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Sunset Kayak - North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

Get Yourself a Kayak

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: puuikibeach
When “you can’t get there from here” – then what?

Sometimes the unexpected sends you reeling and you suddenly find you can’t get there from here anymore…

Playing around with my new iTouch, I decided to get directions to my son’s base from my home in Maryland. So I typed “Wahiawa, Hawaii.” I got turn-by-turn directions until I hit the coast. Then I was told, “Kayak across the Pacific Ocean entering Hawaii.”

— Cindy Hays

Well, a kayak is certainly one way to cross the Pacific Ocean; but a luxury cruise has more appeal.

However, if there’s white water ahead, then I’d choose the kayak to “huck” my way through the raging chaos!

Huck:

A term generally used in extreme sports referring to a large jump, often without knowledge or regard for the risk or consequences.

— UrbanDictionary.com

But remember – just because your life seems to have morphed into a challenging expedition, don’t get caught up in the drama of the moment. Don’t flounder in a whirlpool of ain’t-it-awfuls, because the next thing you know, you’ll be trapped in a Worst Case Scenario and, like the poor fellow in this YouTube.com video, you’ll be upside down in the raging current of a waterfall.  BEFORE that happens, remind yourself: Worst Case Scenarios are for visiting – not moving in!

When I was living in New York and didn’t have a penny to my name, I would walk around the streets and occasionally I would see an alcove or something. And I’d think, that’ll be a good spot for me when I’m homeless.

— Larry David

Don’t let the whirlpool of the unexpected turn into your very own “good spot”.  Instead, get yourself an appropriate metaphor for navigating your own rough times… if a kayak and a paddle don’t hold cache for you, perhaps one of these will do ya’:

  • A good pair of hiking boots & walking stick
  • A rugged 4X SUV
  • A well-rigged parachute
  • A frightening ride on a rollercoaster
  • Or a sleek sports car
  • Bungie cord
  • A safety harness for the zip-line flight
  • A bullet-train
  • All of the above or something else

If you’d like some help transforming them into meaningful life metaphors here’s a grand exercise from About.com: Create Your Own Metaphors.  But regardless of how you choose to explain your new circumstances, PLEASE don’t get stuck in a Worst Case Scenario.  Paddle through.

It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.

— Helen Keller

But What IF…

IF a Worst Case Scenario does grab your spirit, then what?  That’s when it’s time to conjure up your heart’s desire with a Best Case Scenario.  Here’s how: start with Slade Roberson’s sage advice “a miracle is always an option” and see what it tells you about possible desirable outcomes.  Maybe you’ll envision a new way to get there from here; maybe you’ll even decide to choose a new destination!

And Then?

Then, after you’ve imagined your very own Best Case Scenario, here’s a recipe for taking your best shot at making it so: Take Your Best Shot.  Check it out and see if it helps you figure out how to “get there from here”.

Regardless of the Obstacles

Regardless of the obstacles, continuing to search out and explore new ways to get where we want to go is the secret to success.

Tenacity is a pretty fair substitute for bravery, and the best form of tenacity I know is expressed in a Danish fur trapper’s principle: ‘The next mile is the only one a person really has to make.

— Eric Sevareid
author of Canoeing with the Cree

So, even when you feel like you “can’t get there from here” persevere… continually sweep the horizon looking for a better passageway… and, when such a passage presents itself, persist by going “the next mile”.

There is no rushing a river… you go at the pace of the water and that pace ties you into a flow that is older than life on this planet. Acceptance of that pace, even for a day, changes us, reminds us of other rhythms beyond the sound of our own heartbeats.

— Jeff Rennicke
River Days: Travel on Western Rivers

Getting there from here takes perseverance, persistence, patience… But that’s another post.

For now, let’s find good ways to say “yes” to our adventures – let’s enjoy the ride and all our fellow travelers!

When “you can’t get there from here” – build yourself a Best Case Scenario and then kayak into the territory ahead.

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