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Posts Tagged ‘Personal growth’

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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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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Roam Your Soul is an online workshop for women that want to explore their daily lives with new eyes, experience adventure and roam their inner soul of who they are. The workshop will help you on an internal adventure that results in soul growth and learning about yourself through daily explorations, weekly reflections and other peoples experiences.

I wanted...to enjoy.

You will participate in a 4 week online workshop with women from around the world to explore, question, interpret and interact in adventures that touch your heart, wake you up, and change your way of life.

Whether you are stuck in a rut, tired of the daily doldrum, looking for something new to do, going through a massive life change or struggling to find who you are and where you are going, Roam Your Soul is sure to fill a place in your life.

Each participate will contribute to an online forum with pictures, stories, and responses to questions and will be able to view online Roam Your Soul resources, writing suggestions and video blogs.

I wanted...to capture the experience.

Roamers will have the opportunity to create a private sharing community together online and will be able to read each others’ stories, view each others’ pictures and discuss topics using the Roam Your Soul online forum.

Our Next Workshop: December 15th – January 22nd (Holiday Break 12/22 – 1/2)


Registration Deadline
: November 1st

First Timer Registration Cost: $15.00

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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