they were serving gluten free mini-cupcakes at the front door followed up with organic milk to wash it down. I almost blew a gasket when I saw that you could grab some peanuts from the bulk bin and make your own peanut butter. Hello, peanut butter adventure! Passing by the boxed stuff isles, I stopped in my tracks when I saw this:

HIPPIE COOLER?!?

These people obviously know their market. I wanted to buy one of each item just to support hippies being included in their marketing strategy. Arms full of organic soap, gluten free pretzels, and some hippie friendly items, I checked out and threw my things into a re-usable bag and headed out the door. I felt success! I felt excited! I felt that I had found a place that said, “Hey, Christine! This place is for people like YOU!”

I needed that.

Yea, I know. It’s not crazy out of this world adventure. I didn’t try anything crazy scary. But I did do something new. And I learned something new about myself – I like being around people like me. And apparently, Burlington has a whole community of people like me. Enough to open up a grocery store full of opportunity to think and feel and purchase in a healthy, eco-conscious way. Why hadn’t I been doing this kind of exciting connection-making at home?!?

 Because I needed to try something new before I understood.

After that, I had the confidence to get off the beaten path. I walked down some side streets, got out of town…and just…wandered while munching on some yogurt covered pretzels. And that’s when my adventure happened.

There was a man in a tattered jacket all bundled up riding a bicycle shopping cart. Somehow, he had taken a shopping cart and attached it to a bicycle. Thus, making a “bicycle shopping cart.” He wouldn’t tell me his name and wouldn’t let me take a picture of the bike but it was a piece of work. Fully functioning with pink streamers and hubcap lined cart art, This piece of machinery was colorful, creative, and practical. He loads it up with recyclables, instruments, clothing, anything that needs to be moved from one place to another. He told me that it took a long time to collect all of the “artwork” that he had decorated the bike with. Our conversation was short and I felt awkward having stopped him to ask about his bike but he said that most people just stare so he was happy to tell me about the bike. He took the shopping cart from the grocery store and got the bike from a friend and said it made sense to put them together. A shopping cart bicycle. I told him the trend would more than likely catch on. Just look at what they are doing in Copenhagen!

Cargo bike for all types of hauling

I said goodbye to my new friend and the new adventure and started heading home as the sun started dipping behind the buildings on Church Street.

Goodbye, Burlington

Self-Sustaining Adventure Day…Complete.

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Creating Your Own Self-Sustaining Day

I often read blogs about adventure and travel to remind myself that life itself is an adventure. We so easily get lost in our daily lives, our daily routines, and our daily obligations that adventure seems so far away and excitement seems like something we’ll just have to get to on the weekend.

One of the blogs I follow often is from a couple that sold all of their belongings, quit their jobs, and began traveling the country in an RV. They tell great stories, have met some pretty amazing people, and have practical advice on how to follow through on living your dreams. One post, 7 Lessons from a Year on the Road, reminds us of something incredibly important:

Lesson #1: How easy it is to not follow your dreams “Inertia is an incredibly powerful force. It’s far easier to follow a routine, even a hated one, than it is to do something risky, unfamiliar, and meaningfully different.”

Challenge: Give yourself a day of adventure – a full day, all to yourself to find that experience that is meaningfully different. 

Self-Sustaining means self-sufficient. It means that you have with you and within you all that you need for an entire day of adventure on your own. This adventure is yours to own. What is it that you’ve been wanting to try? Where is it that you would want to go? How would you like to spend your day? Whether you pack a bag and head to a new coffee shop, go to the local climbing wall, or find a remote part of a park to spend your day, this day is for you to experience something new, reflect on what you’ve learned, and enjoy an entire day on your own.

So far, the Roam Your Soul workshop has had three themed adventures:
1) Seeing things from a new angle
2) Being an advocate
3) Taking Risks Makes a Woman Strong

A self-sustaining adventure: you create it, you plan it, you do it.

Basic Rules for a self-sustaining day:

1. You must pack everything you’ll need for the entire day. Nothing should be purchased along the way and all essentials are at your finger tips in your day pack or bag.

2. Make the adventure meaningful. Test your comfort zone. Get out of the routine.

3. Make time for reflection. Build quiet moments into your day. Write, draw, video blog. Find a way to express your thoughts on your experience. Engage in the process and the adventure.

4. Find an adventure that speaks to your own soul.

So, join us in the experience. Get your daypack out, pack it full of your essentials, and head out to enjoy your very own solo, self-sustaining adventure.

Want to share your self-sustaining adventure story? E-mail: christine@roamlife.com


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When I started Roam Your Soul, it was imperative to me to define why this project was so important to me. Why only women? Why outdoors? Why online? Why an adventure format?

It all came down to one important factor:

As women, taking educated risks that challenge our comfort zones, make us take in a breath of fresh air, and help us connect to one another will help us manifest into who we want to be in this world.

