A Field Guide to Life – Introduction

by Brad on August 7, 2012

A Field Guide to Life – Introduction

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”   – Henry David Thoreau, Walden 

The life you’ve always dreamed about is right here right now, waiting for you to claim it. Yes, it’s that simple. The only thing that can stop you from creating and living an extraordinary life every single day is a belief that it’s not possible. As you’ll soon discover, that belief is no more than an echo from the distant past, but one that still reverberates through your ways of seeing, thinking, speaking, behaving. That echo has left you believing more strongly in your limitations than in your potential. 

I see a path beyond that belief, and the ways of seeing, thinking, speaking and behaving that derive from it. I offer it here as a way for you to reclaim the authentic power of your deepest truth and longing, and create a life you love.

Your limiting beliefs may make it difficult for you even to envision the possibility of a path beyond, a place where creative genius, contribution, meaning, joy and freedom are everyday experiences. Chances are good that few other people offer you encouragement to see things differently, either, for they, too, are lost in the same limiting belief. Such is the power of unconscious thinking that pervades our society today.       

I don’t buy a bit of this prevailing belief system. Not only can you live an extraordinary life, but it’s your birthright to do so. That’s what it means to be human: to discover, and then be, the natural creative essence that has always lived inside you. That essence is part of a natural order to life that resides just below the surface chaos that defines how you probably experience life today.

I’ve been there: lost, disillusioned, stressed. I lived 30 years of my adult life chasing a dream to nowhere. All the time, I firmly believed it led everywhere. It didn’t. I ate well, but I was starving. My life has changed dramatically in the past 15 years, and the experience has proven to me that the potential for this kind of change lives inside each of us. In part, this is my story, how my life changed me. From a larger perspective, however, it is an invitation … to join a conversation about unleashing the greatest potential that lives inside you. My intention is to evoke that potential, a source of energy that may have become trapped, possibly for years, by pressures of outdated beliefs and an opinionated, demanding world.

150 years ago, Henry David Thoreau “went to the woods,” to experience life and himself from a new perspective: personal clarity. He may have lived in a simpler time, but to this day he stands as an icon of the human spirit, living simply and authentically, experiencing the connection we share with something larger than ourselves. From one perspective, Thoreau had very little. From another, his world was filled with possibility; he had it all. It’s this apparent dichotomy that often leaves us perplexed with the path forward. Thoreau chose to live his truth; so can you. You don’t need to move to the woods (although it may help); yet you can find your authentic self and live from that place of peace, every single day.

In many of the same ways as did Thoreau, I’ve experienced the world of nature as life-long companion, guide and compassionate listener to all my trials. In her silence, I’ve found answers to life’s (and my own) great mysteries. My deep connection with nature not only provides a continual source of meaning in my life, but also guided this writing. With billions of years of experience in living creatively, sustainably, with balance and resilience, nature probably has something to teach us, should we choose to listen. I so choose. 

We are, and always have been, part of an infinite universe. Although in many ways we’ve lost that connection, the opportunity to re-connect with this, our source, is waiting for us, and along with it, the potential to restore the deeper meaning and sense of purpose for which we deeply long.

Let’s set out for the territory.

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If you’re joining this blog thread (e-book – A Field Guide to Life) somewhere after the beginning, click here to see the series of posts, so you can return to the first article and read them in sequence. Also, if you prefer to see the entire book at once, rather than in free, weekly blog installments, you may purchase the book for $20 here, as a pdf-format download.


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