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Explorer Mode

I remember the day I realized that I could be a yoga teacher.

I was flipping pages of a Yoga Journal in the passenger seat of our old Toyota Land Cruiser, Landy, driving somewhere between Seattle and Spokane on a hot August day. It was one of those moments of complete clarity, of seeing something old and familiar with a fresh set of eyes. That breath catching, moment of recognition when you think you spot an old lover across the crowded restaurant; could it be?

I was recognizing a new potential, a new path and perhaps a new life. As I glanced up from my magazine at the stark, orange soil and rolling hills, I inhaled deeply. Could it be true? Could I become a yoga teacher? Could I even speak it a loud? Without waiting for my inner critic to jump in and tell me all the reasons it was not possible, I blurted out “I think I’ll take a yoga teacher certification class.”

“Sounds good” Tim replied, and just like that a door swung wide open, shifting how I navigated this wild and precious thing called life.

The reality that I could do something, no anything, I wanted to do was a magic moment that changed my life forever.

This moment of clarity was not about ability or resources (although both of those things do help) but it was the awakening of something in me that said “you can really do anything you want.” A new belief began to take shape, a belief in the power of possibility. The why not?

This wasn’t the call to quit my job on Monday and move to an Ashram in India. Not throwing caution to the wind and leaping into the unknown; the all or nothing. No, it was a subtle wind of possibility blowing in the permission to explore.

With my clients, one of my favorite conversations that repeats itself often is, "what would you like to explore? What could you explore this week, this month, this year?"

If like a lot of my clients, you are not 100% sure of what you want to be when you “grow up” but you know what you are doing today is not it. Or what you do today is OK, but deep down you know it could be better, one way to gain clarity is to explore. To become an explorer of potential transformation.

I use the word explore and explorer with intention. It seems to release the pressure of a need to feel certain, clear and committed. A permission slip to ditch practical, we ease in, warm up to the idea. To begin paying attention to things that excite you, and light you up.

Because these elements hide within them the seeds of your own Big Bold Life.

One of my favorite things to do is to make lists. Seriously, I love a list: to do’s, books to read, restaurants to try, groceries to buy. I know part of it is the sadistic achiever in me wanting to tick things off the list, but I also think it I make lists to record inspiration I see in my world every day. Of all the 100’s of lists I write, my favorite are what I call Explorer Lists.

An Explorer List is list of things you might like to try. Things that are inspiring to you and perhaps a bit crazy. Things that when you write them down make you smile conspiringly to yourself, like a thirteen-year-old with a secret crush.

me the more outlandish the idea the better. I had a coach tell me that when the idea was surprising to you; you were striking gold, really speaking your heart’s desire. Go explore the crazy!

I was working with a client recently who was struggling to find a new job. She’d been on a large project that had ended, and she’d basically worked herself out of a job.

In dreaming a bit, and building an Explorer List, she’d come up with some practical yet uninspiring ideas that leveraged the skills she’d been using for years at a business leader. During one of our conversations, she got quiet and there was a long pause.

“This is going to sound crazy…” she almost whispered.

I got excited. “Yea?” I encouraged.

“Well, I’ve always wanted to be a Private Investigator.”

BAM! There is was, the wild and crazy TRUTH! The vision. Now, she many not ever be a Private Investigator, but by having this vision and taking action to explore she moving toward something that lights her up.

The path wasn’t go become a PI. It was go research it. Go see what it takes to become a PI. Find a local person doing that job and take them out to coffee.

I’d much rather be a Director of Marketing and Aspiring Private Investigator than just a Director of Marketing. Can you feel the difference in those two?

The power is exploring is you can do anytime. It does not require you uproot and jump ship.

Today I am not teaching yoga, but I can.

My story doesn’t end with I became a yoga instructor and lived happily ever after.

What did happen was the crack of the starters gun, beginning of my own journey to create a Big Bold Life. The beginning of years of exploring.

After Yoga Instructor Training came Life Coaching, Authentic Leadership, Energy Work, Meditation, Print Making, Writing, Workshop Development, Group Facilitation, A Radio Talk Show and so much more! Seriously the list goes on and on.

Today I made a new explorer list based on where I am today the vision I hold for this next year. It has some predicable things to explore (Vlogging, publishing the book, Myers Briggs certification, 24 new hikes), but also, some less predictable (metal jewelry making, burlesque dancing, Chinese medicine, and more).

I most likely will not explore even half of the ideas on my list this year, but having them out there as a source of inspiration, and ultimately that is what I’m chasing. Inspiring Transformation!

So, get a big pen and piece of scratch paper or simply send yourself a voice note or e-mail listing something you might like to explore this year. Dig deep lovelies and find the crazy.

Find that seed that you planted so deeply you’ve forgotten it is there. Dig it up and write it down and explore, you have my permission!

Make a Moment, Make a Day, Make a Life

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