I encourage you to learn how to say “No more!”, so you can say “YES!” to experiences, to people, to places that can stretch you and stimulate you.
Be daring and be surprised by how wonderful it is to feel so alive.
I hope this email inspires you to live passionately and to say YES! And if you want to take things to the next level and really as if there was no tomorrow, no way to say No! then I’ve got something coming that you’ll love! Want to be the first to know what it is…?
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Just for a moment think back over your activities last week, the time you got up, went to bed, the route you took to work, the times you went to the gym or called your mother?
How much of what you did was similar to the last week or the week before? Did you buy your groceries at the same shop, meet your friends at the same pub and sit in the same seat on the train?
We are creatures of habit. There is something reassuring and comforting to repeated patterns. Don’t get me wrong certainty and routines are good. Its good to know that we turn on the tap and that water will come out, that your mother will pick up the phone at 6pm on a Sunday night and that the bus to work will run on time.
You may also find that you naturally surround yourself with people who agree with what you say and who support the same football team.
But believe me, and I know from my own experience, too much certainty can dull us, life can lose its edge, it’s excitement. Predictability creeps up on us slowly and unknowingly we slip into a semi happy, semi alive state, operating on semi autopilot. We expect and anticipate certain things will happen as they always do and so only need to half engage.
Does any of this ring true?
Mind you, uncertainty can be uncomfortable. As we step out of our known world we may have to face a fear or two or change an opinion. But believe me the rewards are worth it ten fold.
I started breaking free of my own sleep walk through life with tiny steps. I began by creating ‘everyday adventures.’ Simply doing ordinary everyday things differently.
For years I had toast for breakfast so I started to have porridge. I always got up at 7am ready to dash out the door with a coffee in my hand, I changed and got up at 6am with time to take a 30 minute walk or in the winter sit in my warm bathrobe with a cup of hot chocolate and watch the sunrise.
I drove a different way to work, I added a splash of colour to my black wardrobe, when I went out for dinner I intentionally chose something on the menu that I had never eaten before, I sought to make friends with someone from a different culture, religion or country.
Try it, it’s easy and it will start to reconnect you with that wonderful exhilarating tingle that life outside your comfort zone can bring you life
My 15 years on the frontline as a humanitarian worker has catapulted me into smashing through many of my fears, assumptions and expectations.
Until the age of 39 I had always taken ordinary, relatively safe, forms of transport; a car, a bus, a plane – my time in Tibet changed all of that. It was summer and the rivers were pounding, high and fast from the nearby Himalayas. For hours and hours the caravan of donkey and yak plodded slowly alongside the river, weaving up and down the hills. Being in the last third of the caravan my vision was obscured by the heavily laden animals but the commotion up ahead made me pull myself up and peer over the top.
To my horror the lead yak had plunged straight into the river.
My mind raced ahead and my fearful brain leapt into action, ‘What are they doing? Are they crazy? Where is the bridge?’ I saw myself already washed away, disappearing downstream caught up in the torrent.
I looked around to see who I could alert that this was suicide, to warn them against it, but no one was paying any attention and as we were all tied together, if the first animal was in the icy cold water, we would all be soon.
There was nothing I could do,
I had to face my fear, let go and quietly I said a few prayers. It was soon my turn and the freezing water lapped against the shoulders of my yak and seeped up my trouser legs.
There was no turning back
as this hefty beast weighed down by baggage and me carefully placed one foot after the next on the slippery riverbed of stones and moss.
The applause that greeted me when I reached the bank safely was comical, a crowd of relieved nomads who face this challenge daily recognized that I was clearly way outside of my comfort zone and praised me with their eyes and hands for my courage. I smiled sighed a deep breath and felt exhilarated, if inwardly hoping that we didn’t have too many more ahead of us.
I have made a personal promise to regularly stretch myself, not to take outrageous risks, but to feel the fear, weigh the situation up and when it’s right, push on through.
Linda Cruse, a very ordinary woman and not a natural risk-taker, has jumped off the side of a mountain and paraglided down to earth whilst sharing the thermals with hawks, has driven a snowmobile in minus 30, 200kms north of the Arctic Circle and has ridden a camel deep into the Sahara desert.