Redefining Adventure: Running Away to Healing

“I clung to anything different than the constant drone of my fears and a life of groundhog days.”

“I CAN’T FUCKING DO THIS!” That’s me flat on my back screaming with my arms and legs flailing about like a dying cockroach somewhere in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, or maybe Spain.  I’m not sure I had made it to the Spanish border before my meltdown.  My travel mate just stood there looking down at me and asked, very matter of fact, if I was done yet.  No, no I was not done yet and I requested she leave me there to die.

There are moments ungenerously dotted throughout life that you feel most alive, when everything stops and you are so mindfully aware of its uniqueness; it’s a moment that requires a stoppage in time to place a big-ass dog-ear in the page. Those moments that you not only don’t want to forget but you desperately want to stay in, curl up into and live inside, at least for a little while longer.  Even the brutal, just shoot me moments like my Camino adventure I have wanted to cling to because I felt insanely alive. Or so I thought. 

The very word, adventure, thrills me; there’s the challenge that makes me feel strong and capable, the secret hope of some miracle healing, the compulsion to find my purpose, and the desire to run away from the monotony of life. Honestly, the phrase “run away” is key. I clung to anything different than the constant drone of my fears and a life of groundhog days.

Maybe I felt if I put myself in that experience of hardship, that space of being completely beaten down, I would finally surrender.  Surrender to letting go of trying to control everything.  It’s exhausting.  It is a slow torturous self-inflicted death to be a control freak.  But what I really wanted was to be healed so that I could let go of my fears of being sick.  For more than a decade, I had unexplained health symptoms that had me paralyzed with fear.  I was always chasing the next thing that’s going to make me feel better.  Oh how conditional it all was; I never thought to face my fear first, or if I did, I couldn’t.  It had a grip on me like nothing else.

I thought after getting out of my first marriage where I lived a horrible lie (That story begins here.), I would be better but my health issues continued to be a major catalyst for change in my life. It took me years to see the beauty in this but I still had not made peace with my body. Problem now was my body couldn’t keep up with the constant cycle between struggle and bliss that I was wanting to put it through. Running away is hard work. I still desired adventure, but I needed to get my life in order once again and learn the true meaning of surrender. That was my next great adventure!

It all began when I said yes to my inner voice or rather, an energetic pull. I don’t know exactly what to call it but when I felt it, it could not be denied. It’s like my body was a bottle of champagne and the Universe decided to give me a shake! This energy inside had been awakened, creating an internal pressure that forced me to listen. I was being called.

Of course at first I kept denying it and came up with loads of excuses. Road trip across the country? Alone? I’m a woman, it’s too dangerous (Apparently my mind concluded walking alone in a foreign country where I don’t know the language is safer than this! Hello!?!). I fall asleep driving long distances, I’ll never make it! It makes no sense, why Yellowstone of all places? I need to know the WHY! I can’t leave my family that long, I’m always taking off, it’s not fair. With all this mind chatter, I told myself no, only to have the energy of it return. After repeating this cycle several times, I sat down and said, these are all excuses, if I’m guided I’ll be fine. So I asked myself, do I want this? My everything screamed, YES! From that moment, I began to prepare for my next greatest journey.

Up next: The Muck and the Mire.

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