Flourish

Adventure Fuels Creativity

I love a good adventure, don’t you? The anticipation of planning for, discovering, and exploring a new place sparks life into my days and joy in my heart. I believe that adventures, near and far, are not just a luxury but an essential rhythm in a flourishing life. 

Yet, so often wait for picture perfect circumstances to incorporate adventure into lives.  I used to look around me at all the people going on beach vacations, swimming in majestic waterfalls, and traveling to foreign countries and get a serious case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). 

Oh how I would love to be exploring the ffjords of Norway right now or sipping a espress on on the streets of Florence. But, life is just to short to not live fully and embrace a spirit of adventure wherever we are.  In this season I might not be able to jet off to Italy or Sweden at a moments notice, but I can still find the joy of adventure close to home. 

Adventures, near and far, are an essential ingredient to a flourishing life.  They expand our mind, open our eyes, spark our creativity, and bring LIFE back to living.  A life that is flourishing is rooted in living on purpose and joy. A life that flourishes is a poured out life, walking in our callings with clarity and passion.  However, if we continue to pour out we will become weary, dry, and empty. In order to live out a flourishing life, we must find ways to fill up our well so that it overflows in to the lives of others.  For me, adventure is always the spark that fills up my tank and renews my creativity.

Several Summers ago I was in a one of those poured-out, creativity lacking, dry spells.  I had suffered a major injury earlier in the year that left my physical body tired but my soul weary too.  After the physical healing took place, my soul needed some nourishment too.  A good friend was reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and her short description intrigued me.  I ordered it on-line and impatiently anticipated it’s arrival.  One of the foundational parts of the workbook is to take yourself on weekly “Artist Dates”.  What is an artist day you may ask?

An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing creative consciousness, your inner artist…You do not take anyone on this artist date but you.

– Julia Cameron

That Summer, after spending 10 weeks on the couch and with limited mobility, the idea of 2 hours out and about was balm to my spirit.  I began implementing weekly artist dates, usually a Friday late afternoon, I carved out 2 hours by myself, and explored my hometown.  I visited the local antique mall and found the most beautiful enamel pitcher. I drove back country roads and encountered a sunflower field and took a shameless selfie. I made the trek to an Indian spice store to purchase ingredients to create a new dish.  I jumped in the lake and floated on my back looking at the shapes and forms of clouds every chance I could get.

My artist dates were a weekly reminder that I was gifted with this one and precious life and it was up to me to make it one worth living. Three years later, I’ve continued my rhythm of consistent artist dates with one exception.  I don’t always do it alone.  (Yes, my extrovertedness is showing.) Adventures with my people are some of the best kind. Adventures with dear friends or family spark a deeper kind of creativity.  A creativity that is less about doing what feels good and more like living a wild & free life that overflows to everyone you meet.

My favorite local adventure ideas (solo or with friends):

-Stop by your local coffee shop and ask the barista for a recommendation.

-Frequent your farmer’s market and select ingredients for a meal or a indulgent charcuterie board.

-Explore a local junk sale or antique market. Discover the history and beauty of another’s treasure.

-Search for “Little Free Libraries” in your town and walk or bike to the one closest to you.

-Jump in the lake/river/ocean, just float and look at the sky.

-Sit on a patio with live music and sip a delicious cocktail or glass of wine.

-Got to a movie by yourself…with extra popcorn!

-Attend an art exhibit or museum.

– Visit Indian or Asian market/bakery and purchase ingredients for a favorite meal. Share it with your people…or make it just for you!

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