I’ve been fortunate to go on a few safaris in South Africa and I’ve tracked many leopards, lions and elephants! When I’m in that wild place, I might see an animal I didn’t know existed. Have you ever seen a kudzu??
Well, keep your arms inside the jeep and hang on! It may sound weird but tracking a new-to-you safari animal is an excellent metaphor for tracking what’s next in your life, particularly if you don’t know what the next thing is.
Get in the jeep. If you’d like more direction and clarity in your life, it’s important to get moving. Just like a compass, you need motion to get an accurate reading of where to go. Moving will also help you to resist the seduction of staying the same. Inertia and fear can be powerful forces so it’s time to do something — anything — different! No matter what you choose to do, you’ll get feedback on whether you’re heading in the direction of joy or not-joy. Now your compass is working. Your experience of not-joy can show you where to find joy. Clarity comes through engagement so buckle up and start exploring.
Go wide. One of the most frustrating questions safari rangers are asked is, “Why don’t you put radio devices on the animals?” I get that this would be appealing to some people. We humans love certainty and we like to nail things down. It’s comforting and satisfying. It’s also a bit…well…dull. If you want to know exactly what is going to happen, maybe you should skip the safari and head to the nearest zoo.
The thing you most desire may not be found on a map and it might not make any sense. The things that make us feel most alive — love, passion, fear — aren’t always rational. When safari trackers lose the trail of an animal, they walk in wide arcs to find the way back. Instead of focusing on what makes sense or what is a good idea, you can go wide by focusing on what feels right — whether or not it makes sense. When I’m not sure what is right, I ask, what would be spiritually responsible? That’s an answer I can always trust.
Practice presence over planning. A compass tells you the direction but not how fast to go, how steep the incline or where the potholes are. A talented tracker follows one clue after another. In life, this way of tracking resembles doing the Next Right Thing followed by the Next Right Thing. And this is where presence comes in. I can only know what is the right thing for right now. It’s not possible to know what will be the right thing two miles from here or two years from now. That is Future Wendy’s problem. I don’t know what will feel right to Future Wendy or what her preferences will be.
Tracking your life in this way requires some faith and courage — especially since you may have to navigate in darkness or fog. My mind loves to plan and I’m good at it. I also know that planning too far into the future takes me out of the moment I’m in. Even if I had a life map, the conditions are constantly changing. When I remember to prioritize presence over planning, I relax. And when I’m relaxed, I can better determine what the Next Right Thing is.
See the synchronicity. We often think that when we’re on the right path, everything will fall easily into place. We may even celebrate these synchronicities. If things don’t fall easily into place, we think that what we desire is not meant to be. We might say “it is what it is” or some other passive cliché. Actually, the transformation happens when we work through the setbacks while on the right path.
What if setbacks and failure are also part of synchronicity? If you look in the rearview mirror, you can see a thread throughout your life, leading you to this moment. Each person and experience was guiding you here. The challenging times are also part of your right path. There is an architecture underneath all that has happened to you. And the same is true about your future. If we’re going to embrace the positive synchronicities, let’s embrace the negative ones as well. Challenges are the key to your transformation. And even with setbacks, the right path is still the right path.
I continue to go on safaris because I want my life and my work to be an adventure. By going wide and embracing synchronicity, I can barely hear the voice of reason anymore. And strangely, I don’t miss it…since the voice of reason is often the voice of every single fear I have. I’m intentionally walking away from fear and into the unknown. This is not a lovely concept or something I merely suggest to others. Tracking my next adventure has become a way of life.
I often don’t know where I’m going, but I know how to get there. It’s a wild ride…wanna come along?
THERE’S STILL ROOM IN THE JEEP!
If you’re ready for some WILD magic, I hope you’ll join me for SOUL SAFARI! I’m delighted to be leading another safari + life coaching retreat at the magical, elegant and luxurious Londolozi Private Game Reserve in South Africa…
It’s nearly impossible to describe the emotional, physical and spiritual rollercoaster that is Londolozi — so I invite you to watch this and imagine yourself there.
Yes, it’s ALL THAT plus life coaching. Together, we’ll track your next soulful adventure!
12 people. October 2108.
Get all of the wild details!