Perspective on finding my bravery

Recently I went to Boston, MA where I attended a personal mastery workshop. You know, a three to five day self improvement workshop where you work on vulnerability and learn about your personal strengths. We talked about the way the mind works, mindfulness, archetypes, Heart space, essence , choices and respect. We meditated, shared in groups, made connections, played and worked on trust. For some, this was a real turning point. An awakening in their lives. For some, it was a real struggle. A mirror they were not prepared for. For me, it was continued personal growth and a real defining point of bravery and freedom.  

One particular exercise I participated in was called “life boat”. It began with a meditation.  
I quite enjoy meditation. I have been meditating for some years now. I practice nearly every moment I can. Washing the dishes mindfully has become a joyful practice. But not all meditation is joyful. Sometimes it’s heart wrenching and healing.

When I closed my eyes and placed my hand on my heart, I was aware I was entering into a familiar yet uncomfortable place. As I was guided, suddenly I found myself on an airplane, over the ocean, about to crash. My palms began to sweat, heat rushed through my body and tears poured from eyes. My heart pounded faster and faster. PTSD was flooding my being.  

I have never been in a plane crash. I have lost a lover in one though.  

I was uncomfortable and wanted to run away. My practice for months had been “sitting in my uncomfortableness” and this night was a true test to what I was learning.  

Tears poured as I sat there feeling. Memories of my lovers crash flooded my mind. I acknowledged each thought as “a thought” and brought my attention to the safety of my heart space. I let myself be on the plane. I felt the shaking. I could hear the screaming of fear and metal twisting. I noticed my breathing. Everything was spinning. Just sitting in my chair became a struggle. I wanted to scream. I wanted to crawl out of my own skin.  

“Open your eyes”

I was shaking and crying. I needed to leave.

As calmly and swiftly as I could, I walked to the back of the room through an ocean of emotional souls. The empath in me was overwhelmed. The ptsd was persistent. The protector in me was looking for safety . The buddhist, grounding.  

As I pushed through the doors, words exploded “Fuck. Fuckity Fuck! I was not expecting that”. I found a hallway and collapsed. I began sobbing.  

The cold floor helped ground me. In fact if I lifted my hands, I would immediately lose control. And the second I touched the cold floor with my hands, I felt grounded. It was surreal to experience.  

A group of women lovingly surrounded me. They asked me what I needed. To my surprise, I clearly and concisely expressed my needs. “Touch is fine. Please don’t move me. I am grounding myself”. And with that, I did. Suddenly I could lift my hands to my heart and sit up. I deeply breathed.  

I excused myself.

After getting up and washing my hands and face, I looked in the mirror and smiled. I understood my freedom. I knew it was time to be brave.

As I returned to the group of women, I told them I needed to return to the exercise. They turned to each other and discussed it, as if they had a choice in the matter. How cute. Then one woman stopped the discussion, turned to me and explained what I was about to walk in on. I was going to be asked to defend why I deserve one of the few seats on the lifeboat. Was I prepared to do that?

I looked this woman in the eye “Ready? No. But I still am going to do it” with a big grin, she opened the door for me. I bravely walked back into that room.

Groups of people sat on the floor while one person from each group had 40 seconds to stand and plead their case. Some gave up their seat. Some begged to be saved. Some froze and stood there balling. Some didn’t stand at all. Others still, calmly and bravely stood up for themselves. They had a purpose. Then it was my turn.  

I, again, as calmly and bravely as I could, stood before my group. I took a deep breath. “I’ve lived a full life and I have zero regrets. I give up my seat. And it feels appropriate to die in a plane crash, as my lover did too.” The room fell silent. I stood in my power for the remaining 30 seconds. It was unbelievably uncomfortable. And incredibly empowering. 

The next part of the exercise we stood before our group again as we were voted in or out of the lifeboat. Receiving criticism, even helpful, is a challenge for the ego. I welcomed it. After all, wasn’t this the whole reason I was there, to learn more about myself? Yes, of course.  

The first person did not vote me in and said they saw my reaction as suicidal. The next person did not vote me in either because I asked them not to. However who they felt I was did not match my words of surrender so it was not their preferred choice . The next several people also believed my words did not match my essence. They felt I should be on the boat because I would make a great leader. Except they DID vote me in, even though I asked them not to.  

So whose right? The person who respected my wishes and let me give up my seat? The people who said I would be a great leader and voted me in anyways? Was my reaction suicidal?  

I did not feel suicidal. I know what that feels like. Yet, I could see how it would appear that way. I was letting go.

I am a great leader. And I am helpful in chaotic situations. Great leaders also make sure everyone is safe first. Giving up my seat could be viewed as brave.

And the person who respectfully voted me off the boat, their decision was not one they wanted to make. My essence or light shines much too brightly.

So I suppose we were all right. It just depends on who’s shoes you are in. It’s all perspective.  

The next morning, after the best rest I had all weekend, we finished the exercise by sharing what we gained from this experience. Standing tall with confidence, I spoke “Last night was one of the hardest things I ever went through. I struggled with PTSD. However I found that my vulnerability and strength go hand in hand instead of one or the another. Also for the first time ever, I recognized my bravery as it was happening. And most importantly, I learned I did not abandon myself”

I did not abandon myself. I am both brave and vulnerable. I am a warrior.

