“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller
There are these choice points in life when we are faced with the option to take what feels like the safer path, or to follow something risky that calls to us from deep inside our hearts. I faced such a choice a couple weeks ago when I decided to take a 3 day solo backpacking trip in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. I wavered back and forth for weeks about whether I could face the risks of loneliness or physical danger that such a trip entailed for me. With time it became clear that my heart’s longing was to go. While I still felt anxious as the departure date neared, it became more and more clear that my soul was asking this of me, calling on me to take the risk in service of my great love for the wilderness. In making this choice, I had to face old belief systems about how women shouldn’t be alone in the world, about how the world is unsafe, especially for women. I had to rewild my ideas of what it means to be a woman in the world who loves the wilderness. I had to move through these limiting beliefs into a more wild truth: that I choose to live my life as a daring adventure, that I am willing to expose myself, body and soul, in order to make the most of this precious existence.
What I found out there in the mountains was such a great validation of this choice. Life answered me with a giant YES! I didn’t feel a moment of fear or loneliness once my feet hit that trail. I felt such a profound sense of contentment and joy from deep within my heart. There was a tremendous freedom for me out there in the wild. I felt a sense of great belonging and wholeness. I was so aware of the exposure of my little body in contrast to the vast landscape, of my small life compared to the scope of the earth’s story. And this recognition felt good. I saw myself as a spring wildflower, here to offer some small gift to the landscape of my life, and then to be plucked or to wither when the time comes.
So I invite you to consider the choices facing you now, and the wildness within you that calls for exposure. What is untamed in you that longs to be set free? What in you refuses to be bound by convention, by social norms and pressures? What does your soul long for? And what is one choice you can make right now to rewild your small and precious life? Perhaps your feet long to touch bare earth. Perhaps you have a song to sing or a dance to dance. Somewhere inside you know what wants to be chosen, and you know how your heart will sing when you take the risk to live this daring adventure.