F*ck the Bucket List for the Adventurer
Trekking into the Unknown, Book 2
self-discovery · success · adventure · personal transformation · motivational
“In today's world where we seem to have the answers to everything at our fingertips, trekking into the unknown reminds us to question everything. Because we are the only ones who hold our answers. Ayelet Baron guides you as you learn to say yes to life and experience it as never before.” —Tim McDonald, speaker, guide, and former Community Director at The Huffington Post
At a certain point in your journey, you may not know where you’re headed but you become more curious and courageous to experience life and all it has to offer. Your heart knows when you’re ready to take the first few steps. And once you do, nothing will ever be the same. No one can do this work for you; it’s your job to become fully aware that you are standing at a juncture of possibilities. Are you entertaining thoughts about a healthier direction in your life? Are you ready to experiment and try things on to see what actually fits you?
Through all of the knowing and unknowing, the visible and invisible, facts and mystery, loss and gain, sanity, and insanity of it all—you are here. Trekking into the unknown takes courage because it forces you to realize how much you don’t really know. F*ck the Bucket List inspires you to ask questions, dig deep, and create your own meaning. The story starts and ends at your own pace.
This isn’t just another self-help book, spiritual book, or memoir—it’s an experience, beyond categories and labels, that asks each of us to tap into the universal wisdom that says we can live our lives our own way. This book is for anyone who is ready to question everything, and simply say f*ck it—or whatever words you choose to use—when something in life no longer serves you. Are you ready to discover the wonder of you (Book 1, for the Soul), trek into the unknown (Book 2, for the Adventurer), and trust your heart (Book 3, for the Health Conscious)?
— scroll down to read book sample —
“F*ck the Bucket List for the Adventurer is a monumental read, that rare book which speaks to your deepest self. For anyone beginning to challenge the path they've been on, this book is a blueprint for changing your life, an excursion into wisdom and awareness that gets richer with each step.” —Lynnda Pollio, multi-award winning author, author of Trusting the Currents
“This book dispels common myths of what holds us back in our growth and dispenses practical wisdom for anyone on a personal development journey and who is asking the deeper questions. Ayelet cuts through the noise and helps the reader find the necessary focus to make peace with the past in order to truly stand in the present.” —Rick Snyder, CEO, Invisible Edge and author, Decisive Intuition
“F*ck the Bucket List for the Adventurer: Trekking into the Unknown is a primer for the courageous heart on the journey to true self-discovery. Ayelet does not do the work for you in this process of divine discovery but she points the way across the threshold. As she says, the way forward involves action and commitment to a goal which might seem hazy but she is there as a companion to accompany you on perhaps the greatest adventure of your lifetime. The journey to YOU!” —Flicka Rahn, musician, author, sound healer and educator
“Ayelet Baron speaks directly to that still, small voice in your head whispering that your life could be healthier and more meaningful. Read this book and step into the adventure that is your life.” —Anne Janzer, author of The Writer's Process
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ayelet Baron is a visionary author, speaker, and former tech executive committed to making a transformational impact on business for the benefit of all humanity.
She is helping companies understand how to build lasting, trusted relationships and community, and pioneering more people-centered ways to work that leverage new tools to connect, collaborate, and innovate.
After undergoing a deeply personal transformation, she realized there is more to life and business than profits alone. Ayelet recognized the magnitude of how much the corporate world had lost its way, and, more importantly, she saw hope for how to make things better. She discovered that the new mindset needed for 21st century leadership has its roots in ancient wisdom traditions, especially around the themes of integration and a genuinely holistic perspective. Her research and experience points to the fact that organizations must offer a greater sense of purpose if they are to thrive, and that when you run your organization according to a higher purpose, you end up attracting and retaining people.
In 2015, Ayelet served as an adjunct leadership team member as an Innovator in Residence in Roche/Genentech's Strategic Innovation Product Development organization. She climbed the corporate ladder for more than a decade at Cisco Systems, where she was the Chief Strategy Officer for Cisco Canada. Her leadership helped propel Canada from the sixth to the second largest revenue generating country for Cisco at nearly $2B. She served on the Emerging Markets and IT executive leadership teams at Cisco, where she led pioneering programs for the company. Ayelet was also a Cisco Leadership Fellow with Nethope, where she collaborated with over 20 of the largest global Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
Ayelet is uniquely and powerfully poised to guide corporations on a profoundly significant journey that touches all of us in this century and beyond: our journey to corporate sanity.
