Tuesday, January 29, 2013
The salty sea air tickled our noses as we stepped out of the van. My husband and I had been driving for hours that morning along the coastline. As we walked down the steep trail toward the crashing waves, we stretched our legs, digging our toes in the soft sand, relishing the warmth of the sun on our backs. We were on a schedule that day, so didn't have a lot of time to explore.
We climbed around on the rocks for a few minutes, and then settled down on the sand, listening to the silence. We had the entire cove to ourselves.
Running our hands in the sand, we began to notice a few green glints. As we looked closer, the colors of the sand particles began to separate as our eyes focused on the individual grains. There were pinks and tans and peaches. Some blacks and whites. And green.
We started separating out the greens. Bright jade- and emerald-hued specks jumped out at us. We were captivated for a long time. The quiet collecting as the waves crashed beyond us.
Sometimes we think of adventures as adrenaline-inducing epic experiences, but I believe that ordinary moments can contain their own brand of adventure. When your perspective shifts, or you're challenged with discovering something new you'd never noticed before. Like green sand.
During our travels, my husband and I experienced a lot of adventures"Ñboth big and small. But it's this one that always seems to stick out in my mind. It reminds me to slow down when I'm feeling hurried. To look beyond the obvious and seek out the extraordinary within the ordinary.
I believe we have the ability to create and define our own adventures, big and small. And when we cultivate a spirit of daily adventure"Ña belief that adventure is possible where ever you are"Ñis essential for living an adventurous life. Because it's in the nuance and subtlety of experience where the seeds of adventure are sown.
I thought I'd share a few ideas for activities that continue to help me cultivate my sense of, and appreciation for, adventure.
- Engage your senses.
Choose a color, aspect of nature (naming trees or clouds, for example) or a particular sense and focus on that throughout your activity. Whether you're hiking, biking, climbing or building a snowman, paying attention to the little things can hone your skills and expand your experience in entirely new ways.
- Challenge your creative eye.
In this age when cameras fit in our pockets, we're rarely caught without one. Find new angles and perspectives of familiar objects to capture. What does the trail look like from a bird's eye view? What about your favorite canine companion? When's the last time you looked up from beneath a tree? What does frozen sap look like up close?
- Attend a local event or join an outdoor social group.
Meeting new people can stretch our comfort zones (especially those of us more introverted), and help to expand our knowledge.
- Embrace your inner child.
Go out and splash in a rain puddle. Or catch a snowflake on your tongue. Giggle and laugh out loud for no reason. Get up and dance. YepÑdance right there at your desk.
What adventures will you create today? Amy Christensen is a certified life coach with a passion for adventure and helping women tap into their own adventurous spirits. Based in Boulder, CO, her company, Expand Outdoors, focuses on creating a healthy, sustainable, and fun active life. She most recently launched 31 Winter Adventures, an email series that delivers daily adventures to your inbox for 31 days in celebration of the winter.