Going with the Flow

Today I’m video-blogging for a change! In the video-blog I talk about some of the unusual things that have been happening over the last two weeks:

  1. Experiencing a sentient landscape.
  2. Hearing my flow voice.

I’ve popped details of the books I mention, along with info about the CrossFit Open heats and Olympic lifting sessions, below the video-blog.

Alan Garner’s Thursbitch Every inch of this book is breathtaking: from the vivid language (which you need to tune your ear to, but the effort is well worth it) to the awe-inspiring depiction of a sentient landscape (a landscape that has a presence and that can feel yours); and from the interweaving of ancient rites and echoes from the past with a shifting and uncertain present to the gradual melting of boundaries in the liminal space that is the Thursbitch valley. 

 

Steven Kotler’s The Rise of Superman This is all about what ‘flow’ is and how to create conditions to access it (even when you’re not an adventure sports junkie 🙂 ). I’m about halfway through and just getting onto the ‘how to’ bit. I’d say you need to be prepared to wade through a lot of stuff about men doing daredevil stuff (and couched in sports-technical terms) to get to the real juice, but it is worth sticking with. (Shame more women don’t get a mention. In fact, no women mentioned so far ….)

Here’s what I’ve been learning in the Olympic lifting technique sessions over the last 2 weeks (clean and jerk):

And here are the last two heats I’ve completed in the CrossFit Open 2019. For 19.3 I managed all the lunges and box step-ups but couldn’t manage a single handstand press-up (even though I had plenty of time!). For 19.4 I managed 4 rounds plus 6 pull-ups (so 16 pull-ups in total). The pull-ups were the limiting factor for me 😦 .

 

 

I’m just going outside and may be some time 🙂

JT

Living the Dream

January was a busy month for me: it takes a while to get an adventure support crew together, and it takes a while to devise a workable plan. I need to be able to train for the three physical challenges and rehearse for the musical theatre challenge – and do regular work on top of all that! I’ve also done lots of research for each adventure (more on what each adventure entails in another post 🙂 ) and taken some baseline measurements, so I can keep track of the kind of progress I’m making.

And it seems my preparations have not just been of a conscious nature. If you followed my 365 Days of Adventure project, you’ll know I’m a lucid dreamer and had some insightful dream adventures back in 2014. Well, let’s just say that my dreams seem to be aligning with my new adventure reality at world record speed! And let’s just say that the nature of a dream I had in early January is really significant. (In this case, I’m yet to discover if my conscious mind is catching up with my unconscious mind – and the dream is just letting me know the catch-up is complete. Or might it be that my unconscious mind is just giving the big thumbs up to my adventure plans? I’ll keep you posted as and when I discover more …).

So, to the dream in question! For the last 35 years, I’ve had a recurring dream. In the dream, I’m crouched in starting blocks on an athletics track (yes, I know!). I can see the track. I can see my feet and my hands. I’m unaware of other runners. The gun goes off and I push hard with my legs. I can feel an incredible force going through my body, but I  have real difficulty in getting out of the blocks and moving forward. Even when I get out of the blocks (which I sometimes manage), the sense of inertia is overwhelming. I push and I push, my lungs are bursting, but I never get to the upright position. The feeling that goes with the dream is a kind of fear: it feels like my life depends on getting out of the blocks. I also feel a heavy weight pushing down on me and pulling me back. There’s a sense that I could be crushed if I don’t move, and I feel winded.

Before I had this dream (from being a small child into my late teens), I had another recurring dream with the same feeling tone (fear) and a similar theme (feeling like my life depended on running but having the experience of overwhelming inertia and not being able to ‘escape’). In my childhood dream I’m in Ancient Egypt. Everything is dark but the buildings are orange and there’s sand flying everywhere. There are chariots racing through the place I’m in. I’m tiny and I risk getting caught up in the wheels of the chariots. I know I need to run, but I have the same ‘starter block’ experience. I’m trying really hard, but I can’t get any traction – and I can’t get into the upright position. I feel winded.

In the first week of January the starting block dream arrived. It’s arrival was no surprise: it’s a regular visitor! However, something strange happened. This time, the gun went off and there was no inertia. For the first time in 35 years of this dream (and a lifetime of this dream theme), there was nothing holding me back. There was no fear. I pushed hard against the blocks and flew straight out of them. I felt strong. My body was alive to the moment. There was an enormous sense of forward propulsion.