SAMPLE FROM F*CK THE BUCKET LIST FOR THE ADVENTURER
Introduction: There is Another Path
The wind is a powerful force of nature that we cannot actually see—but we can experience it in other ways. We only become aware of the wind when we hear the trees swaying against it, or see waves rippling in the ocean, or feel a breeze caress our faces. The wind reminds us not to deny or ignore the natural human impulse to explore the unknown with curiosity. The wind, like our breath, reminds us that we’re alive.
Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a magnificent apple tree. You have deep roots that are constantly seeking minerals and water to keep you alive. You’re deeply connected to the Earth and trust in its guidance as you connect and communicate with other trees, fungi, and plants underground. Some of your roots break away and follow an unknown path as you continue to nourish yourself—and in that one act of expanding, you find yourself choosing a different direction. Your roots battle through some extremely hard soil and break through to survive.
The people who walk by on the sidewalk notice that your roots have created cracks in the concrete. They talk about cutting you down, ridding the sidewalk of the messy tree that doesn’t understand its place. A debate begins on what to do with you, and your life depends on their decision. Some see you as a hazard and want to take you down for disturbing their pathway. But there’s Ruth, a wise woman who sees you and reminds everyone that you provide delicious fruit
and much needed shade. “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations,” she says. “Maybe it is we who need to become aware of the cracks in the sidewalk and adapt accordingly?”
When we live in a concrete jungle, nature feels separate and becomes a place where we schedule walks or time to breathe. But when we realize that we’re always living as part of nature, there is no separation. We have the opportunity to go within ourselves through healthy practices that help us reflect deeply on who we are. In nature, time stands still, as there is only the light of the day and the darkness of the night to become familiar with.
It is easy to meditate in a quiet room or on a mountaintop, but can you meditate in a crowded space? Jiddu Krishnamurti, a twentieth century philosopher, helps us see that, “One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end. The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is. Self-knowledge has no end—you don’t come to an achievement; you don’t come to a conclusion. It is an endless river. You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.”
Living Out Loud
This isn’t just another self-help book, spiritual book, or memoir—it’s an experience, beyond categories and labels, that asks each of us to tap into the universal wisdom that says we can live our lives our own way. I’d like to share upfront that this book is not for everyone. It’s for those of us ready to start questioning everything, and to simply say fuck it—or whatever words you choose to use—when something in life no longer serves you. This book will help you become more aware of the choices you make. It will help you come to truly know yourself and understand your purpose as a living, breathing, healthy creator of your life. We were born to color with vivid imaginations and live like never before in unity—not conformity or uniformity. Are you ready to discover the wonder of you (Book 1, for the Soul), trek into the unknown (Book 2, for the Adventurer), and trust your heart (Book 3, for the Health Conscious)?
The F*ck the Bucket List book trilogy has been created not to dictate meaning, but to inspire you to ask questions, dig deep, and create your own meaning. The story starts and ends at your own pace. Once you connect with your own rhythm, you can go on an adventure of a lifetime. These books, like a journey, are a collaboration with the expansiveness of the universe. There are many expeditions we will explore together when we step into the unknown. These expeditions will encourage you to acknowledge the invisible bars that may be holding you captive, allowing you to free yourself from some of the most constricting barriers you’ve built. These barriers aren’t made from material like steel, but rather are infections of the mind, such as believing fear-based stories that jail you in an invisible prison of misbelief.
This book will guide you toward accepting that there is always a way to live a life of meaning. It’s up to each of us to become aware of this, accept it, and weave our lessons into an integrated web of life. No one can do this work for you; it’s your job to become fully aware that everything’s here to be discovered when you let your kindness, beauty, truth, and power shine through with your abundant natural light.
You stand at a juncture of possibilities. Are you entertaining thoughts about a healthier direction in your life? Are you ready to experiment and try things on to see what actually fits you? By doing so, you’re opening yourself up to opportunities that were not available until you acted on them. Every action you take, and every thought that precedes it, ushers you into a connection of probabilities and experiences that were not available before. It’s up to you to take the action necessary to better understand what’s healthy and toxic for your wellbeing. By just taking a few small steps, you can (and will!) get closer to understanding who you are and why you’re here. You have within you every capacity to create. Imagine a life where you have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself. Imagine what might happen if you decided to adopt the bold mindset of an adventurer and trek into the unknown. The possibilities are endless.
