Be DAREful

The following is a guest post by Jen Whalen of True North Adventures, an organization designed to help women get back into alignment with their authentic selves through intentional outdoor experiences. In April of 2018, TNA will take a group of DAREful women to Costa Rica for a week-long surf, yoga, and self-care immersion.

Read more about Be DAREful Costa Rica at seektruenorth.com/be-dareful-costa-rica.

IMG-7046.JPG

"How to be DAREful" by Jen Whalen 

As I lowered down off of a recent gym climb, I smiled, feeling that familiar surge of energy… pumped forearms, rapid heartbeat.  As my swollen, chalky fingers fumbled with untying my knot, I said to my belayer, “Good thing I mock-led that one as I was falling all over the place!” She laughed in disbelief and said, “You didn’t fall once! Are you serious?!?”

I was serious. I barely believed I could climb that challenging route when I grabbed the first hold 10 minutes earlier.  Kilian and I were just “monkeying around” with the possibilities on the far edge of my climbing ability as we waited for our climbing instructor to finish up with another pair, so I went for it.  From my perspective, I thought I hacked my way up it and fell off several times along the way. However, my belayer, who was intentionally observing for feedback regarding clipping and body positioning, witnessed me sticking the whole thing.  I let myself really go for it on a climb I would usually have walked right past, and despite my efforts to sabotage it by not owning the achievement, I actually did it!!!  I thought I had a good sense of my learning edge, (what was possible and what was beyond my reach) but as I’m noticing  in other areas of life as well, perhaps that isn’t always accurate…

IMG-7445.JPG

As I sat down to write about the experience afterward,  two strong questions came through, “What would my life look like if I let myself really fucking go for it as I did on that last climb?  AND What would it look like if I surrounded myself with a loving community that held me accountable for living in this way?” I noted areas where I was willing to take more risks and would likely see “bigger” results (as was the case with the climbing route that evening). However, the other areas on the list involved “big” inner risks like trusting my wise Inner Knowing and following her lead instead of hiding out in what is comfortable, saying NO more often, and prioritizing more time/space for excellent self-care, etc.

IMG-7740.JPG
IMG-7743.JPG

We have hundreds of choices throughout our day in which we can be DAREful and live in alignment with our heart.  It’s not always the big, impressive feats of obvious boldness and badassery that matter most… it’s also all the little ways we’re taking the time to show up for ourselves and live in alignment with our souls. Life definitely looks differently when I really let myself go for it.  My YESes are clear and feel like empowered choices where I’ve intentionally engaged with the adventure of my life.  And the Sacred NOs feel equally as clear.  I’m not backpedaling on what I need or want when other people’s priorities scream louder.  Instead, I’m listening deeply to the wisdom of my body and Soul and honoring that Inner Knowing instead of constantly calibrating my life by the expectations, shoulds and unsolicited, often fear-based advice of others.  

yoga-4.jpg
stn3.jpg

In April, we’re taking these same experiential practices of DAREful living from the mountains to the beach with our week-long surf/yoga/Self care immersion in beautiful Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica.  If you’re curious to learn more about this amazing adventure, click here. (link: http://seektruenorth.com/be-dareful-costa-rica/)   What would being DAREful look like in your life? Whether its joining us in Costa Rica or saying YES to another beautiful adventure, it’s my deepest hope you’ll experiment with making tiny changes that support you in living more DAREfully today.  This is where the magic is at, and I would be honored to join you in the rising tide of women holding each other accountable for “going for it” in this way.  

surf-2.JPG
stn1.jpg
stn6.jpg

Curious to learn more? Set up an exploration call with Jen at JEN@SEEKTRUENORTH.COM

When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge

Last weekend, I enjoyed a long lunch in the city with my fiancé and our friend Jon. Afterwards, we needed to get to Lincoln Park, and had been planning on taking the CTA. But, when it came time to depart, we made the impromptu decision to walk. It was a gorgeous late spring day in Chicago - perfect for a four mile stroll.

This may not be the best example, but it is an example nonetheless. We chose to walk, breaking our pattern. We changed our plan. We simply traveled north, barely consulting our GPS. We decided to meander through the zoo - it's free! why not? - and, to my elation, we happened upon an amazing art piece near Lincoln Park Zoo's South Pond. I had seen photos of this arch in my Instagram feed, and often wondered where it was, reaching its curvaceous wooden beams towards the sky.

As the arch meets the sky, a pattern is broken, and an appreciation for art and nature takes over. Instead of thinking about the negative impact that civilization has on the world, we think of the positive. Our impulsive decision to forgo public transportation was validated. This arch offered us a zen retreat in the midst of car horns and bustling commuters. Surrounded by a natural prairie landscape, this place provided an entrance to a new world of calm and peace.

“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” - Tuli Kupferberg