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Life of Adventure

“I Don’t Know”: The Genesis of Inspiration and Adventure

November 11, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists…”

Polish poet Wisława Szymborska writes,

Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists generally. There is, has been, and will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It’s made up of all those who’ve consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners — and I could list a hundred more professions.
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Risk: The Root of Passion

October 28, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Life’s great paradox is the struggle between risk and security.” Gregg Levoy

I was twenty years old when I decided to leave my scholarship at UCLA in my 3rd year to hitchhike around the United States. It was 1970, I was a longhaired pinky commie hippie totally done with school and gymnastics. (It would be twelve years before I returned to college.)
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You are Different Every Day; Except When You are the Same

October 9, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“We are different, from one another and, moment by moment, from even ourselves.” Poet Jane Hischfield

This morning I sit in an airport in Lima, Peru. Yesterday I was home packing and the day before that I attended a 50th HS reunion. Have I been the same Charlie on each day?

No way and yes way. In each situation above the “internal Charlie” was learning, creating and giving. This results from my hard-wiring (or DNA) that is unlikely to change.

The Different “Me’s”

Yet at the time I can express my multi-varied personality preferences in radically different behaviors every day. For example, at the reunion I was nervous, but still curious and interested in touching base with old HS compatriots.

The next day I was stressed with packing, and international check-in, followed by an 8-hour plane ride. And today, I am full of anticipation. Perhaps the excitement of finally experiencing South America after months of planning contributed to my feelings.

In each case the “practicing me” was significantly different. Yes, I am indeed impacted by the situation in which I find myself and anyone that meets me for the first time might walk away with a different opinion of who I am.

Each day I am a different Me but still I won’t be required to compromise my core self in the slightest. Yes, every day I am a bit different in the way I act; it all depends on the day, doesn’t it?

And you, what about you? First of all, are you friends with that core you that drives your very being? You know, the one that makes you feel like a contributor to the world? If not, you gotta get there. (I have a boatload of posts on Meaning in Life. Check ‘em out.)

The Dynamic You

And then there is the dynamic you—the one that adjusts to each situation and learns how to deal with each one according to whatever is required of you. This is the emotional and thinking you, the one most everyone knows.

You can always be better at being you. What an exciting thought. You can be true to the way you are created while at the same time express diversity in the way you manage your outer and inner life. Yes, you are different moment to moment, but the same “core you” when it counts.

Paradox. Maybe. But it is nevertheless true.

Only You Know the Real You

Live Like It and Love It

Photo courtesy of XXX at istockphoto

Just Show Up

July 29, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 6 Comments

“Okay,” the nurse informed me, “you’ll need shots for Hepatitis A and B, Yellow Fever and pills for Malaria.” Geez. You’d think I was Indiana Jones heading out on some trek through the deepest jungles of Africa. On second thought, I was, indeed, headed for several outlying villages in Africa. But I’m flying Business Class. Doesn’t that mean anything to mosquitoes? Like I’m important or something?
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Surprise Landings: An Adventure

July 22, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

It’s not surprising the airport was snowed in when my flight arrived. My destination, Tromso, Norway, lies one hundred twenty-five miles north of the Arctic Circle—the northern most city in the world with a population above fifty thousand. Because Tromso was too snowy for landing, we were forced to touch down a bit south in Andenes, a four-hour bus ride from Tromso. Evidently, my adventure was to begin before I even got off the airplane.
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When Possibility Transforms Reality

May 13, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Poetry can break open locked chambers of possibility.” Poet Adrienne Rich

I wonder what poet Adrienne Rich had in mind when she wrote of the “locked chambers of possibility?” Fear, self-doubt, and uncreative thinking are certainly “locks” that will prevent you discovering and playing in the land of possibility.

Possibility: the Cure for Boredom

I can no longer find any legitimate excuses for boredom, a malady that haunted me for almost two years. Ridiculous. There is always the realm of possibility. So many things to do, some smaller and some huge. On one end of the spectrum can be discovered “everyday” possibilities like hobbies, books, movies, museums, walks, gyms, and scores of others.

On the other end of the spectrum of possibility lies grand opportunities for travel, new careers, marriage, toys (like new cars), a new residence… whatever you dream of—is possible!

Sometimes all you need is a Paradigm Shift to move from the dark cloud of boredom back into the light of actually making your dreams become real. Give yourself permission to dream. Adrienne Rich found poetry as her window to view possibility. As a rather recent devotee of poetry I agree with her assumption.

Certainly the descriptive language of analogy and metaphor of poetry opens doors, but what I find most magical about poetry is that which lies between the lines—the words unwritten by the poet that allows space for you to dream of your own story.

