A few months ago, I traveled to South Africa for a safari + life coaching retreat at Londolozi Game Reserve. I hadn’t planned to go, but I received a surprising and urgent message. A voice in my head kindly said, “Go leave your grief in Africa.”
Since my marriage had recently ended and I was numb with sadness, I did what the kind voice said.
This wasn’t my first trip to South Africa. I attended a similar safari + life coaching retreat several years ago. It was a wild, magical experience — and while there, I realized I wanted more adventure in my life. After days of tracking rhinos, hippos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes and zebras, I was ready to track adventure.
When I returned home, I focused on creating new life experiences. For years, this was a priority in my life and my business. I pushed myself in new and daring ways. The adventures weren’t always easy, but they were rewarding. And just when I’d become fairly skilled at tracking new things, I was faced with a misadventure…divorce.
This is not an adventure that Peter and I wanted.
Until then, I’d been pursuing experiences that were fun, felt right or both. Misadventure was nowhere on the itinerary — and it was happening anyway.
I’m starting to understand that when you put out a call for adventure, what returns may be less than delightful.
We forget that to give us more than we currently have, life must make us more than we currently are. And that the first act of every creative change is the destruction of the existing order. Make no mistake: when we ask for better lives, we are calling the whirlwind.
–Martha Beck, The Storm Before The Calm
My Love Adventure with Peter lasted 18 years. When you deeply love each other and are no longer together, it’s devastating — even when it’s the right thing.
It happens like this.
One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else — closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel — one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them — even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering — the reason for their presence will become clear in due time.
Though here is a word of warning — you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn’t to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more.
–Lang Leav, Love & Misadventure
Perspectives like this give me a bit of peace. And I want to take in peace wherever I can find it, especially since a misadventure can feel horribly disorienting and scary. I’ve got coping skills, tools, a coach, supportive friends, helpful books, work that I love and still…starting over is so hard.
I’m certainly not up for tracking adventure right now. Instead, I’m on a track for healing. And Indiana Jones is one of my guides. Watch this quick scene and you’ll understand why.
My favorite moment is when Indiana clutches his heart and finally trusts that there is a way forward, even though he can’t see it. That faith allows him to cross what appears to be an invisible bridge.
There may be times when you can’t see the path that leads you through misadventure and into your right future…and yet THAT PATH IS THERE.
Your faith may be small and brief, like the green flash at sunset…and yet THAT FAITH IS THERE.
If you feel hope slipping away, it’s time to tighten your grip. And consider this message from a wildlife ranger in South Africa. During a persistent drought that threatened the animals, she wrote:
Remember that this land has an ancient wisdom and nature has a rhythmic cycle of dying back followed by abundance. Just as the land has been through these cycles before so too has human resilience. So too has your own resilience. And who knows, maybe you’re shifting the landscape of your life to look like something beyond your wildest dreams…
Be rebellious enough to be someone who has hope.
I did leave a lot of my grief in Africa. I’ve left smaller pieces on the beach and in my wineglass. I know that the healing track may take a long time.
Even so, the kind voice encourages me to throw my eyes forward and begin to track joy.
This is also my wish for you.
MORE THIRST AID
If you’re ready for some WILD magic, I hope you’ll join me for DAMN THIRSTY ADVENTURE CAMP, Safari Edition!
I’m delighted to be leading a 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 what’s next.
12 people. November 2017.
Check out all the wild details!
See you in the whirlwind —