The dream had such an impact on me that I woke straight up! I don’t know what happens next in this dream because it’s not revisited me … yet. Part of me doesn’t think it’ll make a return. That’s because part of me thinks I’ve ‘got the message’ and I’m living out something that’s really important to me. What that ‘something’ is, I’m yet to fully understand. I will keep you posted, of course – and I’ll let you know if and when the dream returns.

In the meantime, I’m just going outside and may be some time.

JT 🙂

The Further Adventures Of The Everyday Adventurer

Jane celebrationsWell, here we are already 17 days into January! Whilst my 365 Days Of Adventure project is now complete, that doesn’t mean that the adventures have stopped : far from it 🙂 . My year-long project has started an avalanche of new projects, and some of the adventures I started back in 2014 are growing into veritable “expeditions”!

New Projects And New-Old Projects
Thanks to my webinar and TV show adventures, I’ve now developed the technological confidence (yes – actual confidence!) to launch my very first on-line programme. It’s a natural next step for me and for any of you who want to get the hang of doing new stuff (and doing the stuff that you really want to do) without holding yourself back. You can get the full low-down on the Learning To Leap programme here.

Thanks to my SurveyMonkey adventure (Oh, how I wish I’d undertaken this adventure a long time ago!), I’m also launching a live retreat version of my Learning To Leap programme . The retreat is called The Leap and you can jump into all the detail here.

My survey results showed that the programme that most people were interested in was my Telling Stories For A Change training. So, I listened and ,after a few years of rest and recuperation, that course is back on the menu!

The Big Expedition
If you’ve been following my adventures for a while, you may know that I wrote a short faerie story last summer. I sent that story off to a handful of literary agents and one publisher. The publisher was interested and asked for another story, which I submitted in December. They like that too, and yesterday I embarked on the next stage of my writing adventure : a visit to the publishing house!

I really enjoyed meeting the two editors and it was FABULOUS to be able to tell them how I came to write the stories (yes- I even owned up to my fairy-hunting adventure). The meeting was more about getting to know me and about ascertaining whether I had it in me to go the full book-signing, speaking, reading, interviewing hog… and whether I could enthuse about my own work . We also talked about the genre of my book .. which is a little sticky …. because its natural genre (cross-over) is notoriously hard to sell to bookshops because they don’t know where to put the books.

I get to hear whether the publisher wants to go ahead with publishing a collection of short stories early next week 🙂 . Here’s the “live” report >>

If you’re new to my blog, and you want to catch up with my 365 Days Of Adventure project, just click on the Blog Categories button in the right hand column (or under this post if you are reading this on your phone). When you click on the button it will give you a topic menu, so you can pick and choose as the fancy takes you 🙂 .

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 260 ~ Solve A Tree Mystery

whitebeamEarlier in the Summer, I undertook a series of tree identification adventures and really enjoyed them. After those adventures, my tree radar was on high alert and I began to notice different types of trees in all sorts of places. I had a lot of fun identifying them and it felt good to know more about my natural surroundings.

One tree stumped me though. I noticed it in the summer when its blossom was white. Now it has red berries and large lobed leaves. And then a piece of the jigsaw dropped into place that would narrow down my search for its identity : I have seen this tree in parks, along streets and very occasionally in people’s gardens. Only twice have I noticed it in hedges .. so it seems that it is rare in the wild.

With my trusty tree book in hand, I visited one of the local mystery trees and I think I have solved the mystery : it’s a whitebeam!

It feels really exciting to have solved the mystery – and this adventure has reminded me how much I love working things out for myself (even thought it’s taken me months to work this one out, it’s been fun 🙂 )

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 249 ~ Go Mushroom Hunting

Portglenone Forest was the setting for a fabulous impromptu adventure today! The forest was leaping with mushrooms large and small, and a walk that usually takes 30 minutes to complete with the dog, took almost an hour and a half today. It was really exciting to hunt for different types of fungi, even though I didn’t have a name for anything I saw.

I took pictures of all the different types I spotted. When I got home, I used the Wild Food UK website to help with identification. It was so much fun comparing my pictures with the images on the website and learning more about each one of them.

Here’s what I came up with!  If you click  on the name of each one, you’ll be able to see why I came to the conclusion I did. Do you think I identified them correctly? I’m not sure about the last one ~ I think it’s a type of bracket fungus though! (Do let me know if you know what it is 🙂 ).

 

 

Bracket Fungus

Bracket Fungus

 

 

 

 

 

I am just going outside and may be some time 🙂 .