Unable to Change

What is possibility if not the connection between dreams and reality? Terry Hershey sent a story to me written by his friend Phil with stage 4 cancer…

I’m still thinking about the value of reinvention [possibilities realized]. Inspired by the story of Gaylord Perry, the longtime baseball pitcher. When he no longer could sustain a certain pitch or set of pitches he reconfigured his plan. Sometimes this required developing new ways, new approaches, and maybe new pitches. I don’t know about this in any depth but his new plan had to fool the batter and that is the proof of success, plain and simple.

And he was able to do this over and over again lengthening a career remarkably. I guess he didn’t see himself cast in stone unable to change, wedded to some ideal or method. It is rather that change was his secret weapon

I hear such amazing stories these days of people I come in contact with who have made a break with jobs, careers or life styles and have fashioned new more effective situations. All this is very creative and brave. Sort of dancing with the “hands we are dealt”.

The Dance

I love the words, “dancing with the hands we are dealt.” And, in your life, you are dealt so many hands, with so many different combinations of cards. Yet, don’t you often find yourself playing with the same identical hand over and over? Rubbish! Perhaps it’s time to fold and deal yourself a new hand. Then dance with it for a while. If it’s a good hand hang in. If not, throw in the cards and play a new game.

“Possibility” is a very limiting concept unless you actually attempt what is possible until you’ve done it so much it’s time to redeal and play with a new hand of possibility.

Make Possibility

Your New Reality! 

Photo courtesy of BrianAJackson at istockphoto

Anticipation: The Root of Your Greatest Fears

April 29, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Our greatest fears lie in anticipation.” Honoré de Balzac

We’re all familiar with the old adage, “The worst kind of fear is the fear of the unknown.” In fact, we create our own fear in anticipation of an upcoming event with which we are not entirely confident—an interview, a presentation, a sports game, a performance, and dozens of other events.
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“Finding Your Way” Takes More Than a Map

March 11, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“… [I was focusing] on the guidebook. “Finding Your Way,” it said, and I thought, this will take more than a map.”    

Naomi Shahib Nye, Coming into Cuzco.

Attending UCLA in the late 1960’s was, to say the least, mind altering. Perhaps the primary mantra for those of us deeply involved in the incipient hippie movement was, “I’m trying to find myself.” It’s kind of a humorous question if taken literally. “Look in a mirror and the job is done.”
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Sufficiency or Scarcity: Which Defines You?

February 25, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

My friend Terry Hershey spoke at a conference recently during which he emphasized the value of keeping an attitude of sufficiency rather than scarcity. His message struck a chord in me. (I think Stephen Covey first coined the concept in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, when he introduced the Abundance Mentality vs. the Scarcity Mentality.)

Sufficiency: Let Your Light Shine

I like Sufficiency. I believe you are sufficiently endowed with all the gifts and talents you need to live well and make a difference on this planet. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says to simply, “let your light shine.” The implication is that you already have the light within you. Jesus did not say, “Create your light” or “Make your light shine.” No, he said “let” it shine or “allow” what is already in you to shine.

You are sufficiently gifted with compassion, mercy, kindness, and even grit. Even when you doubt it most, you sufficiently have the ability to overcome hardship, break bad habits, and make others feel good. Although it may not be most normal, I believe it is most natural. That is… once you practice it regularly.

My good friend Bobby X (check out the podcast with him) was an angry, hate-filled, prison inmate, skinhead that lived violently with genuine evil in his heart. His prison stories are crazy! And then, after 40 years old, Bobby discovered his light.

A handful of things changed him forever. One, he grew tired of the hatred and wanted to make a change, then he joined a 12-Step Group, made friends with people that loved him so much he couldn’t help but accept the fact that he was loved. And within a few short months the most natural thing for Bobby to do was love them back. Pretty soon it became habit. Now, Bobby “lets his light shine” every single day.

Scarcity: The Ugly Side

The other ugly side of the coin is that Scarcity Mentality. The scarcity mentality is composed primarily of fear: fear of not being liked, fear of failure, and fear of emotional pain.

Three results are common. One, you are so afraid of not being liked, that in order to protect yourself you keep to yourself and fail to make new friends. The second result from the fear of failure is that you refuse to try new things because you might fail. The truth is, you WILL fail! Hopefully a lot. Failure only means you are adventurous and willing to risk for the sake of grabbing ahold of the wonder of life.

The third and ugliest form of fear is blaming others or difficult situations as the source of your problems. Even worse, is that you most often blame yourself. I hate blaming. It’s just common way to refuse to take responsibility. A failure to “let your light shine.”

Yea. Let’s get back to the sufficiency you already have within you to deal with the crap life deals you.

What Now?

I have a couple thoughts:

  1. Find people that can remind you that You Are Sufficient to do whatever you need to do. If you are surrounded by blaming naysayers you don’t have a chance. They are toxic. Get rid of them.
  2. Dig deep and “let your light shine.” It’s there. Believe it.

Let Your Light Shine

And Watch Fear Disappear

 

Photo courtesy of PeopleImagesat istockphoto