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Archive for Adventuring

Maintaining Your Road

So many signs along the road as I go for my morning walk! Some are about upcoming events (Dance! Friday night!). Others to locate a lost pet, complete with picture, description and contact number. Then, there are road signs. Dead End. No Right Turn on Red. School Zone. But the one that intrigued me was: Primitive Road. Caution. Use At Your Own Risk.

Roads, especially the dirt ones, are a specialty of our rural areas. What makes for a well-built road? First, they are graded to become flat and smooth. The best ones have a slight crown in the middle of the roadway to allow rain or melting snow to drain away. A very durable material of surface gravel, stones, and fine dirt is then dumped on the area and smoothed with massive pieces of equipment. Next is a layer of finely compacted earth, designed to be long-lasting to the weather.

But after a while, washboarding occurs. That’s the choppy ride you get when traveling over five mph on this jarring surface. The road itself resembles an old-fashioned washboard, hence the name, and if you speed along, can even be hazardous. Potholes can also be menaces, threatening axels and alignments of cars. But to repair and maintain them, huge graders are brought in. They take about an inch from the top of the surface, blend it with new materials and lay it back down. The road is smooth again.

The sign and the road are like life. At a very early age, you begin to build a foundation of belief and knowledge. This is similar to creating a smooth road and is indeed Primitive. The sources of this base usually come from your mom and dad, other family members, school experiences and sometimes your church. As a baby and toddler, you are cautious, for the world is new to you. Slowly, you build a framework of know-how. What is successful is retained, while you toss that which is not useful. Over the years, you develop a pattern of life for yourself.

But every now and again, a pothole pops up or you hit a washboard. Life is bumpy or even treacherous. Your experience from the past cannot cover this new event. Perhaps it’s the death of someone close to you. Or the failure of a business you started up. Or the frustration of not dropping those pounds that appear to be glued on permanently.

You can choose to stop there. After all, the sign says, “use at your own risk.” But then you take a chance on getting stuck where you are, never venturing out to new horizons or trying new venues.

But how to positively maintain your road? Here are some ideas:

  • Check out your beliefs. What was useful in the past may not always be what works in the present. And may not fuel those dreams for the future.
  • Test your risk quotient. Take a chance and venture to somewhere new. Do something you’ve never tried before. Stretch your horizons.
  • Take a look at your personal potholes and washboard situations. A relative rub you the wrong way? A friend try to put limits on your life? Start the day with a negative outlook? Time to grade the top layer? Or perhaps dig deeper and sort through some of the stones and gravel of learning placed there years ago? Take an inventory and make some changes.

Life is an adventure. You can keep on traveling the washboard of experiences. Or begin new adventures to smooth your life and enjoy growth for your heart and soul. The time is now.

Monsoons

Duff photoDuff here. Monsoon season is fast upon us. Have I told you: Getting Wet Outdoors is not my favorite activity. However, I like my baths, where I can get cleaned up. I have even been known to hop into the tub and encourage Mom to Hurry Up. Time for some Luxury and Pampering, for after my Shower Mom cuddles me in a Large Towel. I truly live unstuck.

But Drenching Downpours are quite another thing. When we arrived home from work yesterday, the Storm was in full swing. Mom was gathering up items from the car to take Inside. As she looked at me, I was Comfy, Warm and Dry in my car carrier. She was outside in the Rain, which was coming down in Sheets of Water by then. I could tell she was contemplating leaving me there, but her Good Judgment prevailed. She Coaxed. She Sweet Talked. She used Strong Language, to no avail. Finally, she pulled me out. And yes, I got Saturated with Water. I lived unstuck in the Monsoon Storm.

Do you find yourself in Challenging Situations at times? Do you stay where it’s Warm and Dry? Or do you take your Chances and go Adventuring? I suggest the latter. It will broaden your Horizons (and also get you back inside a Warm Home). Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#gettingwet

It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.

—Henry David Thoreau

The Important Things in Life

Forget to remember and remember to forget what isn’t important to you.

