I want to take you on a trip – back to 2006 when I experienced a pivotal moment on my personal journey. One that’s stayed close to my heart and has been a mainstay for the work I’m doing today.
I share it with you now because, over eleven years later, I see the challenges and confusion I faced, to be not that different than most women’s. I share it with you now because I believe as women, we heal and grow together. Hopefully in my sharing you learn a little more about yourself along the way.
Let’s envision ourselves sitting around the campfire and journey back to 2006...
I snuggly pulled my North Face cable-knit hat over my head with the hopes of covering up my new, terrible hairdo. It worked, now I just looked like I didn’t have any hair. Over and over, I berated myself, “What were you thinking, Megan?”
A few days earlier, I had spontaneously decided to cut off all my hair (shorter than a pixie) and dye it black. I somehow thought this would be a good symbol for the parts of me that were dying off, the ones I was ready to leave behind.
In the span of six-months, I dealt with a major health scare, went through an eating disorder treatment program, left my well-paying corporate job, moved from the midwest to Utah, and ended my current romantic relationship. How’s that for transitions?
All of this change was sparked by a deep dissatisfaction for how I was living my life. For years, I had been stuck in a perpetual state of stress, unable to keep up with life’s demands, walking on the path to burnout. Feeling frustrated by my settling for the status quo, yet completely held back from making the changes I knew I wanted to make. But I just didn’t have the strength, confidence, and self-trust to go after the things I really wanted.
I was standing at a crossroads, needing the space, perspective and support to figure out what my next step would be.
Little did I know, it would come from a stranger in yoga.
Upon arriving in Salt Lake City, I regularly attended a Monday morning yoga class, where aside from myself, there was only one other regular. Laura, who was decades older than me, felt strangely familiar from the moment I met her. We always chatted pre and post-class, but never for more than a few minutes. During one of our connections she went on and on about a recent trip to the desert.
I didn’t know why, but I knew going to the desert was my next step. I was hungry for the wild. But not only that, I was craving a slower pace… the one that nature so effortlessly guides us to. Somehow I knew I would find what I was seeking in the desert so I prepared for what would be my first Quiet Adventure. With my outdoor gear, yoga mat, journal, and food packed up, I drove south towards Moab, UT.
Prior to this, I had spent some time in the outdoors, but it was always with a man. If it were my dad who built the campfire or a past boyfriend who set-up the tent, I didn’t know how to take care of myself outside. But deep down I knew it was important that I started to figure it out and if not now, when?
For 3-days and 2-nights, I created my own Quiet Adventure. My days began with the practices that helped me to feel the most connected, like journaling, mindfulness, and grounded movement. I spent the days hiking and exploring with no agenda. At the end of each day, I sat on the red rocks watching the sun fade in the sky. And I stumbled along the way figuring out how to set-up my tent and build a fire.
This experience blew my heart wide open.
In the vast openness of the desert, my small contracted self began to soften and open. A sense of peace washed over me as my trivial problems slowly faded away. Connected to life all around me, I felt a quality of freedom like I’ve never felt before. It helped show me I can do so much more than what I thought was possible.
Much what I’ve done in life and who I am today, is because of this first trip to the desert. Since then, I’ve learned how to backcountry ski, rock climbed all over the world from Thailand to New Zealand, thru-hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail alone, created a fulfilling marriage in partnership with a man I love deeply, built a business I’m incredibly proud of, and taken more leaps in my life then I can count. The list goes on and on…
Because of my own personal Quiet Adventures, I’ve built a personal foundation of resilience to face life’s challenges with grace, ease, and grit. I’ve gained an enormous amount of strength that’s helped me to continually push the boundaries of what I think is possible, leaving me knowing that I can handle anything I’m faced with. I also discovered I am a hell of a lot stronger than I ever knew. (Building your own shelters and snow caves will do that to you.)
Now, I want to share this powerful work with you. I want to create a safe space for you to face fears, navigate self-doubt, and find self-acceptance. I want to empower you with the practical knowledge, skills, and tools so that you can safely enjoy the outdoors as a woman. I want to help you gain the strength and confidence to bring about the change you desire in your life.
I bring to these retreats the self-care practices, backcountry skills, and community building that have transformed my own life and have now transformed the lives of many women. Join us and see for yourself!