Are you prepared to take some brave and adventurous steps toward changing restrictions in your life and opening up to a broader range of imagination and transformation? If so, you might discover the universe encouraging you to address your own darkness and guiding you to step into your own light. In doing so, you will find yourself clearing away parts of your life that have caused you pain and hardship. You very well may experience some mind-boggling breakthroughs or mystical moments as you reach deeper into the wisdom and abundance of your soul.
Isn’t it interesting that we have constructed our current healthcare system to mainly focus on our physical bodies and assess whether they’re ill or healthy? Much of the medical community addresses depression, burnout, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues, as well as a host of physical issues, with chemicals or psychiatric solutions. This is, of course, because there’s more money to be made by dispensing medication to people suffering from a host of diseases. But what if there was a natural alternative to holistically healing ourselves?
Physicists like Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein and Max Planck introduced the quantum world, which we cannot physically see, filled with vibrations and frequencies. Planck invited us to become aware of the connectedness of our universe when he said, “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”
We accept, in faith, a whole world that is invisible through smart devices, microwaves, radio and television waves, and now, the Internet. What if we started accepting what is in our hearts and let our intuition and deep knowing serve as our internal compass? Our bodies need a balance of the physical and the spiritual to live in harmony. Without this, life falls out of whack with our soul, and we lose our connection to both the visible and invisible worlds around us.
Trekking into the unknown is not just a physical journey—it’s about getting in touch with your courage and humility and discovering what has been hidden or suppressed within you. This means exploring both your light and dark sides. It means addressing some of your biggest fears, wounds, and subconscious programming—as well as your unrealized potential. Trekking into the unknown means embarking upon a journey of seeing the weaknesses and the gifts that you’ve been hiding deep within yourself, out of fear of criticism or rejection.
One of the reasons I’ve dedicated my life to sharing these universal messages is that I wish I’d had books to tap into when I got lost on my path of trekking into the unknown—simply to let me know that I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t going crazy. I read, talked to a lot of people, and forged unlikely partnerships, but what I found still left me mostly depleted. This trek often took me down rabbit holes searching for answers, or somebody to guide my journey, only to find people trying to convince me they knew everything when they didn’t. I had a hard time when they told me they knew how I felt or that they had been in my shoes. They may have believed they knew what I needed, but in the end, they didn’t have a clue. They were not me, and I was not them. And we were all doing our best.
I am a voracious learner and when I recognized that they were making shit up or were too focused on “saving” the world, I simply took the action to walk away. They would talk about the vast importance of love, yet they struggled to express it, and clearly had their own traumas to deal with, like everyone else walking the earth. With some, I experienced firsthand the challenging relationships they had with their own children, and the pain that surrounded their own inability to access the love they talked and preached about. I listened intently, but too often, their actions didn’t match what they were saying. This helped me learn to identify who was toxic and who was healthy for my wellbeing. This helped me move away from the hero, victim, and villain stories of our time so I could experiment with what was possible for me.
I didn’t want to fight for my life anymore in a world designed for division, suffering, and just survival. I wanted peace and a renewed sense of sanity in a world where I felt I was simply going crazy. There was no one to talk to openly about what I was going through, and I lost many friendships and relationships along the journey in pursuit of living life my way. I realized that some people had never been healthy for me, though I had once thought they were. But the people who matter deeply to me are still here. Every day is another opportunity to learn as I step into my own uncharted waters without a manual, referring only to my internal compass and the currents to guide me to live out loud in my own way.
My own journey has raised many questions, and I’ve gained wisdom from questioning the different expeditions I’ve experienced. This is what inspires me to encourage you to venture beyond your perceived safety or comfort zone and understand the invisible bars that may be holding you back—and the doors and windows that are waiting to swing open when you’re ready to acknowledge them and live out loud in your own way. No longer needing to mask who you truly are.
Every single one of us experiences challenge, trauma, and heartbreak. No one is spared the opportunity to fully experience life. But how we choose to respond is personal. As we wonder, imagine, and expand our hearts and minds beyond what we can physically see and perceive, we’ll be able to access more information from within ourselves and our natural surroundings. There is a flow to life, and one of our biggest opportunities is to be curious enough to explore the unknown.