—Kathy Walter

Duff photoDuff here. Sometimes, I get wound up in one Important Way of Doing Something. Like: this is the only way to go on this path in the forest. Or this is the only way to get an extra treat. Perhaps this is the only way to let Mom know I need to go Outside. (Now, that’s critical.) And yet, I ponder: what is Really Important? Is Everything of Equal Value? In the Larger Scheme of things, does it really matter how I get an Extra Morsel? If I’m cemented in one Habit, will it matter 100 years from now? As long as I achieve my goal, I can live unstuck.

This concept really hit home the other day as Mom and I were walking through the forest. I took us on a Path that made sense to me: clear, smooth and direct. We got to our Destination and turned back to head to the car. Even though (because of my Innate Sense of Smell), I have the Superior Ability to track us home, Mom decided to Change Things Up. (Remind me to tell you about the time when Mom got lost, and I led her back to the Car. But that’s a story for a Different Time.) We went a different route, even though I kept attempting to move her back to the original Path. Eventually, I gave up and dejectedly followed her. Imagine my amazement when we arrived at the original Starting Post? I was ecstatic. I lived unstuck.

Are you like Me? Get Stuck in a Rut and think that’s the only Way to do Things? A Famous Family therapist once said there were 147 different ways to wash the dishes. And they all met the Objective: to clean the dinnerware. I found that Concept boggling. Talk about living unstuck. I recommend: Try something new. A new way to work. A new food. (Yum.) The Important Things in life demand a variety of experiences. Release the rest of it. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#importanceofthingsinlife

I Exercise Patience

Duff photoDuff again. Have you ever noticed when you go to town with Some People, they attract others to chat with? I sure have. My mom seems to meet people non-stop when we are out and about. These visits are spirited and lively, punctuated by laughter (and Serious Stuff at times). The ones involved have a great time. And there I am, way down beneath it all. When I was a puppy, I would make a bid for attention. Now that I’m a Grown Dog, I mind my manners. I exercise patience and live unstuck.

At first I stand and check out the scenery. Many Scents to explore. An extensive variety of Vistas to see. If the chit chat is lengthened, I sit on my haunches. This action depends on the warmth of the ground beneath me, for I have Sensitive Parts, you know. And I’m still happy to be involved. If the chat is even longer, I stretch out and luxuriate. Patience is mine. I live unstuck.

Do you have times where you exercise patience? Are you Waiting for Someone to finish a heart-to-heart Exchange? Or perhaps in line somewhere at a store during the Hot Season of Summer? I say: Do so and enjoy it. Check out scents and vistas, no matter where you are. You never know what you’ll discover. Quite often, I am pleasantly surprised. You will be too. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#newadventures

Patience is not simply the ability to wait—It’s how we behave while we’re waiting.

—Joyce Meyer

The Path I Created

Duff photoDuff here. There is a wonderful Meadow next to where I live and I love to adventure there. Trees and shrubs, cactus and tiny flowers fill the expanse. And the scents! I stick my nose in paw prints left by other Big Dogs on the path. Then there’s the markings left by other Critters, some of which I ponder for quite a few moments. I could go forever in search of Exciting Experiences. I live unstuck.

There are Times when I elect to strike out and venture off the well-worn Path. I have a yen to check other Scents or Horizons (or even Trash). All is well and good until mom gets caught in branches and limbs. And that can be comical, indeed. You see, I am about twelve inches total in height. I can travel in the Smallest of Places. And worm my way into Impossible Thickets (according to my mom). You should see mom untangle my leash from the mess I have created. You would laugh. And I often do with my Doggy Smile. For you see, mom is 5’3” tall and does not have the advantage of being as compact as I am. But in spite of that challenge, she lives unstuck.

How about you? Are you staying on the Same Path you created many years ago? Or do you venture into New Experiences and leave a Trail? Expand your Horizons? Stretch your Imagination? I say: You got this. Your past experiences will serve you well. I have found that to be the case. And I think you will too. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#adventuring

Do not go where the path may lead.

Go instead to where there is no path and leave a trail.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson