Archive for adventure

A Whole New World

The other day I was walking down memory lane, singing one of my favorite Disney songs “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid. Classic.  There is something timelessly beautiful about Ariel’s curiosity about worlds beyond her eyes.

Then it occurred to me. Why the CRAP was Ariel’s home so polluted???? She lived under the sea, not in the town garbage dump! Sure, there was the occasional shipwreck that she and Flounder might have rummaged through but this chick had a whole cavern of gadgets and gizmos aplenty…whozits and whatzits galore! I wonder if we had the same curiosity about Ariel’s world as she had about ours if she would even have all that trash at her disposal to sing about.

When you look out onto the ocean, what is it you see? Colors? Waves? Seagulls? Perhaps. But what we see is nothing compared to what is. Those waves cover the world’s largest mountains ranges. The blues hide its deepest canyons. Marine plants provide half the oxygen you are breathing. Sebastian and Flounder are among more than 1 million plants and animal species living there…and because much of the ocean is still unexplored, there are likely 9 million species waiting to be discovered.

Our curiosity about worlds beyond our eyes creates the largeness of our lives. In many cases, it is our questions that preserve the future that allows for their answers. Languages and species do not become extinct when we care enough to discover them. Cultures and traditions live in the sharing and understanding of them. What worlds are you interested in or currently discovering? So often we get caught up in the routines of our lives and forget there are whole new worlds waiting for us to find them and love them. Ariel’s discoveries of small knick-knacks set the stage for dreams fulfilled. What unexplored questions about the world around you will set the stage for yours?

 

Need inspiration? Here is how one family’s curiosity about worlds beyond their eyes is feeding and educating nations living in extreme poverty around the globe.

The Movement of One Day’s Wages from One Day’s Wages on Vimeo.

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The Ride of A Lifetime

During one of the many “not really news” segments of the Today Show, I came across this fascinating photograph of a whale. The segment led with “ A Whale of a Tale: 40-ton mammal lands on yacht.” From the headline and the photo, its safe for you to assume the obvious. The picture was snapped moments before the whale hurled itself through the mast of the ship, destroying the boat, an act that entitled the couple sailing the ship the 15 minutes of fame I was now participating in.

Interesting enough, the part of the story that caught my attention was not the 80,000 lbs soaring through the air. It was what soared with those 40 tons: barnacles. Look closely and you will see the clumps of white crustiness that are at the center of my fascination.

Have you ever thought about the life of a barnacle?  Barnacles are tiny crustaceans that attach themselves to hard surfaces and perch there indefinitely. Once stable, a barnacle kicks its feathery feet out of its shell and collects nutrients from the surrounding water. Many barnacles find rocks to hug.  Some attach themselves to the remains of dead animals or the shells of animals who have outgrown their skin. And some, like the ones of the photograph, find huge whales to tag along with and hold on tight for the ride.  Though this photograph paints an unfortunate scene from the sailors’ points of view, the barnacles are likely having the ride of their lives. It is the substance that the barnacles decide to cling to that determine the course of their lives.

In many ways we are like barnacles…and not just because some of us are crusty. The course of our lives is largely illustrated by what we cling to. The relationships we hold close, the values we stand firm in, the mindsets we are attached to, the jobs we hold, the faith we lean on each play a role in the direction of our lives. Some attachments keep us standing firm, while others keep us standing still. And some of our wisest attachments keep us hurling from adventure to adventure.

What are you attaching yourself to and where is it taking you? Are you holding on to things that are taking you to new levels of living or clinging to dead ideas and mindsets that keep you in the same place?

You are where you are for a reason
What You Did Yesterday Got You Here
What You Do Today Will Get You
Where You Will Be Tomorrow
~Jack Egener~

“Bloom where you are planted.”

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Swing Over the Top

I believe the most powerful dream I have ever had is to do a full 360 over the top of the swing set. Sure, I have had other competing aspirations—to jump to the fourth bar on the monkey bars; to travel to different countries; to go to a great college. Yet none of these dreams has held a candle to the adventure of swinging over the top of the swing set.

I can remember rushing out the big red doors of Nishuane School at recess. I had little difficulty conquering the other obstacles of the playground—merry go-round, monkey bars, jungle gym—CHILD’S PLAY. After making my rounds to the more menial amusements, recess always ended with the ultimate challenge: swing over the top. Each time I climbed into that worn black rubber seat, I knew there was a destiny waiting for me, and it was on the other side of that bar.  I’d pump with as much power as my 34 lb body could muster, each time inching just a little bit closer to my kid-dom heaven. I’d close my eyes and imagine the moment I crossed over to the other side. Sometimes I’d imagine crossing over into a parallel universe where everything was upside down. Sometimes, I’d imagine a crowd of envious onlooking 2nd graders who had tried their whole lives to accomplish what I would accomplish in kindergarten. As the visions got more clear, my leg pump would get more pronounced. My arms would pull vigorously on the chains to help build momentum. I’d give more…and more…and more…looking up at the bar for inspiration. Just as I’d approach my life changing moment, the chain would buckle and I would jump off into the pile of sand and woodchips below–the dirt on my knees my sign of defeat.

What was so miraculous about this dream was the fact that no number of dirty knees ever discouraged me from believing that parallel universe over the top of the swing set bar actually existed and that I could, in fact, reach it. It was a dream of my heart, not my head, and nothing but my commitment could get in my way.

That belief in the impossible has fueled every dream ever worth dreaming. I’d like to think that Jackie Robinson, Gandhi, Orville and Wilbur, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa might have given it an extra leg pump on the playground. Just one ounce of childlike faith in the adventure to the impossible has led to cures to polio, the end of apartheid, the building of the Sphinx, and the discovery of continents.

Challenge: Can you believe in one impossible thing this week?  Take it on with the same reckless abandon that made recess the best time of the day and then leave a comment and share what you are daring to believe in.

What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”- Tony Robbins

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