Adventures are fun, thrilling, unusual experiences. They may also be hard, dig-deep; find your courage and grit to finish what you start type of experiences. Adventures usually happen in the material world. But! What happens when you turn inward to take an adventure? Go exploring into your heart, your mind. Get to know the landscape of your emotions? This is what I call Emotional Adventuring
If you’re going to begin emotional adventuring you’ll need to pack a few resources. Just like any good adventure requires a few provisions:
- Courage: It’s important to remember in the words of Glennon Doyle ‘we can do hard things’. Courage acknowledges our fear, trepidation and opens us up to the possibility of what lies beyond our comfort zone, certainty. The more use our courage in small things, the stronger our brave gets and greater our freedom.
- Vulnerability: if we going to go adventuring we need to acknowledge our humanity, fragility and the reality that we don’t know everything, we don’t have it all sorted and that’s ok. We just need to be willing and open.
- Trust: Can you trust that within you are the resources you need? If you find yourself struggling can you ask for help? Vulnerability and asking for help makes us stronger not weaker.
- Surrender: Emotional Adventuring is playful, it’s approaching emotions with a childlike curiosity and naivety. For a moment or a few minutes it means surrendering the rational mind and trusting intuition, the irrational and whatever the imagination throws up. When you are done you can always engage the rational mind to review the results. How do you feel? What do you notice in your body? Experiment and try a few times. Did you handle things with a more positive outcome with Emotional Adventuring?
Beginning an Emotional Adventuring
- Pay attention to the emotional spaces you occupy.
When are you triggered or reactive?
Notice your tone of voice. When do you get more intense? Raise your voice? Become very quiet?
- Explore your likes and dislike’s
Spend 5 minutes completing the following sentence starters. Write whatever comes to mind even if it doesn’t make sense.
- I am ….
- I am not….
When you done notice if you can find any of your answers that bring up big emotions. The emotions may be pride, desire, pleasure or rejection, disappointment or disgust. Any big emotion will do. Then go emotional adventuring with one or more of the feelings you find.
“We will always be restricted when we try and hide from aspects of who we are”
What’s the value in going Emotional Adventuring?
- My experience is that emotional adventuring offers a way to engage with emotions that is in the moment, simple and leads to navigating emotions instead emotions owning us. I have found it a constructive method to be present to tough emotions (that often times people would prefer to ignore).
- Embrace more freedom. Be more present. When our emotions around things (situations, relationships, our thinking, stereotyping) are less reactive we can be more present. We are able to have greater choice about how we respond and who we are in each interaction.
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