I am thankful for this entire experience. I learned so much about myself.

A few weeks later I had a dream I was in a plane crash. No one should have survived. Yet I found myself at the doorstep of the person who created, founded and facilitated the workshop I was at. When she opened the door she was both surprised and not surprised to see me. When you are that connected with the universe , you expect the unexpected. My only words to her were, “I got on the fucking life boat.” She embraced me and I woke up…laughing. 

Love and hugs, Adventure 

Creating Happiness 

Chatting with a friend this morning about a ritual I have created.  I call it “Best Day Ever” or BDE for short.  Basically since January 1st of this year the first three words out of my mouth are “Best Day Ever!” 

Another part of the ritual, I read the corresponding day’s message from Thich Nhat Hahn’s book “Your True Home”.  The entire message is about mindfulness. Something I need more of.  

Today is day 83

A Deeper View of Life

The work of acknowledging everything in mindfulness leads us to a deeper view of what life is. It is very important to understand that impermanence is not a negative aspect of life. Impermanence is the very basis of life. If what exists were not impermanent, no life could continue. If a grain of corn were not impermanent , it could not become a corn plant. If a tiny child were not impermanent, she could not grow into an adult.

Life is impermanent, but that does not mean that it is not worth living. It is precisely because of its impermanence that we value life so dearly. Therefore we must know how to live each moment deeply and use it in a responsible way. If we are able to live the present moment completely, we will not feel regret later. We will know how to care for those who are close to us and how to bring them happiness. When we except that all things are impermanent, we will not be incapacitated by suffering when things decay and die. We can remain peaceful and content in the face of continuity and change, prosperity and decline, success and failure.

I forward the message to several friends I have felt called to share it with along with the text: “Best Day Ever”.  

Some of my friends, including the one I was chatting with this morning are finding themselves forwarding the message along too. This brings me great joy.  

I was sharing with my friend why I began this ritual.  I needed a way to change my thought patterns.  It wasn’t that long ago my mind spun out of control and I lost my happiness and will to live.  Basically I had become incapacitated by my own suffering.  Things are different now.  I understand that my mind needs nurturing too.  This is only one of the many things I have been doing to help myself.  But this one really sets the tone for the day.  And sharing it with others has kept me accountable.  

Life is hard enough…its my job to nurture myself, heal myself and love myself…this is how I create my happiness!  And being mindful keeps me in the present moment. 

Happy Adventure Friday, my friends!  And have the Best Day Ever!! 

Love and hugs, Adventure Mel

A Year of Adventure 

One year ago today I left for quite the adventure. Being lead by the universe, listening to my inner self and seizing once in a life time moments, I drove through 39 states and stayed in 25 of them.  I visited over 25 National Parks, Monuments and Forests.  I hiked trails all over the country.  Wow is earth beautiful! I witnessed hundreds of sunrises and sunsets. Some so spectacular, tears poured down my cheeks.  

For those of you who don’t know, I turned my car into a camper.  It had three rows of seats and I took out the back two.  With my uncle’s help, I built a storage box that held my pantry, art supplies, tools and misc items.  On top of that I put a twin mattress…a real bed!! Surrounding the bed I built shelves and misc cubbies to hold all my things.  (I even have a little library filled with books on astrology, meditation, living in the moment, yoga, mindful eating and tantric sex.). The ceiling was put to good storage use as well.  I attached netting to hold clothes, maps and miscellaneous items.  I even hung tapestries up completing the “blanket fort” feel.  

Although my camper was super comfy, I only slept in my car 1/3 of the time.  The rest of the time family and friends, both old and new showered their love and generosity on me.  

I am blessed for sure!

Without a clear plan, my journey led me around the country in figure eights.  Living my whole year “feeling” it out, I stopped when I needed to and picked up and got going when I felt called to. This is not to say I didn’t plan at all.  Quite the contrary.  Planning included reviewing maps, checking weather, deciding which National Parks to visit and looking over my budget.  Because of planning I was able to check off three bucket list items (Crater Lake, New England in Autumn and the Florida Keys). What I didn’t plan but rather allowed to unfold were the routes I would take, friends I would meet, daily adventures I would have and all the emotions I would face.  

I sit here now in the same place I left a year ago.  It’s raining just as it was then.  Today feels surreal.  As it did then too.  I find many similarities between then and now.  Including exciting adventures that await me and the mysteries in between.  I am eager as I was before.  This time though, I have a year of experience in uncharted territory and “feeling” my way through this magical thing we call life!

Left: day one (2/19/2016), Right: day 365

Happy Adventuring my friends!  Love and hugs, Adventure Mel

Nurturing My Soul

“Now, more than ever, it is important to nurture my soul” 

-Adventure 

17 years ago today I lost friends, co-workers and a lover in a plane crash.  I miss and love them all dearly.  

So much has happened since that day.  

In fact, so much has happened in just one year.  A year ago, today, I worked my last shift, promptly had to recover from bronchitis and pneumonia, and two weeks later began a journey that would have me doing figure eights around this country.  

