Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

In my last post in my series in the Law of Attraction in Action, Adjectives for Your Life, I suggested that you write down all the words that describe your life. It got me thinking about a word that I’ve used to label mine for years yet don’t hear people use much. I believe that everyone should see their life as an:

Adventure. Do you make a point of living or just pass time?

When I lived in DoorMatville I referred to myself as comatose—passing time to get from one day to the next. I didn’t feel unhappy; I didn’t feel much of anything, except maybe fear. I was always scared that someone wouldn’t like me or that I wouldn’t have enough people to spend time with or that I’d somehow screw up. I was scared that people would think I was too fat or unattractive to deal with. And I was too busy worrying about pleasing everyone to consider being happy.

The only adventure in my life back then was an occasional wishful thought—that I quickly banished.

As I began to feel better about me and decided to leave the “security” of DoorMatville behind, I knew I had to get divorced. I’d gone from the loving care of my parents to the loving care of my husband at twenty and had never been on my own. My husband didn’t treat me badly. I treated myself badly! I didn’t know what it was like to take care of myself or to consider that dreams could come true. But once I agreed to a divorced, something in me clicked!

I wanted to finally LIVE on purpose and not just pass time.

People commiserated with me when I moved out. It wasn’t needed. My life would finally be MINE and I was excited. Some people think I’m awful to say that I danced out of my old life to be a single woman on her own. But it’s the truth and I have no guilt. I still remember the day that friends helped me load up a van with my belongings. All I could think of was that I intended to LIVE! I got into the van, giddy with excitement. As I drove away, it hit me.

I intended to have an adventure every day. No more comatose DoorMat!
John Amatt said, “Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles of life – facing new challenges, seizing new opportunities, testing our resources against the unknown and in the process, discovering our own unique potential.”

That was me! When you go to sleep you never know what will happen when you wake up. It’s your choice to embrace the ride or try to avoid the bumps like I did in DoorMatville. I encounter more people who do the latter. That prevents embracing the adventure you life can be. Like John Amatt said, I’m not looking to have wild and crazy adventures each day, though I do like to have them occasionally. Instead, I acknowledge the adventure that life is, or at least can be when you let it.

You only have one life. Passing time and ignoring possibilities wastes it.

The good news is you can start now. I lost my twenties in DoorMatville, bored and adventure-free. But boy, have I made up for it. I don’t lament those years. They’re over and looking back with regret serves no purpose. Plus, I think I appreciate my adventure of life so much more for having been devoid of it in my early adult years. Now I look forward and see the adventure before me, to embark on or hide from. I embark! Think abut what’s going on right now. Do you have any decisions to make? Opportunities to try something new? People to meet? Events to go to? Ideas to pursue? Or a walk to take?

You can make everything you do an adventure by changing the way you see it.

Most people don’t consider a walk in my neighborhood an adventure.?But I do! I always notice new things. While I often take the same route, my eyes open now instead of not paying attention to anything but to where I’m going. I see people focused on their path and getting there quickly, looking straight ahead. I look all around, take in the details and appreciate what I see. I notice interesting pieces of architecture as I go through the streets of Manhattan; a lovely store display; an assortment of people.
Life becomes richer when you pay attention to all the details around you.

I have many special memories of my adventures. One that I particularly enjoyed was walking past the Sherry Netherland hotel on Fifth Avenue on the way to run in Central Park one evening. Had I not been in observation mode, I might not have noticed singer Rod Stewart and the legendary Clive Davis, all decked out in tuxedoes. They were standing on the street, waiting for their car. I smiled as I crossed the street to the park entrance, thinking how cool it was to live in NYC. As I entered Central Park 3 minutes later, my adventure suddenly changed as a raccoon and her 2 babies watched me run by. How glorious that was!

One minute I shared a space with Rod Stewart and Clive Davis in the heart of a big city and the next I was in the country, with raccoons.

I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the night. To me, that was an adventure, because I appreciated it as one! Each morning I ask what adventure I’ll have today? I expect one and see it in what I do. Feeling your life as an adventure feels much better than making it your goal to avoid pain and an occasional bumpy ride.

Adventures do include failing and experiences that can hurt and problems and disappointments. That’s life! But to experience the joy of living, you have to experience it all. It’s said that the really lucky people aren’t the ones who have things handed to them or who seem to have everything go their way.

The real lucky people take what life throws at them at makes the most of it instead of letting potholes stop their adventure.

Since leaving DoorMatville, life hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had many obstacles to overcome. But thinking of my life as an adventure, and reveling in the joy of being on one, made it worth pushing forward. You can’t get time back but you can choose your path for right now. I still remember what went through my head as I drove to my first apartment as a single chick—FREEDOM! I was free at last.

Taking life as an adventurous journey is freedom.

Living within the parameters of what others want from you or being fear driven or avoiding more than seeking puts invisible bars around you. I used to feel like I was in prison—one of my own doing. I was too scared to try something new or to rock anyone’s boat by setting boundaries or making myself important. Fear kept me locked up. Leaving my marriage was a prison break that I still appreciate.
So choose—jail or freedom? If you choose freedom, slowly change your perception of how you view your life and turn it into an adventure with just your thoughts!

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