“You have to be a little bit mad to be free.” – Mooji
Nelson and I have been on our downsizing adventure for several months now. Mostly, people’s reactions include excitement, wonder, and lots of “How to” questions. A few people have said, “You guys are crazy!”
Truthfully, our experience has been all of these things.
In response to our journey, one of our friends said, “Maybe you should write a how to for the people like me who would love to but are scared to. Give us ideas on how to live as free as y’all even if only part time.”
Here’s the secret is: we are all free. Most of us just live in cages we’ve constructed for ourselves.
Our journey started out of a passionate madness. I stood in our house, looking at everything we had to dust, and began to wonder out loud, with no small amount of frustration, “Why do we have all this crap we never use, touch, or even SEE anymore?”
Our individual journeys started years before we met when we looked at the great big world and lusted to see it, feel it, smell it, and experience it. Nelson traveled to all 50 states, lived out of the back of his truck, and was a raft guide, “Hoods in the Woods” counselor and ran a youth program in Alaska. Together with a friend, I pitched a monthly outdoor-focused column to magazine. They said yes. We had so much fun researching new places to go. I also gathered up friends and planned adventures in kayaking, rafting, camping, and biking. People were thrilled to have a willing, creative leader to show them the way (more about this in a minute).
All this begin said, if Nelson and I could do it, you can do it, too.
We believe it’s time for YOU to go a little bit mad.
Because of the conversations we have with people, we know there’s something you’re wanting to do that you’re currently not doing.
You have a secret dream, a secret superpower, or a vision of how your life could be (if only…).
It’s okay to admit you’re scared. It’s okay to admit you don’t know where to start. And it’s definitely okay to admit you have NO idea if it’ll work out.
Life is like that – uncertain, scary sometimes, and often without specific directions.
I think in our age of overwhelming information (available at our fingertips), we have begun to think we should be able to find the answers to any questions we ask. To soothe our curiosity and allay our fears.
Here’s the problem with that thinking: information is different than exploration.
Information is proven. Information is documented. Information is easy (especially today).
Exploration, though, is uncertainty. It’s answer-less until it’s undertaken. It’s a practice. And it can be hard.
Most people want to do arm-chair exploration, safe in the comfort of their climate-controlled homes (or cars). They want and expect it to be easy.
With genuine exploration, though, and for it to matter enough to CHANGE YOU, you must go out. Out into the land of unknown. To the land of “Not Knowing” (which seems like a foreign and terrifying place).
In deciding to go out, you must be willing to risk. To risk failure, injury, being wrong, or getting lost. You must risk the possibility that you’ll hate what you’re doing for the whole or part of the adventure. You must risk extremes of temperature and temperament. You risk yourself – bodily, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Are you made of tough-enough-stuff?
It’s the not-knowing that bothers people the most. They want a sure-thing these days.
In the exploration, though, there is no sure thing.
Embrace your madness, friends. It’s where you’ll find freedom. And if freedom matters to you as much as it matters to me and Nelson, you don’t wade in. You skip the toe touch. If you want to be free, you have to be willing to DIVE IN. To risk it all, with no guarantees. To completely embrace the madness and see where it leads.
Tell us: what are your desires? What do you want to change in your life? How do you dream of living differently? What adventures are on your mind (big OR small)?
How can we help you go a little bit mad?
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ― John Muir, (John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir)
Recommendation: for you homework, go find the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Read the blog post I (Angie) wrote about it on my business blog.