We were born into a natural world where the earth, air, space, water, and fire harmoniously play with each other. Beyond our physical environment, humankind created man made systems like the military, the government, education, business, and many more that we’ve been taught to adapt and conform to. Is it really so insane to believe that we could live in a world without war and conflict? Or in a world with an alternative means of education or healthcare?
This is one of the biggest challenges we each face today: resisting the societal conditioning that tells you that you must accept and save these existing systems that no longer serve the vast majority of humanity. Are you going to continue to believe in the programming our ancestors created when it was based solely off self-preservation and survival? What about thriving? Isn’t that more appropriate, now that we have evolved as far as we have? Isn’t it time to question everything about your current reality? Isn’t it time to find your roots and discover with healthy eyes what programs, beliefs, and systems are hurting you at the core? Isn’t it time, most of all, to begin imagining and creating healthy systems that truly support you and lift your spirits with pure joy?
By aligning with nature, you may choose to explore whether the Earth has started a major reset without us. We are each at a point in time of healing and letting go of what no longer serves us. Many of us are already striving to become more aware of the unhealthy aspects of our lives. Identifying those unhealthy aspects can empower you to step into the role you play in creating a healthy, fulfilling life for yourself—where you’re thriving instead of merely surviving according
to an obsolete playbook. If you’ve begun this journey or are looking to start, a great way to begin is by making conscious choices about what you consume.
Trekking into the unknown means facing yourself and what’s possible for you as a creator of a healthy life. When you start following the compass of intention, curiosity, and courage, nothing will lead you astray. Are you constantly living in the past and playing the same character or role in someone else’s comedy, musical, drama, thriller, mystery, tragedy, or horror show? Like the Earth, are you entering a time of reset? Being curious about the unknown and focusing on your opportunity to create—without the external divisions of old systems and societal programming—allows you to experiment with healthy scenarios for yourself with other adventurers who are willing to question, experiment, and co-create.
Some Walks We Take Alone
Wherever you go, there you are. This saying reflects our tendency to constantly want to be going places, as though escaping to a different location will change our reality. But no matter where we go or what we do, we take ourselves and all our baggage with us. When you feel restless or stressed, it might be helpful to channel your feelings into going inside yourself rather than filling your time with external distractions. Sometimes, you may just need a change of perspective, and that’s what many of us are being called to do now. We are relearning how to embrace joy and balance in our lives. This is an opportunity to question whether you’re being true to yourself or
compromising in some way. This journey asks you not to be afraid to be your true self and express yourself in whatever way feels healthy to you.
True freedom is experienced when you unleash your full potential by going deep into the corners of your mind and freeing it from the known. I hope that these words that were entrusted to me can help you apply practical ways of developing your personal power. The universe is here to give whatever level of push you may need, so you can move in whatever direction you feel called to take.
Life is different for each of us. You are at your own stage of understanding why you’re here, and how to use the gifts you’ve been given. It is the trek of a lifetime, and there is no overnight formula for success. It’s personal and fluctuates as you grow and learn how to nurture your body, mind, and soul. Nothing remains stagnant. There’s a physical and spiritual evolution that is unfolding when you become fully aware of reality and step into the unknown.
The true human journey is one of love, forgiveness, compassion, imagination, courage, and a deep connection to the intelligence of nature. The Greek philosopher, Plotinus, reminds us, “The stars are like letters that inscribe themselves at every moment in the sky. Everything in the world is full of signs. All events are coordinated. All things depend on each other. Everything breathes together.”
Through all of the knowing and unknowing, the visible and invisible, facts and mystery, loss and gain, sanity, and insanity of it all—you are here. While you may go to bed dreaming of paradise or wake up from a nightmare where you visited hell, you must always remember that every experience is an opportunity to understand your state of mind. For many of us who are busy living our lives or making a living, trekking into the unknown may mean being still—a place we’ve been unconsciously avoiding because we fear what we might discover.
Being yourself is a gift. When you choose to invest in yourself, you can also begin to transform your mental models by accepting that what seemed to work in the past may not be the healthiest way to engage in the future. You may have been taught not to burn bridges, but life teaches us that some bridges take us nowhere and that it might be more beneficial to abandon them altogether.
