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1 Uncommon Way To Find Out Who You Really Are

Yesterday I met with a friend who recently returned from about 3 months of solo traveling in Southeast Asia. As we sat down together for the first time since before she left, I asked her, “Who do I have the pleasure of dining with today?”

I knew that the person across from me was not the same person I knew from before. She had gone through her own trials and transformations, dissolved and rebuilt parts of herself. (On a concrete level, within three months many of the cells in her body were literally new…)

She smiled, and started to share with me who she is now.

She embodied a new level of confidence, a grounded assertiveness, trusting herself in a deeper way than before.

Later that evening I wondered to myself, “Why don’t we allow everyone in our lives to show up newly each time we meet them? To discover who they’ve become since the last time we saw them? Why do we assume they’re the same person, who will predictably act the same way, and remain as we “know” them to be? And doesn’t that trap them into being the same…?”

Once, it would have been easy to assume that my boyfriend, my best friends, or my parents would be the same people day in and day out.

Now, I show up to most interactions with that question subconsciously in mind: “Who do I have the pleasure of spending time with today?” (*and yes, I still sometimes assume they’ll be exactly the same people as they were yesterday…*)

It may seem obvious to rediscover who someone is after we haven’t seen them in months or years… like meeting an old friend from high school and having the thought, “Wow, I wonder what they’re like nowadays!” automatically cross your mind.

A subtler trick though is to allow ourselves to continuously rediscover who the people we see everyday of our lives are.

It gets fun pretty fast. And what I’ve noticed is that people enjoy the space that opens up when they realize you don’t expect them to be a certain way…

If you’re really feeling bold, try applying this mindset to yourself. Allow yourself to find out who YOU really are, each day, newly. Play around with creating yourself as someone new, each day. Perhaps you’ll choose to emphasize playfulness, or curiosity, or unstoppable action, or generosity that particular day…and something new the next day.

My invitation to you is to try this out. And if you want, let me know how it goes for you. Do you notice a difference in the quality of your conversations or depth of connection with the people around you? Do you notice a difference when you allow yourself to discover who you are each new day?

I’m curious. Let me know in the comments below 🙂


August 27, 2016
Answering The Call To Adventure In Nepal

What does transformational travel mean to you?

Transformational travel is an opportunity for people to get out of their comfort zone, to get out of their head, out of the office, and into their heart. It’s a chance to explore not only the world and have fun experiences or try new activities, but it’s also about having a chance to reconnect with Self through these experiences.

It’s this transformational process, from being called to adventure to entering the zone unknown. Because travel gets people out of their comfort zones, it forces them to be present and to not worry about what happened yesterday or what’s going to happen tomorrow. It opens up a ton of creativity and gives a different sense of perspective.

When you’re in that emotional place, conversations open up about what’s going on in your life, like what called you to this adventure, what you want to change, and who you are.

Transformational travel is a travel experience that gives you an opportunity to use your adventure to reconnect with yourself, to better understand who you are and what you want, and how you can make that happen.


Why Nepal? What do you want people to gain by going on this trip?

Nepal is a transformational place in general. It’s already a location that combines adventure and spirituality. You’ve got ancient cultures, yoga and meditation, and mountains that are 20,000+ feet tall. It’s the perfect mix of all the things we desire in a destination for a transformational experience.

When you add in the fact that there was the earthquake last year, now there are all these rebuilding efforts that are going on to be of service to the people of Nepal. I think that’s a great opportunity. My experience has been that at the end of the day, more than 90% of the people who are looking to go on a transformational experience are not going because they want to transform their finances or their physical health, but because they’re trying to find work that’s meaningful. They want to bring more passion and purpose and meaning into their lives and into their work.

What I always say is, figure out how you can be of service to others. Find an opportunity to go to an amazing destination and be of service to others on the trip while you’re there, helping them rebuild their towns, schools, and homes. In doing that, you’ll connect with how you want to be of service to others when you return home.

As with any Muddy Shoe trip, the goals of this one are to help people disconnect from energy-draining activities or circumstances. The reason they’re being called to adventure, and the reason they want change and transformation is because their emotional guidance systems are not in alignment and they aren’t experiencing life as they truly want to.

This is a chance for them to disconnect from the default reality around them and take time to serve others, and in doing so, to connect with self and new places, friends, ideas, and perspectives. Then people can start to create this vision of what they want moving forward.


All photos by Tabitha Mee – Illuminate Photography

What is one step that a person can take towards being an adventurer?

I define adventure as anything that pushes your comfort zones, anything that challenges you: to push beyond your comfort zones into your zone of excellence. That can be through physical adventures as those expose you for who you are and show you what you’re capable of doing.

The physical challenges aside, going to Nepal and having a totally contrasting cultural experience is an adventure in and of itself. It’s pushing your comfort zones. It’s doing something that you haven’t done. It forces you to stretch who you are, in a good way.

I would say that one thing each of us can do is to feel out where our comfort zone ends and start to move beyond it. We all live in our comfort zones, and most people don’t realize that there’s another option out there. The heroic path, the hero’s journey. We’re all adventurers in our own way.

I believe the reason most people don’t change or go out of their comfort zones is because they don’t even necessarily know what they want. They know where they are now, and they know what’s not working, but they don’t even know how to start making a shift.

If you’re in that place right now, great questions to ask yourself are:

What do I actually want?
What would I love to do?
What’s the experience of life I would like to be having?

Most of us have never given much thought to this, because we put all our energy into complaining about what we don’t like in our lives. Asking what we want inherently helps us recognize that what we have now is not what we want.

That in itself can be the call to adventure: understanding that what you have now is not what you want, and that the only way to really get clear on that is to ask what you want instead.

In asking and answering that question, then they get clear on the fact that “this is where I am, this is where I want to go, and now it’s up to me to answer that call.” And the adventure has the chance to begin!


About Michael
d77646_576d61d7b01b40f5940910e1d84fb6f4Michael Bennett is a world traveler, adventure junky, life coach, organizational consultant, and entrepreneur who founded Muddy Shoe Adventures in 2011 to help travelers bring more passion, purpose, and meaning into their lives. His work experience includes 5 years in Higher Education administration and 6 years of Organizational Development work. Michael earned a BS in International Marketing from the University of Delaware, a Global MBA from Pepperdine University, and an Ed.D. also from Pepperdine.
January 22, 2016
Finding Courage Through Travel

Billy Anderson is the founder of The Courage Crusade, helping you have the courage to be yourself. He is a speaker, coach, and author of Your Comfort Zone Is Killing You. Formerly an advertising manager in Europe, a fundraising executive for UNICEF, an apple picker in New Zealand and a sugar cane farmer in Costa Rica, Billy has traveled to over 35 countries. He ran with the bulls in Spain, swam with sharks in South America and built a school on a tiny island near Fiji. He has also jumped out of an airplane exactly 101 times.

Canadian-gone-international citizen, Billy Anderson jumped into his first experience abroad as a mere backpacker. Two months and twenty countries later, he was hooked. Fast forward to the present day, where Billy’s travels have taken him from France to the UK to Eastern Asia and beyond, as a humanitarian aid worker and even a sugar cane farmer.

He now makes his living as a Courage Coach while living in Ontario, Canada. Billy sees each plane, train, and bus ticket as a new lesson, making the world his classroom where travel molds him into “more of a learner than a judger,”  a lesson that proves valuable in his Courage Coaching, too.

Learn more about his unusual (and inspiring) path in the video interview below. From the thrill of buying a one-way ticket or even just having the courage to stay a month – or two – off the decided career path, courage is an invaluable ingredient to not just traveling well, but also living your life well.




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May 12, 2015