Connecting to other amazing women inspires us to share our amazing abilities as well. That’s why, upon starting Roam Your Soul, I began searching for amazing women doing amazing things all around the country. One of my first encounters was with Rachel and Jessica from Against the Grind. I found their blog post on GirlBikeLove and immediately became one of their biggest cheerleaders and fans. NOT avid bicyclists, NOT exceptionally wealthy, and NOT exceptionally crazy…these two ladies took off on a cross-country bicycle journey and are still on the road.

This week, our adventure challenge comes from two of the bravest women I know: Rachel & Jessica. A big thanks to them for being so inspiring and for being a part of the Roam Your Soul Project. They’ve gotten so much support from the bicycling communities they have encountered on the road that part of our challenge this week is to connect to our own bicycling communities. It’s time to connect to yours as well. Look up the bicycling association in your neighborhood, visit that location bike shop. Get on a bike. Talk about the bicycling community in your own town. Connecting to a bicycling community is an incredible way to connect to others and build adventure in your life!

 

Dirt Rag, Dirt Fest 2011

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Learning to advocate is an important part of becoming a complete person. We advocate for ourselves, we advocate for others, and we advocate for organizations. A focus of this workshop is to help develop the inner-advocate. In my line of work, I have found so often that girls, women, children do not know how to self-advocate or advocate for a cause they are passionate about. Where do you begin? How do you gain the confidence? How do you really make a difference? How do you make that educated risk? Week 2 of the Roam Your Soul workshop is all about that.

There are three steps in advocating:

First, we learn how to Self-Advocate: Being a self-advocate is how we get ourselves through and beyond life’s challenges. As a self-advocate we build self-efficacy, confidence and the ability to win/overcome challenges and barriers.

Then, we learn to Advocate for Another: Once we learn how to better our own situations and stand up for what we believe in, we move to advocating for those that are unable or unknowledgeable of how to do so. We find the friend who is in an abusive relationship and reach out a hand, we bring food to our church to hand out at Thanksgiving, and we begin to notice those around us that may need inspiration and we seek to provide it.

Then, we Advocate for an Organization/Group: We begin to realize that there are many more people in the world that have come from similar situations or haven’t had it as great as we have and we now want to make a bigger difference in a bigger population. We no longer can sit in our bubbles and do nothing while knowing that something can be done and is being done through wonderful organizations around the world. We become a pro-active advocate.

There are many ways to actively advocate:

Think outside the box. You can participate in a marathon, a march, a protest, a sit in, a walk or you can shout from the top of a building. Decide how you would like to advocate. Make contact with whom you would like to advocate. If it is yourself, do some journal reflecting and talk to your advocacy friend. If it is another person, reach out and discuss ways advocacy can occur. If it is an organization, make some phone calls and find out more about how you can be involved.

 

Being active is key to advocacy:

Follow through on your plan for advocacy. Climb that hill and shout from the rooftop. Make your signs and sit on the corner. Visit the community center and volunteer. Make advocacy an active part of your day.

Advocacy comes in many forms:

Each person expresses him or herself differently. We all have different skill sets and different experiences. Find what is meaningful to you and incorporate that with what you are good at. Students from MIT created a video game to discuss being gay, It Only Takes a Girl made a powerful video based on international statistics for women, She’s the First coordinated a rock concert to benefit girls’ education, and so many many more people have taken an idea and created a message.

What’s your message?

MIT: A Closed World, Video Game (Click the picture)

It Only Takes a Girl, A Short Film

She’s the First, a Short Film

She’s the First from She’s the First on Vimeo.

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Pushing Past Your Comfort Zone

Prepared By Jen

How is your adventure going so far? Have you been able to plan? Have you reached outside of your comfort zone? Here’s a mid-week update to keep you motivated, help you complete your adventure and provide some guidance to how best to make the most out of this workshop!

If you want to feel secure
Do what you already know how to do.
But if you want to grow…
Go to the cutting edge of your competence,
which means a temporary loss of security.
So, whenever you don’t quite know
What you are doing
Know…..
that you are growing…

~ An exert from David Viscott’s book, Risking

Are you a risk-taker? What types of risks do you tend to take? (e.g. emotional, physical, financial, professional).

This first assignment asks you to look at your life from a different perspective, both physically and mentally. What do you see from this perspective? What do you feel? Are you feeling uncomfortable?

Looking at the world around you from a different perspective is the first step to adding a little risk to your life. Taking risks can help you grow, develop, learn, get unstuck and become transformed. Adding adventure type activities, whether it be skiing, bicycling, attending a cultural event, or visiting a new city, can help facilitate growth. Did you know women are usually not encouraged to take risks as men are? We have all heard, “The world isn’t safe for little girls” … It started for a lot of us when we were little girls. It’s called “learned helplessness.” Or, “risky behavior is bad.” Yes! There are “bad” risky behaviors… but, as women, we are very rarely taught that we can take on healthy risks!

That’s why we are glad you are attending this online workshop. Roam Your Soul wants to help you take more risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s amazing how adding a little bit of adventure can be so beneficial to getting people out of their comfort zone.

