"Life is an adventure."
—James L. Morrell
I was blessed with a father who gave me one of the greatest gifts of my life, the gift of adventure!
No matter what was happening, my father would always be quick to point out that it was merely just part of the adventure. Like the time when I was around five years old; my family was taking a trip by car, we had a 1965 Mustang convertible (soft top) packed to the brink! All the luggage, strollers, and bikes had been packed on the roof, which, of course, was deeply sagging. In the car were my parents and my sister (three years old at the time) and I, and we were all ducked down since the roof was now at least five inches lower than when we started. Along for the trip were our pets—two Afghan dogs, a cat, a bird, a rabbit, two turtles, and goldfish. It was a hot summer day. We were riding along the highway when—POP! —the tire blew. My father drove the rim to safety. There we were, the 1973 version of The Grapes of Wrath on the side of the highway. My parents got out of the car, my mother freaking out, my father quietly assessing the situation. Then he started to unpack the top of the car (clearly the heat of the road and the weight of the car had done the tire in). Everything would have to be removed from the car to allow my father to change the tire. So, there we all were on the side of the highway in what seemed to be, in my five-year-old memory, 1,000-degree weather. My mother was very stressed out by the situation, worrying about everyone’s safety if we should walk to a phone (no cells in those days), was everybody going to be okay? She reminded him of the fact that she had warned him about the weight, and…now look.
I will never forget this moment as long as I live. My father stood up, turned to my mother, and said, “Kathy, there is nothing to be upset about, it is just all part of the adventure!” Then he bent back down and continued to change the tire. I remembered thinking to myself, “Yeah, cool! I am on an adventure!” Even though I had heard my father talk about living an adventure on many occasions, up to that moment all those occasions had been associated with pleasurable things: shopping trips, going to see relatives, going to the park, or The Museum of Natural History. That car trip was the first time I understood that everything was part of the adventure! No experience had to be judged or labeled good or bad, because it was really a part of some great adventure! How freeing. We are ALL now on one big collective adventure!
My Father was before his time. Thirty-one years before the Power of Now! was published he would talk to me about living in the moment. As an artist who had to support his family of four in New York City, he became one of the first generations of Modern Psychoanalysts and would talk about the power of the unconscious before it was accepted as a valid idea. When he would talk about life being an adventure, it was before it was a sound bite, t-shirt, or a ‘self-help’ slogan. It was his philosophy that supported him getting through his life.
A child of first-generation Greek immigrants, he was the second to last of seven- all girls! He grew up during the great depression, wearing his sister’s hand-me-downs with an inseam sewed up the middle, and cardboard as the soles of his shoes. He lived through the second world war and was drafted into the Korean War. Like many people of his generation, and the generations before he was impacted directly, numerous times by some of the worst outbreaks in American history: Small Pox, Yellow Fever, Cholera, Diphtheria, Polio, Scarlett Fever, Typhoid Mary and Whooping Cough. My grandfather was lost when he was a teenager. It makes you appreciate where we are now, doesn’t it?!
The adventure does not just refer to anything that is pleasurable; it refers to everything that happens. No matter what transpires, why, how, or anything else, it is all part of our adventure. The thing that is challenging for most of us to understand, mainly because it is part of our human condition, is everything that happens in our life and in our relationship is meant to be embraced. It is all part of the adventure. We tend to have a desire to push away, close our eyes to, or force something to change if we do not like it. We have the choice not to judge what happens to us, but merely embrace it as part of our adventure. We have the choice to free ourselves from pain and judgment and just live in the adventure. It allows us to just be and observe and experience. It is as simple as that. We live in what is, and in that way truly experience our relationship and our life. We are free. Free of judgment and free of unhappiness. We are free to experience life and Love in the moment. We are free to choose what we would like to feel. No matter what the outside world brings us, it is all part of the adventure!
Living in the Adventure
To live in the adventure only takes a few minor adjustments to our perspective and how we allow ourselves to think about things.
Think about yourself as a character in a story. Allow yourself to see yourself as the hero/heroine of your own story. Your life is your adventure.
Live in the moment. Your adventure is made up of the moments of your life.
Allow yourself to experience everything that happens to you without judgment. Understand that it is just what it is. It is part of the adventure.
Say to yourself, “This is part of the adventure.”
Understand that everyone you meet and everything that happens to you is an experience or lesson that is taking you where you need to be in your story. They are part of your adventure.
Do not judge what happens to you. Everything that happens gives you a tool or understanding that you will need for the next leg of the journey—for the next part of the adventure.
Life is your adventure. Love is your adventure.
So, I hope that you enjoy your adventure and allow Love to touch your life every day!
Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to make every day of my life an adventure! Happy birthday! I miss you! XO E