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Thursday, 29 November 2012

How to Live My Life As An Adventure

I'm having a great time in SARK's Creativity Clubhouse where we share ideas online with other lovely creative souls.  SARK, aka Susan Arial Rainbow Kennedy, is one of my favourite creative teachers and I use her methods and materials for my own work and when I teach & mentor others.

One of the Creative Clubhouse prompts for this month is 'How I Live My Life As An Adventure' and, as it's one of my favourite topics, I thought I'd give it a go!

For many years, I thought adventure cost a lot of money and was out of my reach.  This is, in fact, total bunk.  Here are some of the ways I grab adventure in my life:

1) Saying a HOLY YES.

Not to everything, but to the things that give me a happy feeling when I think about them.  If somebody approaches me with a great sounding idea, I try to say YES as often as I can.  As life has become more full and rich, I've had to become a little more picky about the YESes, but I still say it very often.  YES.

2) The power of 'Meh'

The power of YES is often talked about, but I think it's more powerful with it's counterpart - the sacred 'Meh'.  Being ready to go 'Meh' when things don't go so well is great practice, both for coping with what I call doom (bad stuff) and taking risks in the first place, as you know you can answer any disasters with a shrug and a 'Meh'.


 3) Spotting adventure in the every day

See, the truth of it is that every day IS an adventure.  A bold, brave, bounding adventure of massive proportions.  You are alive in exciting times and have access to all sorts of splendid things.  So, when you go shopping, make it a 'magnificent shopping adventure of glory'.  

When you garden, I make it a David Livingstone type foray into a mysterious jungle (my garden qualifies quite well for this).  When I deal with other people, I try to remember that I am having the adventure of learning the mysteries of another being - awesome!

Adding adventure to the everyday by dressing up, playing and adding glitter is also great fun, and a way I make other people's life more sparkly as well as my own.


4) Embracing the usual

We humans have an inbuilt fear of something different - it's called 'neophobia' and all prey animals (yes, we are!) have it.  I notice when I do unusual things in public (a habit of mine) some people's first reaction is fear.

In the wild, if something is out of the ordinary, it might mean something is about to eat you.  Not so much in our world where things are somewhat safer.  

When I see something unexpected or unusual, I tend to embrace it!  

5) Accepting that adventures are challenging


I know that I will have more adventures if you are willing to work harder, go further and make more mistakes than I am comfortable with.


6) Seeking adventure

Adventure is twice the fun when you go looking for it.  

I don't mean flying to India to 'find yourself' (yawns), I mean joining a class to learn something new, taking a walk up a steep hill when you're ridiculously unfit, or a taking a really long walk alone, or travelling spontaneously to a new city on the bus.  Real adventure.  Do it!

7) Get out into your community

Meeting new people and being in new situations is a fine adventure.  

By volunteering, run events, talking to the neighbours and getting involved, I have encountered the most splendid adventures beyond my wildest dreams.  

8) Talk to people

If somebody looks interesting, I generally go and say 'Hi'.  Sure, some people won't want to talk to me (cue the sacred 'Meh') but most will.  

If you've seen a great performance or talk by somebody you admire, take a moment to thank them (tip - DON'T pounce on performers or speakers the second they leave the stage, give them a moment to grab a cup of tea first!).

9) Ask

If you get an idea to do something, ask.  Really, there's no harm. You can always say Meh if they refuse and you'll be surprised how many times you get a 'Yes'.

Just some of the strange and exciting things that have happened through saying YES, asking and just getting out there.  All of them cost me not a penny:-

- Sailed a protest boat to Brighton for a day
- Found myself a permanent carer for an African Grey parrot & a giant African Land Snail.
- Took a trip on a science boat for the afternoon.
- Met some of my favourite authors & musicians (just by going to talks and then saying hello afterwards!).
- Did a try dive.
- Played in front of a hu-uge crowd the night one of our favourite music venues closed.
- Went 'backstage' at the V&A museum to look at the costume collection for a day.
- Got into quite a few festivals as a site artist (have even been paid for this).
- Summer solstice ritual with Druids at Stonehenge before it was opened to the public.

Try some of these ideas and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how interesting life becomes!  

Please share your own ideas for adventure, and adventure stories, in the comments section - I'd love to hear them!
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4 comments:

  1. Great post! I find #4 quite interesting. I had never heard of neophobia. No wonder it takes so much courage to be yourself!

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  2. Just a thought, 'if somebody looks interesting I generally go and say Hi' - perhaps the less interesting 'looking' people are also hidden gems. you know what they say about the quiet ones!! I think we should all make an effort to give everyone a chance to be interesting, even the ones that don't 'look' as if they cut the biscuit on first encounters. As long as we are always true to ourselves in any interaction we give others the chance to be also. I'm learning a lot of this myself since running my group- and yes, that has been a big adventure in itself. Keep up the great work. xxx

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    1. That is such a good point, Jude! As I am a fairly chatting person (as you well know!) I actually find quiet people VERY interesting. I guess my definition of 'interesting' is pretty wide...... my work also means I talk to all sorts of people I'd never have interacted with otherwise, it is a blessing and a deep learning.

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    2. When I was in peru recently, i was sitting on my own in the Square of Cusco, when an ecentric looking Peruvian man in his 50's walked up to me. Instead of reacting to my fears of not speaking any Spanish, afraid of what he might say or do. I said 'hi'. It was the start of a wonderful conversation (in English!) where i discovered he could speak 5 other langauges and he taught me about his Native Inka ancestors, introduced me to many other Peruvians who couldn't speak English and helped me with my street art! We are now firm friends and communicate via email. All from simply saying one word with a smile!

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