Back to the Future Progress Report: Pursuing Growth: Phase 2 Sculpting Project 1

Pursuing Growth: Phase 2 Sculpting Project 1: Back to the Future Progress Report

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The aspen leaves are quaking brilliant yellow, the too blue sky has begun to cloud up. I’m straddling a log with my computer propped up, recalling my summer of Back to the Future Sculpting. It began by admitting that I was a play-deprived workaholic and the simple question, “what did I choose to do when I had free time in my younger years?” The summer that resulted has been a life changer. Here is an up-date.

I began with short walks around our property, had a couple of bike rides, and drove to a couple of destinations about 45 minutes away where I hiked and explored. One day when I was walking on the public land above our home I noticed the sweeping views in all directions and realized (I think God’s Spirit was speaking) that everything I could see was just a day trip away. I live in an awesomely beautiful region of Colorado so I assure you the day trip options were impressive.

I began to take longer outings. This took courage. I was gentle with my timid-self and gave myself permission to turn back when ever I felt unsafe. I hiked as slowly as I liked. I sensed Jesus’ company on my adventures. I told friends what I was doing; they volunteered to accompany me on some of the bigger adventures. I began hiking higher altitudes and longer distances. Other friends bought me maps and books and gear.

This summer/fall I have gone on adventures more days than not. Some short, others all day. This change in my use of time can not be overstated. My to-do list is over the top and I have lived in a constant state of ‘never enough time’. So choosing to add this significant time-taker still amazes me. When I return home I plunge into my work projects usually with pleasure and a sense that I have not lost my life to them.

There are other times though when I hear the nagging inner voice, “What are you doing!! All this play is a waste of your precious time. You have important things to do.” When this voice shows up on my walks I just keep walking and after a while it usually becomes quiet and I feel I am right where I need to be. Vigilante thought management is essential.. I can get into negative thought patterns that are not healthy. Thought management does get easier in some of my hike locations where the view is grippingly awesome or novel.

Here are some of my losses and gains from this season of Play.

Losses:

  1. I have gotten less production done. How much less is hard to determine, but because I spent many hours at this project it is certain that there are hours of project work that I did not accomplish.
  2. I used more gas transporting myself. (Wish I had an electric car.)
  3. I spent a little money on equipment (especially bike tubes and maps.)

Gains:

  1. I have gained more skill in being fully present with my life. (I call it “realizing life” from an ending line in the play Our Town.)
  2. I have sensed that I am doing what God is calling me to do and that is satisfying.
  3. I have spent more time in communication with Jesus.
  4. I have gained more control of problematic thought patterns and my workaholic addiction. (More control, not complete control.)
  5. I have savored awesome views and encoded them in my brain.
  6. I feel more connected with the land in my region. I feel like I have finally moved into Western Colorado.
  7. My body is stronger and healthier.
  8. I am braver.
  9. My introverted self has found a new way the relate to people. Like play-mates of my childhood.
  10. My life feels richer and more complete.

The losses are real. The loss of production time feels big. But the gains out-weigh the losses more than 3 to 1, so I plan to keep my Adventure Project going. What’s next? Only God knows but it makes me smile to think of the possibilities.

Pursuing Growth Project: Back to the Future

1:Ask yourself: “When I was 10-20 years old what positive activities did I like to do when I had free time?”

2: Look for common themes.

3: Ask: “How can I put some of these themes into my life this week?”

4:Schedule them into your week.

One of the many views that grabbed my thought attention.

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