From Elephants… to Israel

Last I wrote, I was heading into the Wild.

My silence…and that of my generally prolific traveling partner, Christy Marek… speaks volumes for the deep impact of this adventure.

Christy recently shared her processing that living boldly creates experiences that can’t be neatly defined, limited, or put in box, no matter how routine others may want your life to remain.

We choose to travel in order to explore new places in the world, yes.

But also to explore new places within ourselves.

Places we often lose track of in the complacency and the demands of everyday life. ~Christy Marek

As for me, Thailand provided sacred space to expand more fully into my Self. This photo actually might be worth a thousand words…or certainly a few blog posts:

Elephant Meditation

Yes, that’s me meditating barefoot on the back of an elephant… my wise and playful co-adventurer in northern Thailand.

Upon my return, I filmed a couple Resiliency Matters TV shows with best-selling author Gretchen Rubin (on happiness and forming positive habits) and Tererai Trent (named by Oprah as her “all-time favorite guest” she is educating children and changing lives in her Zimbabwe village).

I then turned toward my annual Spring Retreat, which tends to be shaped by my current life experience. It was at last year’s Thrive & Serve Retreat that I wrote in one of our exercises:

Wouldn’t it be great if…

I traveled the world with a like-minded, like-hearted woman to play with elephants.

One year later, as we headed to Thailand, Christy recalled attending the retreat and thinking, “Wow. That’s cool. Wouldn’t it be great… if this became a possibility for me – to find kindred spirited sisters to play with? I’ve always adventured alone or with my husband. Is this even possible? Do women really do this?!”

Yep, it is. Yep, they do. And yep, we did.

Back to this year’s retreat… I found myself called to gather women leaders at my retreat home to explore something I posted on Facebook (with a few photos) upon my return:

Home from Thailand with an even deeper appreciation for doing authentic, bold work.

You can live in a small town… and have global impact.

You can love home & family… and follow heart’s desire for wild adventure around the world.

We humans are big enough to hold this all.

How beautiful is that? <3

As I talked through my ideas with my inner circle who I knew would “get” my desire to live and lead boldly with a love of adventure and home, I shared my retreat intentions:

  • Provide a loving environment to safely and fully expand into YOU
  • Offer reminders of your preciousness and how to honor it with self-care and compassion
  • Serve as mirrors for each other’s light
  • Explore and adventure as we heed the wild call to our highest self
  • Remind each other that to live this way is not crazy…but wise

The retreat filled by word of mouth. A group of bold women leaders gathered at my retreat home to create a space of expansion, explore our deepest callings, and mirror brilliant light back to each other.

We each left with a bold dream to be accomplished by 2016 and additional support to bring it to life with nourishing ease. You are going to hear more about these women going forward – doing BIG work in service to our world!

This retreat has already spurred another wild women retreat co-led by retreat participant, gifted painter, master coach (…and recovering lawyer) Leah Campbell Badertscher. Mark your calendars to join us in Colorado August 30-Sept 2 – and let me know if you want to be put on the list to receive details first!

Now I am on the cusp of another wild adventure… leaving this week on behalf of the National Resilience Institute for 12 days in Israel. We will be working in several areas of resilience research and practice, including post-trauma response, community building, positive youth development, conflict and peacemaking, media, policy, and military resilience. As we travel across the country, we will learn with practitioners from neighborhood centers, schools, places of worship, hospitals, mental health facilities, broadcast centers, universities, research foundations, and political offices.

One might be tempted to say that stepping into the breadth of this professional experience… with the unique historical and religiously significance of the Holy Land as a backdrop… certainly is a trip of a lifetime.

But we who are dedicated to shouldering the responsibilities and savoring the privileges of transforming ourselves and our world know better…don’t we?

Thrive on. Lead on.

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