Adventure and Confidence

May 26, 2015

Adventure and Confidence |

I feel like my first true adventure happened when I was sixteen years old. Although my folks had taken me traveling and on hikes through the woods, my whitewater rafting experience with my Dad was a true adventure – one that was unpredictable and a little daring. Sure enough, we came home to my (likely terrified) mother to report that our raft had flipped on a class five rapid, leaving the two of us to rely on our swimming skills and lifejackets to traverse the remainder of that section of river. It was definitely scary, but I came away from the experience triumphant.

I suppose something happened after that: I could not get enough adventure in my life. I signed up for my first triathlon the following summer; I moved thousands of kilometers away from my parents to go to university. I became obsessed with travel, embarking on a trip to Romania to work in an orphanage, a gap year in Australia, and another gap year traveling around southeast Asia and the south Pacific. I signed up to run a marathon, and then figured if I could do that, I might as well sign up to play on a women’s tackle football team. Soon after, I had broken the record for the fastest swim across the Northumberland Strait, and summited Mount Kilimanjaro.

Each experience, beginning with that rafting trip, built upon the next: every time I stepped into the unknown I took a risk, a leap of faith, and I was forced to take a deep breath and assume that I had the strength and courage and wherewithal to complete the next challenge. Every time I succeeded, I became that much more aware of my own strength, courage and wherewithal. I became confident. Confident that I could do anything.

Imagine if we gave our daughters opportunities to see their own strength and courage – by encouraging them to try new – maybe scary – things, to dare, and to dream. Imagine if we did that for ourselves. Like yoga, or meditation, or learning to play the piano, building confidence through adventuring is a practice that you must dedicate yourself to. It starts with going for a run in a downpour, and when you learn you have the willpower to commit to that, you might sign up for the next community swim meet. When you know that you can jump into that pool and give it your all, perhaps you’ll plan a solo camping trip. Soon, you’ll find that your newfound self-assuredness – your belief that you can do anything – will have you asking for a raise, asking your partner to marry you, and generally putting yourself out there because you’re accustomed to the gallop your stomach does when you step into the unknown, and you have cultivated a little voice inside your head that tells you you can do it.

Has an adventure boosted your confidence levels?  What happened?  How has it affected the way you approach the rest of your life?

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!