All you need to pack on your journey is curiosity and courage. A young person may decide that she wants to leave the big city she grew up in to create a community around a healthy way of living—which is also very ancient. Her dream may be to focus on regenerating the land by tapping into what’s truly essential in her life and those she cares for. It may be an extremely foreign choice for her family and friends to understand, and some may call her crazy, but it takes the crazy ones who marvel at the wonder of possibility to trek into the unknown. Our world is calling us to create individual and collective visions, aspirations, and realities that we have within us. We are being guided into the unknown to forge healthy paths, accept each other, respect varying perspectives and, above all else, to care deeply about ourselves, each other, and the planet.
When you accept that no one really knows what is best for you, things will break open and fall apart. Our culture has claimed that success can only be achieved when referring to decaying principles and obsolete ideologies, such as relying on authorities for answers instead of looking inward and asking yourself what feels healthy for me.
When you don’t comply with the status quo and societal norms, you’re often shamed, blamed, and ridiculed. Isn’t it interesting that you were most likely taught loyalty to others before yourself? Why have so many of us placed our faith, trust, and loyalty in the hands of politicians, business leaders, brands, influencers, philanthropists, musicians, movie stars, and celebrities? How could anyone, outside of you, possibly know what’s best for you? And why do you believe they have your answers? It’s healthy to shed limiting beliefs and the toxic people in your life who are holding you back. It’s healthy to abandon bridges that go nowhere and clear a path to trek into the unknown. There’s no manual where you’re headed, because you don’t need one to get to where you’re going. Curiosity, courage, and the mindset of an adventurer is all you’ll need to venture into a journey of a lifetime.
Trusting Ourselves Creates Alchemy and Synchronicity
We choose whether or not to consume healthy or unhealthy beliefs, foods, and products, and to excuse hurtful behaviors and allow people to treat us in healthy or unhealthy ways. Our beliefs, and the way we have been conditioned, help us justify these choices, while turning our backs on healthy behaviors, beliefs, and people that can enrich and support us. There are millions of reasons why we can’t align our minds with our hearts and continue to do what’s deemed “right” and “good” at our own expense. But once we become aware that there is another way, we must take responsibility for how our lives are orchestrated. Being responsible means that we’re fully accountable for whatever we create—be it healthy or unhealthy. There will be more revealed about this throughout the book as we explore the power behind being the architects of our own lives.
We have the power to choose to not be what others want us to be, regardless of how angry or disappointed they may become. Society, government, friends, and family seem to have a clear idea of how we should live our lives, but that doesn’t mean we must yield to that idea. When we choose a path, we learn whether it’s healthy or unhealthy for us, and continuously make course corrections and upgrades. When we continuously reach into the past and take the same paths we’ve always taken, we stay stuck in our rut and can only see the shadows reflecting in our caves. Life is for the living, and while there’s sadness, grief, and heartache, loneliness is a choice, as we explored in F*ck the Bucket List for the Soul. Life can also flow with abundance when we allow ourselves to experience health, joy, and play.
When you believe that you will never be or have enough— whether it’s money, food, emotions or something else entirely—you will experience thoughts and actions that stem from a place of lack. Unlike society, which teaches a scarcity-mindset, nature teaches us there’s enough for all of us as we experience the warmth of the sun, the radiance of colors, and the intelligence of trees and fungi beneath our very feet. In his book, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures, Biologist Merlin Sheldrake states that he was drawn to fungi because they consist of a variety of humble yet astonishingly versatile organisms. By simply doing what they do regularly, such as, “eating rock, making soil, digesting pollutants, nourishing and killing plants, surviving in space, inducing visions, producing food, making medicines, manipulating animal behavior, and influencing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, fungi are a truly fascinating thing. Fungi’s work is transformational—for instance, they turn biomass into soil and recycle dead organic matter back into organic life. They also
have a dark side, with poisonous varieties. And yet, they are mostly invisible to us.”
What mindset are you bringing with you every day? What baggage are you carrying around? Can you see what’s scarce or abundant in your life and the universe? You can look for the demons in the shadows, call out the evil ones, and judge yourself for not being good enough. Or you can become aware of what you’re creating and allow yourself to take a step into the unknown. As the architect of your life, you have the power to shift your thought process to better assess what and who is healthy or unhealthy for you. What type of life do you want to create? What world do you want to co-create? Here you now are—aware and curious enough to dare. What do you choose to bring with you on this journey and what will you leave behind?
Albert Einstein reminds us that, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
Are you ready to embrace your adventurous side and take a walk into the unknown?
Enjoy your adventure!
With deep gratitude,
The Universe with Ayelet