Skin Your Knees on Eternity
At the beginning of my presentations on “How to Live a Life of Adventure” at high schools, colleges, civic clubs and church groups, my first words exclaim, “I live a spectacular life!” After the audience digests such brash words, I invite each person to repeat for himself or herself, “I live a spectacular life!” They repeat the words, but with unease, consternation and even trepidation. It’s a bit difficult to make a bold statement on how you live your life. You might be living a dull life, average existence or even a difficult life. You may face challenges that seem to consume, daunt and defeat you.
So, how do you bottle your internal lightning energy? How do you go out into life to skin your knees in the face of eternity?
First, your 80-some years on this planet constitute your personal eternity. That means you can choose what happens, how it happens and for how long. You can choose to learn as much as you can during your schooling. You may choose to care for your body-temple by your actions or inactions. You can choose to eat, drink and nourish your being with healthy foods and fellowship of friends. You can choose to fill your spirit with your own options for connection to the natural world.
Second, you can harness your youthful exuberance not only in your teen years, but maintain that energy throughout your entire life. It’s been said that “life deals you high and low cards, but you play the hand you’re dealt.” You can bluff your way through or you can play it straight. Either way, you win or lose on your chosen merits, talents, skills, education and actions.
Third, choose your words and thoughts wisely. Choose your friends with care. Hang with others who carry their own “bottled lightning.” For starters, what defines bottled lightning?
Think of the energy that explodes through your body when you work on a project that you love. It may be working on your car, creating a bookshelf in a woodcraft class, writing a poem, or volunteering at a homeless shelter. It might encompass a math class, sports of all kinds, dancing or yoga. It may be a novel or a Shakespearean play. Include its concepts into your inner passions, drive and creative living. You may choose that “bottled lightning” drive throughout your life. Once you feel it, you know it. Once you know it, you own it. From that point onward, apply it to your work, play and quiet times.
For example, this past spring, I carried my passion for long-distance bicycle travel along the West Coast of America. I pedaled nearly 2,000 miles from Canada to Mexico. Each day, I pedaled up hills and coasted down hills. I traveled through sunshine and rainstorms. I pushed into headwinds and enjoyed tailwinds. I witnessed stunning sunrises and sunsets. I met fantastic people and several “otherwise” people. Each day, I expected great moments.
At one point on the Big Sur, south of San Francisco, known for its incredibly rugged mountainous cliffs that tower over the crashing surf, I stopped at a vista point overlooking a lagoon 150 feet below me. Another traveler yelled out, “They’re spouting!” I looked down to see a 30-ton Grey whale surface for air. For an added treat, a calf spouted right alongside its mother. I snapped several pictures as they played between the seaweed and waves rolling in from the wide Pacific Ocean.
I muttered to myself, “Spectacular!” Indeed, at that moment, I lived a spectacular life because I took a chance. I pedaled my bike down the West Coast. I opened myself up to the energies of the universe. Do you think it’s easy to pedal a bike across a continent? Is it a cakewalk to ride in a rainstorm? Answer: a cyclist faces every kind of challenge you can imagine, just like your own life.
In the same high vibrational frequencies, you enjoy the same possibilities in your spectacular life. It might be travel or raising a child. It might be your Zumba dance class or playing the piano. Discover your own “bottled lightning” in your pursuit of happiness.
Now, repeat after me, with certitude, enthusiasm and genuine confidence: “I live a spectacular life!”
Frosty Wooldridge is an environmentalist, mountain climber, scuba diver, dancer, skier, writer, speaker and photographer. He has bicycled 100,000 miles on six continents and seven times across the United States. His feature articles have appeared in national and international magazines for 30 years. You can find his many books and other info at HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com