JT

Adventure 246 ~ Write A Collection Of Haiku Poems [14]

poem about school uniformFor me, the things that really mark the changing of the season are the end of the summer holidays and the beginning of the school term. The first full day of school for my son was this monday and seeing him in his uniform again reminded me :

  • How quickly we, as humans, move through our own seasons
  • How tied I really am to my own heritage (I come from a family of school teachers)
  • How I can already see in my son’s Spring, the seeds of his Autumn (I think the leaves will be spectacular)

For today’s poetic adventure, I’ve written a haiku called “Back to school”. You can read it here , and I read it out loud in today’s video-blog too.

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 245 ~ Create My Very First Newsletter

Add a little adventure to your in-box

I had a lot of fun today creating (and sending out) my very first newsletter! I used Mailchimp for this , and I capitalised on last week’s “techy” adventure too : I used Canva to create the header image.

I wrote a short article and then added share buttons and links … okay, I added pretty much everything I could work out how to use!

You can take a peek here  ~ I think you’ll like the article (it’s a harvest metaphor 🙂 ).

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 242 ~ Buy A Domain Name For A New Project

book cover Jane TalbotNow then 🙂 . If you’ve been following my adventures for a while, you might have seen today’s adventure coming!

I’ve had an idea for a book project (and an accompanying experiential programme ~ well, “experiential programme” isn’t exactly the right phrase, but it’ll have to do for now 😛 ) that seems to have taken root way back in my earlier adventures. My summer adventures have accelerated the growing process, and today’s adventure is a step further towards bringing this project to life.

The Invisible Counsellors adventures (adventures 89 – 92) helped me to explore how I might do something worthwhile with all my adventuring experiences. My writing adventures (a gruesome piece of romantic fiction, my children’s story “The Faerie Thorn”, and my haikus) have toned my writing muscle. My webinar adventures have encouraged me to really reflect on the value of living adventurously ~ and to reach out to others who might want to reconnect with their own adventurous spirit.

241 previous adventures have led me to this point : the purchase of a domain name for my book and for it’s associated learning programme (nope, that’s not the right word either : I’m sure it will come to me at some point!)

It felt really good to take this small step today. In fact, it felt like quite a big step ; it made the whole idea feel more concrete. I sense it’s going to be a big part of 2015 for me – and it just couldn’t have happened without 2014, my year of Everyday Adventures.

Sometimes, it’s so good to realise how everything we plant today makes for tomorrow’s harvest. It’s almost September : the harvest is right on time. (Oh yeah…  what I also wanted to say is that this is me “putting it out there”, setting the intention, making the commitment – and you can call me on that 🙂 ).

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 241 ~ Write A Collection Of Haiku Poems [11]

owlFor today’s poetic adventure, I had to do quite a bit of detective work. With the help of “Birdwatching For Beginners” and BBC Radio 4’s Tweet Of The Day archives, I was able to work out which bird I’ve been hearing at dusk throughout the summer : it’s the long-eared owl!

You can hear the call of the elusive long-eared owl here; you can read today’s haiku about this nocturnal bird here; and you can listen to me read my haiku out loud in today’s video- blog too 🙂 .

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT

Adventure 239 ~ Tackle The Tech

live your adventure by Jane TalbotOne HUGE thing that my adventuring has given to me is a playful attitude towards technology! Before I started my 365 Days Of Adventure project, I think I was actually afraid of technology ; I was in awe of all those folks who has “mastered the modern”, and I think that awe (and the  belief that technology is “hard”) really held me (and my business) back.

As I look back over the last 8 months, I’ve learned to edit videos, manage my WordPress site (and many of its widgets), set up a mailing list, link my mailing list to a “home-made” sign-up box on my website, set up and run webinars, use Facebook advertising (I was REALLY scared of that, oddly enough!), use Google Hangouts On Air, I’ve launched my first digital product, and I’ve mastered a range of image-making tools too!  And I’ve done this all by playing ~ it’s really worked for me, and I’m so glad I’ve done it because I really do think that it’s helped my business no end.

By working through my fears of technology, I’ve now arrived at a very new state of readiness. I’m ready to go self-hosted with my website, I’m ready for the world of plug-ins and customisation, I’m up for learning more about Search Engine Optimisation, and I’m up for developing on-line learning programmes. Yup ~ I’m up for it all because I realised something that’s really important to me : it’s not really about technology, it’s really about playful creativity, connection and  self-expression. And those are things  that light me right up!

For today’s techy adventure, I tried out Canva (a brilliant image creation website which is mostly free. Today’s blog post image was created for FREE on Canva today 🙂 ). The other websites I mention in today’s video are iPiccy and Pixlr . All three of these sites are incredibly easy to use.

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT