How mindfulness can help you on the adventure of a lifetime
Images of travel and adventure surround us, and the opportunity to pursue those exciting escapades are more accessible than ever. From strenuous mountain expeditions to tropical island explorations, opportunities abound to quench our thirst for adventure.
You’ve invested a lot of energy and enthusiasm to get to where you are right now; learning, working, sharing, and generally doing all you can to make life as plentiful as possible for yourself and those around you. The urge to ‘escape the grind’ still raises its head — particularly during times when the going gets tough. The sheer abundance of opportunities in which you can quench that thirst for travel and adventure may feel a little overwhelming. Perhaps you feel a slight pressure that you ‘should’ do these things… just because you can! Whatever your situation, it’s perfectly normal to feel daunted, or uncertain at the prospect of embarking on something different. But you’ve got this. It’s just a case of finding what’s right for you.
Jenny, a 32-year old from London, had a highly successful career in management consulting when she decided it was time to follow her dreams. “I loved my job,” says Jenny, “and I was part of a great community, but just felt I needed something else from life. It felt like the time was right to change direction. I’d long enjoyed practicing yoga and had looked into the possibility of training to be a yoga teacher before. I’m lucky to have an employer that offers the option to take a sabbatical, so I started exploring opportunities to combine my love of travel with some teacher training. Before I knew it, I’d signed up for a course in South-East Asia, followed by six weeks of exploring the area. It all happened pretty quickly!”
As Jenny says, she was lucky to have the option of a career break, which provided her with the cushion of returning to her work, a win for both parties. “It was just what I needed,” says Jenny, “I felt reinvigorated by my experiences in Asia, and it helped renew my enthusiasm for my career, as well as provide me with the skills and knowledge I needed to share my passion for yoga within the local community.” Others, however, choose to make a complete break, leaping into the unknown and leaving their careers behind to indulge their passions and test their resolve in an entirely new environment. But following your desires needn’t be as radical as that, as travel and adventure can come in many forms. By exploring what’s closer to home — or tapping into the spirit of adventure by trying something that’s always appealed to you — then opportunities become even more readily available and achievable. Who knows where that session at the local climbing wall might lead!
You have so much to offer, and your desire to make the world a better place will inspire you to achieve things that may once have seemed beyond your wildest dreams. You may not realize it, but you likely have qualities and characteristics others find desirable; resilience to progress in your career or perseverance, even when times are tough. Those same traits will help you push through challenges that will inevitably arise during your life pursuits. The skills and knowledge you learn and practice in everyday life will provide a solid foundation for a new beginning. Perhaps you have a natural flair for working with recruits at work? How might you share those valuable qualities of patience and the ability to listen by supporting others in a different setting? Not only will you be helping to inspire others to be their best selves, but it can also work wonders for you by providing a sense of achievement and fulfillment, leading to feelings of calmness and inner peace.
A great way to tap into your spirit of adventure is to visualize your ideal situation. Take some time to sit quietly, close your eyes, and imagine you’re already living the dream. Where are you? What are you doing? What can you see and hear? How do you feel? Take some long, slow, deep breaths and enjoy the sensations that arise in your body, allowing them to spread from head to toe. Not only can this provide a moment of mindful calm and clarity, but also a healthy dose of inspiration and creativity with which you can move forward with confidence and shine your light on the world.
Trust yourself and, most importantly, enjoy every step!