My Rules: 9. Always Listen Actively

“Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.” – Alan Alda

“If for a moment you are inclined to regard these taluses as mere draggled, chaotic dumps, climb to the top of one of them, and run down without any haggling, puttering hesitation, boldly jumping from boulder to boulder with even speed. You will then find your feet playing a tune, and quickly discover the music and poetry of these magnificent rock piles — a fine lesson; and all Nature’s wildness tells the same story — the shocks and outbursts of earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, roaring, thundering waves and floods, the silent uprush of sap in plants, storms of every sort — each and all are the orderly beauty-making love-beats of Nature’s heart.” – John Muir

This rule might seem obvious, but the challenge would be to take it deeper. Actively listen not only to others in conversation, but to the animals and plants in nature. To the rocks and streams. To the wind and rain, and the sun and the stars. To the spiritual centers of the universe and God. Listening actively is not shutting up, but rather partaking in deep, heartfelt conversation. Responding and seeking to understand and empathize.

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My Rules: 8. Always be a Survivor, Never a Victim

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E Frankl

“Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.” – Robertson Davies

This rule: this rule is my most treasured rule. It is simple, but expands into everything in life. It is such an invasive philosophy that there is really nowhere that it cannot be applied. It makes up a part of my very identity, even. Yet, despite such an invasive role in my life, it is one I still find particularly difficult at times as well.

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Hiking Big Laguna and Noble Canyon

Yesterday, I headed back up to the Mount Laguna area for some more boondocking. While here for the weekend, I decided to also do some hiking. The campsite I chose, specifically, is right next to a crossing of the Noble Canyon trail, near where it intersects the Big Laguna trail. I opted to spend this weekend hiking along those 2 trails.

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My Rules: 7. Be Radically Self-Reliant

“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.” – Janis Joplin

I must confess that I stole this philosophy straight out of Burning Man’s 10 principles. I like their wording, and I like the meaning behind it. It also serves as something of an obvious philosophy for me to hold in this vagabond lifestyle of mine, although I really do think that it expands beyond those obvious points as well.

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