Below is a model that portrays three zones. The Comfort Zone, the Learning Zone, and the Panic Zone. Understanding this model can help with your goals and become more comfortable with change.

Life can be easy in the Comfort Zone…. But this is also where we tend to feel “stuck.” It is difficult to learn and grow while you sit idle within your comfort zone. When you add adventure and take on new risks, your ability to enter the Learning Zone is much greater. The Learning Zone is characterized by uncertainty and discoveries, vulnerability, and renewed confidence, fear and delight.

Don’t hate change, embrace it!

At first, it can be scary to enter the Learning Zone. This zone allows for personal expansion and deeper reflection. It involves taking small failures and turning them into big accomplishments. When you live your life in the Learning Zone, you’ll actually increase the size of your Comfort Zone, which will help build self-esteem. When you embrace the Learning Zone, it promotes growth and increased levels of creativity, thus developing the skills and knowledge to grow and change (and be happy) throughout your lifetime. Once you have identified ways to live in the learning zone, you’ll feel alive and accomplished. You may feel much more powerful than you ever imagined.

But, be careful… you do not want to go beyond the learning zone and enter too far into the Panic Zone. Once you are in panic mode, learning is almost impossible in this zone. You’re too busy managing anxiety and fear. This level of stress can stunt learning and growth. Although, don’t be scared to enter it! The Panic Zone can create extreme exhilaration that will blast you into growth you never imagined. Just be very careful, because the Panic Zone can easily go out of control. So, venture lightly!

For each individual, this circle model varies. It’s important to identify your Comfort Zone, your Learning Zone, and your Panic Zone. Based on what you have learned here, take a few moments and draw your own diagram. How big do you think your comfort zone is? How often do you venture out into the learning zone? Where does your Panic Zone begin? What are some adventures that you could do that would place you in your Learning Zone more frequently?

Tips for taking on “controlled risks”

As you plan your adventures, keep these tips in mind and take time to answer these questions:

1) Preparation: What is the risk/adventure/trip you want to take? What are your motivators? What are the desired results? What are the best/worst consequences? Is this the right time? (Remember, there’s never a right time… you just need to make time)

What steps do you need to take? Who will support you?

2) Commitment: Jump to action! Plan the trip! Take the risk! Go for it!

3) Completion: What were the results? Did you learn? How would you do it differently next time?


Our Next Workshop: February 17th – March 18th
Cost: $20.00

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

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

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One of the major obstacles of adventure in our daily lives is how to find the time. Sounds silly, when I say it because isn’t this what makes life FUN? Shouldn’t we ALWAYS have time for fun?

The reality, of course, is that fun is the first element of our daily lives to go when we are busy, stressed, working, and have full to-do lists to complete.

Compound this with the fact that it’s now winter and daylight is at a minimum and now we are a bunch of non-fun ninnies all of a sudden.

Several of us are gearing up for a women’s workshop to begin December 15th that  focuses on a weekly adventure and reflection. Several of us may be asking ourselves, “How am I going to take some time out for my adventures?” In response, I have come up with a list that might just help you out:

Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual. I know, this is a tough request. We’re already sleep-deprived, stressed and have a full day ahead of us. And for people like me, I am a COMPLETE non-morning person. I sleep until the last possible moment and then wake up angry on a regular basis just because I have to get up. Lately, I’ve trained myself to set the alarm 30 minutes early (and honestly I wake up 20 minutes earlier…snooze 1X!!) and I’m now able to enjoy a cup o’ joe with my man. And this makes me happy and I start my work day HAPPIER. Stay with me people…I know this is a post on how to have an ADVENTURE and I have a point that connects to this. See formula below.
While at work, take advantage of your breaks. Tear yourself away from work and actually walk or ride your bike somewhere – most beneficially, outside. If you can, combine your breaks and take one long break (good time to sneak in an adventure, too!) This helps your  blood flow, your brain wake up, and stress to go down amongst a plethora of other positives.

Before you come home, plan for some time to yourself. Hire a babysitter, arrange for chores to get done, do what you have to do to schedule in an hour of time for just YOU.

Make a wish list of activities. What are the things you wish you could do that you never get to? Your adventure doesn’t have to be crazy or exhilarating. It can be calming and relaxing, too. Make your decision. Do you want excitement and movement or calm and relaxing?

Put your wishlist in several places that will remind you to schedule it in. Have daily or weekly goals. What is really important to you to try and do this week? Is it to finish a book in the bath tub? Go for a hike? Sign up for a new class? Put it on your  calendar and schedule it in as a goal.

The biggest and most important aspect of daily adventures is making the adventure a priority. Take the steps and complete the actions to make sure that the adventure isn’t just a possibility – it’s a given. Avoid excuses. Plan for variables. If you scheduled a night hike but it’s too dark and too late – take a head lamp, a flash light and a shoulder bag and go for a hike or walk anyway. If you planned to have coffee with a friend and they cancelled, go have the coffee anyway.

The adventure rests within you. You just have to give it a little space to come out and dance.

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