I recently uncovered my very first journal – I was 17, participating in Outward Bound in Ashville, NC. It was three and a half weeks in the woods, two leaders, and twelve teenagers from all over the country, with backpacks and sleeping bags, anticipating an experience of a lifetime. For me, it truly was – and I recognize how deeply ingrained each day of that experience lives in me and guides me – and I found my Soul’s Chutzpah in re-reading my journal.

What I discovered in reading my 17 year old self – the wisdom, astute assessments of relationships and lifestyle changes, and deep connection to nature has been guiding my adult life. What a joy to look back at myself in this way. Simply holding this small book transports me back to those weeks.

One recurring theme is courage – simply not giving up.

I vividly remember many instances of challenge and discomfort…one night we got soaked by torrential rain. We had not carefully attached the tarp for protection and water came under, over and around us! It was very uncomfortable and the next day, we dried out our belongings. Just imagine lying in your backyard during a rain storm, no thunder, just water… Would you stay and allow yourself to get wet or would you seek protection? Today, I don’t know. LOL

Two participants left our program, a detail I don’t remember. Our group of 12 diminished to 10. As difficult as our journey was, with physical pain and fear, it never occurred to me to leave. I had faith and apparently sang my way through fear… and I still do today.

Consider: My Challenge To You:

Take a deep breath, release any physical tension. Take another deep breath, close your eyes. Breathe until you feel centered and grounded. Reflect back to a moment of challenge in your childhood that activated a response you remember. Note the sensations in your body…what are you feeling? High or low energy? Is there courage and acceptance, or doubt and fear?

Think about this question: “ What would that “younger you” want to share with you now?

I invite you to explore this simple process, write down your insights and physical sensations. End the process by giving yourself a huge hug, smile, and allow your body to tingle with joy!