Pellucid sensation. I felt completely free. Nothing. ― Rinker Buck, The Oregon Trail: An American Journey
It is hard to believe that two springs have passed since we plotted our 6,000-mile journey across the USA beginning in Provincetown, Cape Cod in June of 2015. Our goal was to stay geographically close to the pioneering path of the Oregon Trail and study that era in American history with our three children. Many times throughout our journey, we lost the trail. What we realized after making it all the way to Oregon City was that the trail was more of a framework than a path set in stone.
Many pioneers migrated west for different reasons and therefore the trail took them along various routes. It was not detailed directions but the strength of their vision drove many of them across unimaginable obstacles with success. As it turns out, the Oregon Trail was a source of great inspiration for us, not because it was a well-marked path but because it provided a framework for our journey.
The definition of framework is, “An essential supporting structure.” For our family, our foundation is built upon learning to live more deliberately each day from different vantage points around the globe.
Our framework never changed throughout our road trip across the USA, even though our path took us places we never planned to venture. Many readers have asked us “how” we are doing what we are doing. When we give specifics, the dialogue never seems to flow. Why? Because the how is our path and everyone has to discover that byway for themselves. As much as we are all drawn to how it is, the why reflected in each of our unique frameworks that sustain our vision long term.
How Will You Spend The Time You Are Given
What never changes for us is the framework we use to make decisions no matter where our path leads. That framework is the practice of making deliberate choices every day about how we spend the time we are given. We know if we can commit to living a deliberate life each day then we will far exceed the wildest dreams we can conjure for ourselves and our children.
How do we know we are aligned with our vision? The daily Livits we always reference in our Ebook give us a clear way each day to enter into a place of gratitude and joy and that practice has taken us across four continents (so far) with ease. The only time we struggle to get where we are going is when we abandon our framework to focus on the finish line – those are the times we lose our way.
Blaze Your Own Trail
There is no way to get lost once the visionary framework is clear but there is also no way to finish. Perhaps that is why we often look for well-marked trails or paths. Minimizing risk by walking only where others have walked before is certainly one approach. The problem is when we cross the finish line, we begin looking immediately for the next well-marked path.
Blazing one’s own path, as we saw time and time again and through the pioneering stories we heard along the Oregon Trail, means that with each step we are profoundly changed by the freedom to choose. Once we come into this knowing, how we once craved becomes limiting.
Eventually, we stop looking for trail markers because although they may tell us how to get somewhere, what matters more is the moment before us. Without fail, no matter how many wrong turns and dead ends we have been faced within the past 1,300+ days when we step back and renew our faith in our visionary framework new paths reveal themselves with abundance, adventure, and horizons that were not visible, even moments before.
Freedom can be overwhelming at times which is why we use a daily practice that is always readily accessible to us to shift anxiety into excited anticipation. In our experience, creating a meaningful framework is not about a project plan, lengthy course or required steps and processes, but rather about aligning our actions with our purpose for getting out of bed every day. As Philip Dormer Stanhope said, “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves”