Trekking into the Unknown Means Letting Go
We all have milestones in life. Today is one of mine. When I set out to write F*ck the Bucket List, I thought I was writing one book but my co-author, the Universe, had another plan and surprised me that it was actually a trilogy. One year ago today on January 27, 2021, F*ck the Bucket List for the Adventurer: Trekking into the Unknown (Book 2) was born and since then, my life has never been the same as I myself began my own trek into the unknown as a digital nomad with renewed curiosity and courage that was patiently waiting for me to discover.
We’re all having to learn—faster than we ever imagined—to get used to uncertainty and unpredictability. We might even discover there are gifts in finding comfort in not knowing what’s ahead of us and living in ambiguity. Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoevsky, once wrote, “Times of crisis, of disruption or constructive change, are not only predictable but desirable. They mean growth. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”
We can learn to forgive ourselves for past decisions and decide whether we want to hang on to them. We can attend hundreds of summits on purpose and leadership and post hundreds of tweets, but unless we experiment with life itself, they are only words. Life is not lived by following someone outside ourselves, but through action and learning how to follow our own lead instead.
The Seeds We Plant Matter
If you have ever started a garden, did you dig deep in the soil and create a deep well? Did you dig your hands deeper and deeper in the earth until the seeds found their healthy home?
When you plant something new, you heave up the earth. Then, once the seeds are planted in the ground, you smooth out the soil, add water, and wait for the intelligence of nature to take flight. You may pick the weeds when they appear, and make sure your plant doesn’t have any parasites hanging on to its roots. It is also entirely possible that your seed will simply die and never transform from a plant to a squash.
There’s growing unrest in the world. It has always been here. The difference is that there are people questioning and becoming more aware that we created borders, countries, wars, divisions, jobs, and laws. Instead of being outraged and manipulated, what can we do?
What happens when we own our power—not with more anger and fear, but rather with an understanding that we don’t need more talk around the problems we created and instead need to imagine and create healthier systems? We need to question why we built the foundation we’re standing on and whether it supports us—and if not, what can we do? We can criticize our failing education system and rage against it, or we can use our brilliant minds and hearts like Michael Strong has to create something healthier for our children and the next generations.
There’s a growing awareness that wars and conflicts do not happen on their own; they are created by those supporting division and drawing battle lines in the sand. You no longer need to accept the status quo or generic answers that don’t resonate with you. Over the next few years, antiquated patterns that have been accepted—such as, “this is just the way things are done here”—will be called into question as we dig deeper and deeper into our very being.
More and more people are starting to plant healthy seeds in individual and collective gardens. But to do so, we’re digging deep in the dirt and weeding out the toxicity—be it beliefs, people, or food. Spending time in nature increases our awareness that everything is alive—until it’s not. Natural cycles teach us everything there is to know about life and death. The tree in a garden will witness more people in its lifetime than a human ever will.
Trekking into the Unknown is a Message of Hope
When we worry about what’s going on in the world and fear for our future, we can find solace in the natural world, where so much is invisible to us. The waves we’re riding are bumpy and are characterized by highs and lows. When we hit a low, we might question whether the wave will come crashing down on us and sweep us away. But we cannot expect life, or any human, to never encounter turbulence. Life is in flow, like the ocean. One wave might crash down on us and the next might take us onto unknown heights.
We have been conditioned to do what’s expected of us. People will tell us, “I know what’s best for you,” or “I know what you need to do.” We may have ended up trusting someone and opening ourselves to the hurt of disappointment. When we think back to that situation, the memory can spark a certain fear and shame in us. But while it may feel very real, it’s just a memory. It doesn’t need to paralyze us.
Many people spend much of their lives caged by a memory of where they’ve been or what they’ve experienced and keep playing the same movie and its sequel over in our mind. When we realize that we’re still alive, and that experience was there to teach us something, we can let the memory go. Some people are like a raging thunderstorm, while others are more like calming waterfalls. We get to choose who we surround ourselves with.
Keep breathing. Our mindset matters. Life is unpredictable, as is nature. One day there is calm, and the next, an unexpected storm can come from around the bend and surprise us. After some time, the storm will pass. Some will last a few days, while others will be shorter. These storms will not only take place outdoors, they will come in the form of people inviting us to be part of their outrage at whatever controversy is playing out on their screens. We don’t have to be swept away in a storm of anger and fear. These storms will pass, and we don’t need to engage with what does not resonate with us. We can simply keep breathing and choose to smile, laugh, or cry.
On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is not at all and 10 is always, how much would you say you are able to be your true self in an average day? Are you doing what you want to do when you want to do it—or are you confined, restricted, or somehow unable to express your true self? Let your answers guide you.
Our own navigation system—the body, heart, and spirit—will tell us what it needs at every moment, provided we are tuned into ourselves. Some of us push ourselves to go to the gym to live up to a goal, while all our body wants is rest. It’s important to move and be active and be conscious of consuming natural food—but to live fully, we can make space to trek into possibilities and the unknown.
Trekking into the Unknown is Equally Available to Each of Us
Flow doesn’t come with resistance. Resistance often shows up as disease and illness that generates stress. Many of the diseases and illnesses we experience come from pushing against the flow of allowing ourselves to simply be. There is healthy stress that challenges our boundaries and comfort zones. It asks us to discern between doing and being.
Trekking into the unknown provides abundant possibilities and opportunities to be who you came here to be. It’s about being curious about what’s around the bend and exploring with a desire to live a healthy life on this planet. It’s about becoming aware that our opportunity is to create what we need most by constructing healthy foundations and systems, as well as trusted relationships and communities that lift us up and serve us.
Healthy relationships can be formed, while destructive unions can be left behind. We get to practice until we reach our own mastery. And we will arrive when there will be no need for books like F*ck the Bucket List to activate us and light our way.
Doors and paths are now opening to a healthier way of living. It’s in your hands. All you have to do is step through them or on them. When you want your life to change, you must be the one who makes it happen. You have more creative power than you realize, and now is the time to see yourself as the architect of your life.
Whatever your passion is—whatever your unique way of connecting, serving, or creating may be—now is the time to find it and make a difference. Be brave, be bold, and trust yourself like never before. Aldous Huxley joins us with this insight: “For every traveler who has any taste of his own, the only useful guidebook will be the one which he himself has written.” If there is one actionable thing you could do that would help you become aware of what’s calling you, what would it be?
Mine was publishing the trilogy and now working every day to bring a healthy platform to the world that connects us like never before. I gave myself permission to trek into the unknown, dance with possibilities and it continues to provide the most daring adventure of a lifetime. Thank you for being on this amazing journey!