This past weekend I took a 2-day camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. With three other men, I camped at the confluence of the Big Thompson River and Fern Creek. After dinner on the first night, the four of us stood over the gorge to watch the turbid water surge below us. It was snow melt after a warm spell; probably the fullest the river will be all year.
Four guys on a boulder, looking down at the water below us, enjoying each dother’s company, engaging in deep conversation about the future of the world. . . And the future of our own lives. . .
Looking at the rapids, I felt the surging of the life blood within my own veins. I felt the power in the river. It was not hard to imagine that it could power the electricity of a small town. And I felt that same power within my own body.
The next day, we hiked up to Fern Lake and on to Odessa Lake. The second half of the journey was through banks of melting snow. We’d heard cautionary tales of a park ranger losing the trail buried by snow. But we trudged on, called by the raw beauty of the mountains.
Even in June, Odessa Lake was half-frozen gray ice, spectacular beneath the peaks above.
Shortly after beginning our descent back to the campsite, we came across a rivulet, pouring over rocks and plants and through the trail. It was only several inches deep. Dare I drink from it?
I bent down on my hands and knees, sucked the frigid mountain water into my mouth, and swallowed. The snow melt cooled my warm body. Brain freeze!
I had kissed the earth. I had honored and respected her. I was part of her. And she was offering herself so freely.
The four of us had many words for the world we had walked into: majestic, spectacular, wonderful. . . For me, there is one simple word that describes the experience: real. It was real. The veneer of human civilization was gone around me and in me. I felt so myself and the world around me was so itself.
I know that I can’t hike in the mountains every day. But how my soul longs to return to what is real! To know that kind of connection with the world around me, with other people, and with the creative spirit that is within me.
In the presence of the rocks, the pines and the river, the four of us began to talk about The Big Reconnection—with the planet, with each other, and with a new future for the world.
I don’t believe it is practical or wise to return to a primitive lifestyle that gives up all technology. Or for me to permanently escape from the world as it is. But I do want to attune my life to the real, wherever I am. I want to live in a way that is real, and in a way that respects what is real in all people and in all the forms of creation. I want to promote a reconnected way of living on this planet. I want to promote that for the people I meet, and as much as possible, for the whole world.
This is my life mission. It is worth giving all of myself to fully and it is relevant to every aspect of my life. I believe in it with all my heart and soul, and I am unabashedly telling the world about it. I am doing what I can to engage people in the experience of the real, through workshops and seminars, writing and speaking.
While this is my life mission and the way I am carrying it out is unique to me, I believe that it brings happiness and fulfillment to anyone if they embrace the real. This earth belongs to us all. The creative spirit is within us all. What is real connects us all. Isn’t a new and honorable relationship with the earth and with each other everyone’s life mission? Even though the way it is embraced is unique to each of us.
I believe that this is a supremely practical way to live. But it takes emotional and spiritual intelligence for a person to embrace it for themselves.
If this interests you, I invite you to join me for my workshop, Becoming a Sun: Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence for a Happy, Fulfilling Life. Have a profound and immediate experience of what is real in you, and in all people.
It is on July 12th to 16th in Loveland, Colorado at Sunrise Ranch. It will be an opportunity to embrace your life mission. And then live it for real.