“I can FEEL it so clear but I don’t know how to put words to it yet, to physicalize it…”
This is almost exactly what (most) clients say before we start working together on evolving their business (going from where they’ve been in business to a higher calling or purpose project that integrates their core talents, life & professional experience and desire to help others/do great good in the world) and building their brand/identity to one that is more vibrantly, creatively and genuinely them.
This is alsoooo WHAT I AM (STILL) SAYING ABOUT THE NINE DAY VISION QUEST that came to a close for me, a month ago yesterday!
I want to tell you so much about it yet it‘s difficult to put the actual experience into words. But I will find some, however inadequate, soon as I’ll be one of the speakers at our next Greater Good Party (8/23) talking about ‘The Solo Experience’, ~ I’ll be sure to share the words I do find here, too…
For now, I have this for you —
• Three elements make up a vision quest: no food, no shelter and no social interaction (or distractions like books or music etc. unless you are making either of them yourself).
• I had no idea that helping to carry the group food to be eaten before and after each of our solo journeys would add so much weight to my pack. And to my initial thoughts. It was challenging (to say the least) hiking two to three hours in the heat straight up granite rock with approximately 40-45lbs on my back when I’m 114 lbs (my knee was hurting which added a level of difficulty I was not anticipating).
• But we ARE capable to hold and carry ourselves through the toughest terrains of our lives. And we know that it’s made easier by what we tell ourselves. The initial hike up and subsequent days were made deeply enjoyable by this very thing ~ what I told myself and the non-physical “tools” I had to calm my nervous system. I definitely used them.
• You CAN (also) ask others for help. I did going up the mountain (in addition to the big pack, I also had a small day pack I was holding on the front of me and I asked someone to help me carry it). In solo, however, that “help” came from yours truly in the form of compassion. Allowing myself not to DO anything which was a hard habit to break and to simply allow myself to sit longer and sit again and again (I used every tree nearby to sit next to, against, under), because I didn’t have much energy to walk around. Or — meditating or praying as many times as I needed to throughout the day when I felt I needed an energy boost or to calm myself. As social creatures, we do very much need each other to survive (one of the stories I will tell at GGP is a beautiful one around this topic: how I kept myself safe during those three nights and days in the wild on my own with the “help of others”, but without us ever seeing one another) — but but but no one can take the journey for us of growth, emotional strength, forgiveness and/or of enlightenment, whatever that means to you.
• What is natural is being fully you. If you’re not feeling all of you, if you’re feeling stunted or stagnant in any part of your life, a check has been forged or a part of you, maybe an emotional arm or leg or two, has been deeply society-influenced or man-made (~>not natural/sustainable). Remembering this may help: nothing real can be threatened. Be real, be you.
• I had a few fresh bear scat droppings around my solo site and though I threw the small plastic bag of emergency food my guides gave me (3 dried apricot pieces, 2 emergen-C packets & 1 Luna bar in case we felt too weak or sick) high into a tree, as they had taught us, I spent a few minutes of each day wondering if bears, with their heightened sense of smell, were walking around me and I simply would turn at the right time and not see them off in the distance. Though I felt genuinely safe and was surprised post solo at how calm I’d enter each evening, my favorite time of day, my bear bell was around my neck every minute, even when I slept…
• I loved the crisp (filtered) creek water up there. Yum. I got bored of. only. drinking. the. crisp. (filtered) creek. water.
• I’ve never had a more beautiful bedroom. Had the best sleep I’ve had in a long time!
• Seriously, choose your hardships/challenges — you’ll suffer less at the hands of those unchosen challenges that come.
• Our kids need us to bring the light received from the proverbial mountain (and from more consistent interactions with nature and from wherever we get that “light” or lightness from). They need us, the more present, calm and honest us, more than ever before!
• Just as a car — and love— is a tool, nature is one, too. Most of us just haven’t “picked” it/her up in awhile.
• I didn’t want to come home (and you know how I lo-hove the people in my home).
• Get/stay wild about your life! And while I’m at it, what are you really hungry for???
[Did I mention that three of the five of us ran into bears, some right next to their sleeping bag? That I saw at least two shooting stars per night and one comet a few seconds after I was talking to Dino and my Mom about communicating with me even more overtly? And that I only started to fantasize about food for a few minutes on the fourth and final day of fasting?]
Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life!
Life is good,
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur