Snakes or butterflies? Lessons From The Jungle.
The sights, sounds and smells of the jungle are difficult to put into words. Even if I tried, it wouldn’t do nature justice. All I can say is, it felt like being in perfect harmony to be immersed in the wild. Watching monkeys swing branch to branch carrying their young… well, there just isn’t anything like it. It just feels right to witness such things.
The afternoon light was delicious as we set out on a hike through the rainforest with a local guide who worked at the lodge where we stayed. Our little group included Anthony (my guy), myself, Dora (aka “Dora The Explorer”), Alejandro – our guide, and Toby – the farm dog.
As we entered into open meadows, I couldn’t wait to explore the property – 170 acres in the deep jungles of Costa Rica. The day before we did a three-hour hike through the rainforest in a very popular national park. It was AMAZING but this time our trek was through an area very, very few people ever see, which made it very special.
All we told Alejandro was that we wanted to explore. He decided where. We roamed through fields where cows were lounging, wild horses were galloping, and sloths and monkeys were hanging from trees. It was absolutely beautiful (the pictures just don’t do it justice and I was too busy taking it all in to snap more anyway).
We went deep into the rainforest and walked along a river where Toby was ahead of us every step of the way. The air and ground were extremely wet which of course is a breeding ground for mosquitoes but this just wasn’t a factor in our adventure. None of the “dangers” or annoyances were actually. In fact, when Alejandro told us to watch out for the snakes… “There are many.”, he said, I was snapped rather abruptly out of my play into “reality” for a moment. I was actually looking for these gorgeous big blue butterflies I’d seen when he told us about the creepy-crawlies so my eyes were focused UP, not down… looking for slithering creatures. In fact, it never even occurred to me there were snakes among us (something very new to me – not to think of it – and a wonderful revelation – more on that below).
Another such moment was when an aggressive farm bull was standing nearby with nothing between him and us. Alejandro subtly directed us away from him. It was then that it struck me… not many people will do this sort of thing. Very few are willing to get “uncomfortable”… travel great distances, bounce around in jeeps on deeply pot-holed roads, get completely covered in mosquito bites, take showers with intimidating (& hairy!) spiders, risk illness (it happened), go without cell coverage or internet for days, sleep in an unlocked cabin in a remote and foreign area… all the while considering it fun. Actually, it was not only fun… it was an experience that included countless magical moments that all strung together into one BIG ball of gorgeousness.
It isn’t for everyone… this kind of travel and that’s 100% okay (and not the point of the story as it turns out) but if not Costa Rica – what can YOU do to get uncomfortable? It could even be right at home. It likely is.
More specifically, what is it costing you to play it safe? Seriously think about that for a moment: What it is costing you?
I haven’t always been this adventurous when it comes to the wild. Of course, adventure seeking has a spectrum, like anything else. I have probably fallen somewhere in the middle over the course of my life – not extreme by any means but more willing than most (even if I’m hesitant) and my eagerness for such things has grown in recent years being with Mr. Indiana Jones himself (aka: my Anthony).
Here is what I want you to get out of this story… What we get out of life is all a matter of what we choose to focus on. And what we focus on makes or breaks us. It is VERY easy to think of all the risks, things to be concerned about, and play the ‘what if’ game but if that is your focus, you will never change your life… or truly break through in areas where you stay perpetually stuck.
Truth be told, when I found out our cabin would have no locks, I came very close to canceling our lodging BUT quickly realized that was an old pattern erupting, and shut it down. As my Coach says, “The way you do one thing, is the way you do everything.” So the way I look at it, the more I push my personal boundaries, the more I will grow in all aspects, and this has proven to be true. It has done wonders for my confidence and sense of fullness in life, which continues to show up in everything I do, including my business.
It was only three years ago when I allowed my fears to run the show, and while I was traveling a lot then too, the amount of preparation and research I did (on the more adventurous trips) was significantly more than it is now. In other words, I’ve learned to quell fear to empower myself to do extraordinary things, and I don’t have a single regret. As I use fear to strengthen (and not weaken me), it loses its power.
After all, life is better… much better… when you are looking for butterflies rather than watching out for the snakes.
What about you, beloved?
- As you look back on 2013, can you see where you played it safe?
- How (seriously… how) will you prevent that from happening again this year? What is your plan to expand? It won’t happen by accident.
- As you look ahead to 2014, what fears are you willing to relinquish in order to live an extraordinary life… or even just a better life?
- How will you change your focus to look for the possibility and not the potential problems? In other words, are you willing to look for the butterflies in order to experience the wonder, and keep your eyes off the ground scanning for snakes? Where will you place your focus?
- What scary thing have you manufactured in your mind about that big change you want to make? Is the fear of the unknown stopping you from living the life you know you are meant to live?
Allow 2014 to be THE year you make THE shift that will change everything for you. Begin small if you must… but please… BEGIN. Here are a few ways to do that:
#1: Find something you can get really excited about, especially if it scares you a little (that’s a good sign 😉 ). Write it down, then decide to do something about it. If you are constantly admiring what someone else is doing, that is likely a hint your soul is calling you to step out too. Being on the side lines is no fun, is it? Commit to doing it within the first 90 days of 2014… and make sure it is something you will feel like bragging about to friends (even if you don’t). One of my clients committed to a marathon.
#2: Expand your comfort zone. Get comfortable with things that were once scary and see what that does for your sense of personal power. Get out there… whatever “out there” means to YOU. It could even be something as little as changing a routine. Instead of doing chores on Saturday, take a day trip somewhere out of your area.
#3: Find a guide who has your back and knows the terrain (like our trusted Alejandro). It makes ALL the difference, and I am not just saying that because I am a Coach! It just and simply is THE best (and in my opinion, only) way to succeed. (By the way, if you want to know if I am the right fit for you (and you for me), tell me a little about yourself here: Start Here. If I’m not the one, I will help you find someone who is. You have my word.)
Please take a few seconds to comment below. Feel free to ask questions too. I ADORE hearing from you and would love to know what you felt was valuable in today’s blog. I’d also *love* to know what your “First 90-Days: Scared Out Of My Wits Challenge” will be!
Love & Light,
SoulFUEL™ Business Coach & Your Freedom Fighter
P.S. After being in the wild our first few days, we went to an all-inclusive resort on the coast :). If you’d like to see the entire photo album of Costa Rica, feel free to Friend me on Facebook.