Adventure

With the subject of limits just finished for the month of September, it seems right to think of adventure as a good subject for October.

What is an adventure? There are so many ways to think about it–doing new things or not doing what we always do. It can be as simple as trying a new recipe or as demanding as a trek in the Himalayas. For me it’s good to know that each day can have its little adventures. What will it be today?

Phrases Posted on Facebook, October 2019

In thinking about adventure I want to think that little is big and that big might, in fact, be little as long as I am willing to experience something new along the way. The size doesn’t matter, the newness does.
What one person thinks is humdrum; another will feel to be a high adventure. When we commit to being in an adventure, it is always an investment in not knowing ahead of time. That mystery and bit of uncertainty is what is so enticing.
People talk about their bucket lists–adventures they wish to experience before they die. What if we could ask what the bucket list is for the day we are in or the week ahead? Isn’t the real adventure being present and participating in what is? That’s always possible and allows for life to be full of surprises.
Doing something we do every day would not be considered an adventure, but say, you’ve been hospitalized and after days in bed this is the first moment you got up and stood on your own two feet. WOW, what a feeling! To sense the ordinary as a huge possibility takes an adventuring consciousness and invites us to take nothing for granted.
Don’t you love how there are words within words. Venture is within adventure. We won’t have any adventures unless we venture into something that is new to us and possibly a little scary. Drive down a road you’ve never been on. Order a meal you’ve never tasted. Be quiet for an hour. There are so many things we can venture into that will open us.
I’ve experienced and I am sure you have, too, how there can be a sense of adventure in saying no where we always before have said yes. Suddenly we are in unfamiliar territory, a bit like being in a foreign country. Our no opens the possibility for a new yes. It is a very powerful word!
Deeper than saying NO is deeply letting be and letting go of something that has been of trouble to us for a long time. That’s not easy, but what an adventure we’ll find when we do. That spacious freedom will open paths of discovery we couldn’t have imagined.
At the outset of a travel adventure in foreign territory there needs to be an implicit acceptance of both being surprised and uncomfortable. The meat of the experience often turns out to be how we were nudged into being more inclusive than we generally are, more daring, more befuddled and therefore changed. That last word seems most important and is what we take home.
To resist reaching for the TV remote or the IPhone or the Tablet is to be willing to be without outward stimulation. Then what? Finding the discomfort of not having something given to us to focus on out there we will have to feel and sense what’s going on inside. That’s a different experience, and for some that can be quite an opening to a spiritual adventure. Not everyone’s cup of tea, of course!

One of the hardest and also perhaps the most rewarding thing is to make our daily rounds into an adventure. The moment we think of our routine as stale is the moment to do what we always do with more attention or by giving it some flare or goofiness. We can change the order in which we do things or simply bless the patterns we are in for their established beauty. The adventure is living in the ordinary as if it were extraordinary. It’s already amazingly so if we could just see it.

I looked up the word, adventure, in the Webster dictionary and saw the word, advent, first. We know advent as a time before Christmas, but another definition given was a coming to being and use. Then along came adventure further down the page with its definition as a risky undertaking and/or exciting experience. Could it be that something coming into being and use is at the very heart of adventure?
Tonight little goblins will be out in the scary dark. It will be an adventure for them as they fill their bags with goodies. For us, when we face any scary darkness in our lives and come back from it with psychological and spiritual goodies, we’ll have been on a grand adventure.