Nearly a year ago in March, just after my final coaching certification in Canada, I was incredibly excited about the idea of taking executives out, deep into the wilderness, as a way to both foster their connection and commitment to the natural world, and simultaneously support them on their personal development journey. If Mr. Corporation loves the forest and the birds, he'll be that much more likely to work on their behalf, right? The idea began to bubble when a coaching colleague shared of his plan to start such a program...and of his dream that others do the same around the world. He'd laid some nice foundations already, and I was beyond myself with excitement at the possibility. After years of wilderness leadership experience myself, through tripping camps in Wisconsin and wilderness therapy in Idaho, as well as multiple personal excursions of all sorts, this felt like a true fusion of me and my dreams.
Summer rolled around, and my eagerness remained, despite logistical challenges of trying to connect on the phone. I was excited to learn about the latest developments, to hear about the progress around the pilot program he had planned.
But it didn't happen. The call did. But the program didn't. And with my disappointment, I let my dream sink back into the ether, living on a story that I needed him to help it happen.
Until recently. Last week, in our coaching circles for U.LAb (this amazing online class I'm taking), I reconnected to the importance of getting into nature. Granted, my dream is different now -- it's morphed from a really deep concern about the who, to a greater commitment around the why and the what. This idea began to brew, instilling in me this quandary about what it would look like and how I could do it. What would we do? Where would we go? As I sat with the unknown, I became present to my desire to collaborate with others. I just wasn't sure who or how.
My neighbor and I have been running together for many months now, enjoying the opportunity to motivate one another through the cold, wet, busy or grumpy. Yesterday morning was no exception - I was certainly ready to use the morning to dive deeper into website change and business development. As we're running our usual route to Pier Park, packing pavement until we reach the lush green of the Douglas coverage, my knee starts to hurt. Apparently, my knee likes it a lot better when we choose the Forest Park route, with its soft mud and dirt trails through the trees. So, in the process of questioning how far I could go, we end up taking this alternative route through the park, running over grass patch and hillsides that normally just see our backs. So, when we arrive earlier and from a different direction to our meditation location, I feel completely distracted and spacey.
Perhaps it was from this place that my thoughts arose, I can't be sure. But I remember speaking the words to our mini, meditative '3-body workout' that we often do (a la Integral Life Practice), but having a really hard time being present to them. While heard my voice saying, "notice the such-ness...the is-ness...of this and every moment...", my mind was dancing excitedly with this idea that had just come to me as we approached our spot.
At the end of my attempted meditation, having made it quite skillfully through my disconnect between mind and body, I could hold back no longer. Partly out of justification for having guiding us 'incorrectly', letting my distraction be the source for some of the words I chose, I jump right into sharing. Some of it sounded something like this: "I was so distracted for most of that. All I could think about is this idea that just came to me regarding dream that's been brewing in my mind about getting this group going, about taking people out into nature to support them in bridging the divide between who they really are and who they end up being...tapping into the power and energy around the dissonance between self and self. And what came to me just now was you, and how awesome it would be if we did this together and got such a thing going!"
When I first started sharing, I was so excited that I could barely speak the words fast enough to explain my ideas. But then, I noticed her silence. She was listening and saying nothing. My ego kicked in, sending a swirl of self-doubt and concern. Surely she isn't interested, I thought, having her own swirl of doubts and concerns around what I'm sharing. I notice my speaking slows a bit, and I begin to trip over my own words, unsure of which ones I'd like to use and settle upon. But I push through, ignoring the doubts, being partly aware that, were I to just stop talking, I'd be left even more vulnerable than I was originally feeling.
As we're nearing the launch pad where we often stop to do push-ups (Pier Park doubles as a disc golf course...), her first comment begins to ease my concerns, as she briefly speaks to the concept of resonance and synchronicity. My curiosity piques, though I'm still aware of the doubt that is continuing to stamp out my initial stirrings of excitement. She's chuckling as she returns from her brief jaunt behind the trees, and she begins to share. "The reason I'm laughing is because of what came to me during our moment of meditation back there. I got this strong feeling that I just need to get out of the city and back into nature. I had also been thinking that I have so much energy and work in me, but I need a focus, a partner. I was wishing somebody would just invite me to join an awesome project!"
I was shocked back into a state of excitement and simultaneous disbelief at what she'd just shared. If what she was telling me was actually true, and I have absolutely no reason to believe otherwise, then it serves as quite the reminder of what is available to us if we choose to access it.
I don't know if it was the silence or the stillness or the connection to the trees or our bodies or what...but somehow our desires harmonized and collided beautifully under the trees. So, while we're still talking about details of whether and how, this newest idea of mine may just become a reality sooner than I thought possible.
Huge gratitude to Karin in Germany and the rest of my amazing coaching circle -- without you, who knows what wouldn't have transpired under those trees.