Archive for the ‘Courage’ Category

Adventure

August 26, 2010

I have been blessed by a life full of adventure.  But what exactly is an adventure?

Dictinary.com says….

1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
When I think of adventure, the key elements that come to mind are:
1) the outcome is unknown, and cannot be fully controlled.
2) my limits will be tested, and therefore I will better know what my real limits are and what are perceived limits.
3) I will get to know myself better.  mentally.  physically.  emotionally.
4) I will discover and know my true power and experience deep “aliveness.”
At this moment I am at the airport, about to depart on an Adventure.  A 6-day, 560 mile (20,000′ of elevation gain) bike ride across the Rocky Mountains (Missoula, MT to Lander, WY).  One of my buddies just arrived and I can just feel his aliveness and excitement.  He is almost glowing.  He was telling me a story about getting ready for our journey when he paused and said, “there was this moment where I just had to let go.  And then everything was fine.”
There you have it.  Wish us luck.
Do you have enough adventure in your life?  What would you have to risk or give up to step into something that scares and excites you?  What might you gain?
<<click on link below to download a map of our ride>>
Tour de Rockies map

Client Profile: Ginny Hutchinson/Better Because

February 12, 2010

In June 2008 we took a magical trek to the Himalaya in India in the form of a Leadership Journey to India.  This unique adventure is an integration of our leadership journey curriculum embedded in a 10 day trek to the base of Nanda Devi — the highest mountain in India (to see a video/slideshow of our journey visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjktxnz3rbA)

As a result of the journey, one of our participants (Ginny Hutchinson, on far left) decided to begin a transition from successful Chief Marketing Officer to starting a positive media company.  Within one year of her return from India she has started a company, published a book, and filmed the Dali Lama.  She is off and running!

Ginny has been an inspiration to me and many others with her enthusiasm and her positive attitude, not to mention her courage to leave the safety of the known and to plunge into her dream with fearless energy.

Her vision with Better Because is two-fold: Spreading joy to make the world a better place; Helping educate children in need throughout the world.

I want to salute Ginny and her business partner Cathy Haffner on their accomplishments, and to point you toward their book “Better Because of You.”  Many people find it to be an energizing read, a great gift, and good way to get grounded in a positive attitude.  Below Ginny says a little more about her book and how to find it.

Bravo Ginny and Cathy!


Better Because of You shares true-to-life stories, thought-provoking quotations, and life strategies that can help readers do small things each day to make a big difference in their lives.  This fun book is essential reading for anyone looking for simple insights on leading a happier life – and it makes a special gift for special people you value.

Available at: Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Better-Because-You-Cathy-Haffner/dp/0982519109/), Nordstrom Gift Department, University Book Store, or local book store everywhere …just ask.

Check it out:    www.BetterBecause.com <http://www.betterbecause.com/>

If you want to contact Ginny you can reach her at ginny@ginnyhutchinson.com or 206.696.3243.

Surrender to Destiny

February 11, 2010

Have you read the inspiring true story of Greg Mortenson’s journey from dirtbag mountaineer to builder of schools in remote parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan? If you haven’t, I recommend that you give his books a read (first “Three Cups of Tea,” then read “Stones Into Schools”).

From my perspective, his story is one of being in the flow of his life, of paying attention to what emerges, and of following his heart and his instincts when opportunities presented themselves. Mind you, these “opportunities” came in form of unplanned, unwanted, and uncomfortable events.  Yet he surrenders, again and again, to what feels right, to the next thing he sees to do.  He often doesn’t know exactly where he is going, he just knows the next step.

It would be easy to say he simply let’s his destiny unfold, but I think it is more accurate to say he keeps being a fierce stand for the possibilities that his destiny has presented to him.  This process takes courage — as in the courage to know who we really are.  It takes conviction — as in being unstoppable in the face of circumstances.  It requires us to look beyond our own comfort and desires — as in true impact and deep fulfillment always come when serving others rather than our own personal preferences.

What is your destiny?  Why are you here?  What is the contribution you see that you are here to make?  How is that aligned with what you find most fulfilling?  If you surrender to the gifts you have, and the callings you feel, where will that lead you?  Are you willing to let go enough to allow this path to unfold?

Declaration in Action

November 2, 2009

Arriving at the rock climbing gym a few days ago I found myself wondering what role fear would play in my climbing on this night.  Fear is a relevant and necessary part of climbing for all climbers.  At times it takes center stage and limits my ability to climb at my best.  Other times I am able to center myself such that the fear is simply in the background helping me stay alert to risks, neither limiting my abilities nor my enjoyment of the experience.

As I walked into the gym on this particular evening a crystal clear thought popped into my head.  “Tonight, I will climb without fear.”  This simple commitment set the stage for my evening of climbing.  At the beginning of each climb I repeated this mantra in my mind.

From this commitment I noticed that I moved more gracefully, breathed more freely, and remained relaxed in the midst of the efforting.

At one particular junction I was faced with a move that felt a little dicey.  A fall from here would be a bit scary and the holds felt tentative and difficult.  Typically at a spot like this my attention would go to my fear (“this hold doesn’t feel too good…a fall from here could be bad…I could just stop and rest on the rope…”).  Instead, the commitment “I will climb without fear” rang in my mind and I returned my attention to making the move.  Absent the hesitation and “monkey mind” that happen when I focus on my fears I moved decisively upward, easily making the move.

After I lowered off the climb both my climbing partner and I noticed that I had climbed with unusual grace and power.  The big grin on my face said it.

A simple declaration.  A powerful result.

Question: What simple declaration will call forth your best self and focus your attention on what you are committed to?  This could be a larger commitment like “I am a commitment to being an extraordinary leader.”  It could be very concrete: “I am a commitment to doubling my gross income.”  Or it could be something simple like “I am a commitment to having fun and laughing today.”

Banks Lake DWS

Deep water soloing (climbing over water), Banks Lake, WA.