Today, I find myself back where I started a year ago.  I sit here contemplating my life story, attempting to write a book about my adventures while simultaneously moving forward in my life.  It feels very surreal.  And at times, overwhelming.  

My emotions lately have been on overdrive.  It can be exhausting.  It’s also very therapeutic and healing.  And I give myself the time and space to “feel”.   I don’t hide from my feelings…. they are actually my super power!  

Which is why now, more than ever, it is important to nurture my soul. 

Nurturing my soul takes many forms.  It is important for me to eat well, get enough rest, move my body, spend time meditating, and be creative.  The important thing is to listen to my soul.  To really listen.  And to do what needs to be done.  And sometimes that something is spending time on my yoga mat.  Sometimes it’s making a delicious healthy meal.  Sometimes it’s simply weeping and feeling.  Sometimes it’s getting up and dancing.  Sometimes it’s volunteering.  Sometimes it’s running.  Sometimes….it’s always changing.  Just like life.  

Life is amazing and a blessing.  But sometimes life is hard, confusing and quite shitty.  It’s important to nurture your soul. It brings you back to center.  It helps you to cope.  It helps you to keep moving forward by simply being present in the now.  This is especially helpful when your mind is stuck in the past or anxious about the future. Or both at the same time…ugh.

When nurturing your soul, remember to be kind to yourself.  You deserve to be cared for, loved and happy.  We all do.  

It’s up to us to be the change in this world we want to see.  Well, I want a world where nurturing our souls is the normal.  So that’s what I’m doing. It’s not always pretty, especially when snot is running down my face on to my yoga mat.  But I’m here, nurturing my soul.  And I am grateful for this time and space.

Love and hugs, Adventure Mel

Today  

Today was joyful and full of unexpected adventures.  Today was filled with here and now moments.  Today smelled of rain, of freshness.  Today energy flowed mindfully, energetically, thru spirit from the heavens deep in to the earth.  Healing happened.  Aliveness surrounded me.  Awareness.  Oneness.  Hold the vibration, Adventure.  This is who you really are, my love.  

What’s next…

After hitting rock bottom, what’s next?!? 

First of all I want to thank everyone who sent me words of encouragement to keep on going.  I have felt your love surround me and lift me up.  I appreciate all of you more than you know.  

I am taking each day one at a time.  And even within the day, I’m taking it moment by moment.  Sometimes that’s all you can do!

Looking too far into the future and being stuck in the past are what causes my mind to spin out of control.  So I am literally working on being in this moment.  


Spending time in nature just being is a great start!  

I have lots to look forward to…but even it is overwhelming to me right now.  So this breath, right now, is dedicated to this moment.  I am here…and that is enough.  

Keep doing your thing and enjoy this adventure called life!

Love and hugs, Adventure Mel

Suicide Hotline 800-273-8255

Even happy people can find themselves in a spiraling mind fuck.  

There are a million reasons why we may feel death is a better option than where we are right now.  And I’m not here to tell you which option is better.  I am here to tell you that there are people who are willing to listen without judgement to your story.  Because sometimes all it takes is having someone listen to give you a new perspective, some hope, to feel loved. 

If you are contemplating suicide, please reach out to someone.  The National Suicide Prevention Line is: 1-800-273-8255

Most people see me as a happy-go-lucky girl.  Floating through life on a spiritual journey, saving the world one hug at a time.  And on most days, I see myself that way too.  

On Monday night however, I found myself in the middle of a parking lot, hugging a tree, balling my eyes out, begging the universe to show me a sign to keep moving forward. My mind had given up on me.  My mind had spun out of control telling me all the reasons to give up.  I frantically went through my list of contacts contemplating who to call, who could rescue me, who could tell me to not give up.  My mind convinced me it was better to not worry anyone.  So I didn’t call you.  I didn’t text you.  I didn’t reach out.  

Instead, I found myself in a pool of tears, wrapped around a tree praying to the universe for a sign.  

What’s interesting is how not one person that passed me, stopped.  Not even the cop that drove by.  Maybe they thought I was just meditating or a crazy tree hugger.  Regardless, my mind viewed each passer-byer as another sign to give up.  

The only thing I had going for me was my refusal to carry a gun on this trip..and a couple of really good friends who happened to reach out to me at that very moment.   

And in that moment, I told each of them I was struggling.  They both told me they loved me.  One told me she was breathing with me and it was okay to cry and let it all out.  

So I did.  I held onto that tree and weeped until all that was left was exhaustion.  Then I crawled into my car and went to sleep. 

I’m doing much better.  Thank you.

I contemplated whether or not to write this.  I know this will cause some of you to worry about me.  Please don’t spend your thoughts and energy on worry.  Instead, please think positive thoughts.  I survived.  I am moving forward. My mind and I are working things out.  

It is important to me to post this because I realized how important it is to reach out to others.  

I did not call the suicide hotline because the number wasn’t in my phone.  It’s in there now.  I advise you to do the same.  You never know when you may be browsing your contacts looking for someone to help.  

Thanks for listening and feel free to repost.  

Love and hugs, Adventure Mel