A Two-part Adventure in Camping and Honoring Your Spirit

   I have dreams to pursue and goals to make happen. The two big ones right now are 1) more music, more and more music, playing, learning, collaborating, performing, making money at it, more music. 2) Travel as a lifestyle. I have several other goals for my life but these are the two that are taking the forefront in my life…FINALLY!!
   The music thing I am doing now but the travel thing, well I’m doing as much as I can but it’s not my lifestyle yet. There are some other things that I’m working on so that can happen the way I want it to and I’m getting close, oh so close! I can almost taste it!

   Although I’m excited about the direction of my life, actively pursuing one’s dreams often comes with fear, resistance, tears, shedding old beliefs, sacrifice, hard work, lack of sleep, the list goes on and on. But the satisfaction one gets from actually living your purpose is worth all of the difficulty.
   I am learning that most of the difficulty I encounter is really just me and my head drama taking on a new form. I see and feel it creep up most often in the form of distraction and busyness. I am oh so good at keeping myself busy. Most of it is great stuff too not the obvious things one might think like TV, social networking, gaming, etc. But obsessive health research and application, hanging out with friends, over organizing, unorganized shopping (mostly for groceries) and work (yes, my day job is a huge distraction). If I keep myself busy, I don’t have to face my fears and I don’t have to do the things that are really important to me and achieving my goals because, “don’t you see, I’ve got grocery shopping to do”.
   This week I needed to get away from all the distractions I’ve been participating in. I needed to give myself the space to be present for the fear that was rising inside of me that I was resisting. So I took myself and the dog to the lake.

    I have a spot that I like to go that is free, relatively secluded yet easy to get to and awe inspiring! When I go here I can’t help but be totally present. There are no distractions just clear glacial water, a lot of trees, wide open sky and wildlife.

   The level of simplicity of my life mirrors my stress level and what I love about this kind of camping is that it’s relatively primitive, at least I try to keep it that way. I do have some decent camp gear but I still filter my drinking water from the lake, cut all my veggies with my pocket knife, gather fire wood, eat out of the pan and go to sleep not too long after the sun sets. I also don’t mind being dirty crapping in a hole or sleeping in my clothes. This type of camping requires presence of mind. I can’t wander off too far in my head over thinking, blocking or getting too emotional about anything, I could easily do something stupid and freeze, starve or get dehydrated. It’s that simple, yet a lot more work than it may sound like.

   It took me a little bit to get settled into “present mode” but when I did, the truth that I had been distracting and resisting came out loud and clear. My fear: that following my dreams will equal abandonment, that those that I love will not understand, will be hurt in some way and leave me or that they will feel abandoned by me because I will no longer be available to them in the way that I have been.
   Now I could say right now that this fear sounds silly and that the people who truly love me will always be there to support me, will absolutely enjoy receiving post cards from the road and will wildly throw their arms around me when they get the chance to see me. AND if they can’t support me, then I don’t really need them in my life.
   I know these things to be true but there is still a scared little girl in me sometimes who somewhere along the line believed the idea that she had to behave a certain way in order to receive love and to be safe. To fit in with the pack.
   Those who know me know that I have almost never been one to “follow the pack”. I have always been wild, adventurous, creative, solitary and passionate. But sometimes just sometimes that fear of being left out and alone gets the better of me in some way or another. It’s been coming up a lot in this whole “quit my job and follow my purpose as a world traveler, never mind where the money will come from, just gotta do it” thing.
   I find it amazing that whenever I start to get afraid, something happens that whips the fear’s ass and brings Carrie back in. I have so much love and support where I didn’t think I would. I have random tiny moments on off days when someone will say something to me, something so small but so big and it will reaffirm my purpose and smother my fear. It will fill my heart with absolute joy and courage knowing that the universe has my ass covered, that I’m on the right path and that I’m not alone!
   So back to the lake. As I was standing naked on solid rock, dripping wet from a swim, the sun drying my skin, a most gentle and lightly pine scented breeze blew through my lake soaked hair and I knew that no matter how fragile I felt, that I would be OK as long as I am gentle with myself.

   What I’ve become aware of (in yet, another new way) is that in order for this to work, in order for me to live out my purpose, I, Carrie, must be the one ultimately to accept myself and my purpose. I have to accept that it will take countless hours of dedication, much sacrifice and that some people wont understand and may feel abandoned. I must accept that at some times I will be alone in my adventure.
   I’m currently looking for members of this tribe. At this point it hasn’t been easy to find people that are doing what I’m doing. What I know is that if I keep talking about it and continue in the direction of my dreams, I will find them! I will not be alone!

   Sometimes we must tread in the dark before we can see the light. And sometimes we have to be so bold as to venture alone in unknown territory in order to stumble upon others on a similar path. So I will continue on, doing things that scare the crap out of me and trigger my fear of abandonment because remaining where I’m at because it is comfortable and “safe” is absolutely detrimental to my soul!

   I will leave you with a quote from Stephen Covey thats been singing through my head and heart for the last couple of weeks. “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good’.”

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