If you follow me on Facebook
you’ll know that I was on
an Adventure of my own
Not long ago,
I encouraged each of you
to “Just Say Yes” to
nudges from the Universe,
challenges and growth
opportunities that drop
into your lap like gifts from the sky.
As I wrote that,
I received a too-good-
to-refuse offer to
join a friend for a week
on the Pacific coast,
just north of San Francisco.
Money was tight. Schedules were full. Going was crazy.
But I just said Yes.
And this is where Yes led me.
This picture was taken about half way along a hike on our first day there. We’d started considerably higher, in a stand of Redwood giants high up on the mountain. We were heading down towards that strip of sand you can see in the distance.
Beautiful, isn’t it?
When things like this happen, I intentionally open myself to the experience. I trust that I am being led to this place and time for a reason, whether I can always see what that reason is, or not. There were many lovely lessons and moments of joy last week, and each day brought new awarenesses into my life.
To start with, I learned two simple truths.
1. I am (still) a moderate hiker who is madly, deeply in love with the woods.
2. I am not (ever likely to become) a birder. :)
After a health scare last fall took the wind out of my sails, I’d begun to worry that I’d never be able to hike much again. Since then, with small, simple and consistent changes in daily habits, I’ve worked to restore my health, rebuilding my strength and stamina as well. Things are better.
And thank heavens.
Because right off the bat, our host suggested this rather spontaneous 4.5 mile afternoon hike that dropped 1000 feet through redwood forest, crossing the chaparral that you see above, then down through a stand of bay laurel trees to the beach – with an extra mile on the sand to the house.
And I was able to do it – with almost no trouble at all.
The Steep Ravine Trail, above Stinson Beach, California, wandered through the some of the most beautiful country I’ve hiked in years.
I loved – treasured – every magical moment of it.
C2C TAKE-AWAY LESSON #1:
Take care of your health in small and steady ways – daily –
so you feel well enough to act on the opportunities that do come your way when they come.
Then on the day I started writing this, I had my first ever experience on a birding expedition, with Keith Hansen, one of the top birders in the world. It didn’t take long to see that he loved this work, and knows it inside and out. As an artist who has illustrated several bird guides, he’s traveled all over the world, studying the appearance, behaviors and culture of birds. It was remarkable what he could see.
So we spent hours exploring different sites up and down small seaside communities near Point Reyes National Seashore, looking at a huge variety of gulls and loons and sparrows and finches and ospreys and hummingbirds and a whole bunch of small tree birds that I, personally, could barely see, much less distinguish.
Okay – the telescope helped, but still.
My friends were in birders’ heaven.
Me? I was captivated by the ancient trees wrapped around us.
And the amazing variety of tiny wildflowers at my feet.
And the (funny!) harbor seals that cleverly disguised themselves as a collection of driftwood out in the bay.
I was a little worried that my friends might find me lacking, but at the end of the day, it was all just fine.
They appreciated the fact that I gave birding an honest try.
I appreciated the fact that they didn’t seem to mind my wandering lack of attention to the cause.
C2C TAKE-AWAY LESSON #2:
Trying something new is always good for you, even if you find that you don’t always love it. Discovering what you don’t love, as well as what you do, is key to uncovering & defining your passions.
And that is critical to creating the life you (really, secretly always) wanted for yourself.
In your business or career, trying different jobs, offering different services, working with different clients, trying different environments…. All of that helps you learn more, too, about what you love.
Because different passions stir different hearts.
What stirs yours?
And what doesn’t? :)
Tell me in the comments below. I’d love to know!