a new beginning (Explored)
Creative Commons License photo credit: namestartswithj89

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.” ~ Seneca

Today marks the beginning of new directions at the Jungle of Life.  After much reflection, I have come to the decision (a heart-based decision) to make some changes on content and delivery that happens here. 

a journey toward your true peak

The meaning and purpose of this site remains the same – to be a guide for you, as you journey toward your own true life peak.  The thing is, I am only one voice, with one set of life experiences.  Beginning today, that changes.  The Jungle of Life is now a multi-author source of inspiration, guidance, and life strategies.

The focus will be around eight broad areas that make up this life we are living (sometimes referred to as the "wheel of life"). 

Each month at the Jungle of Life will be theme-based (note the monthly theme displayed in the upper right of the sidebar).  I'll start each month off, introducing the theme and writing my own thoughts on what that means to me.  The remainder of the month will feature our eight authors, who will share something along their area of expertise.  A new article will be available every 3-4 days.

The Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter will also follow the same theme each month.  Sign up here, and get the twice-monthly newsletter in your email inbox!

Jungle of Life Writers


Creative Expression ~ Tanya Geisler: Clarity. Action. Achievement. Joy. Tanya Geisler is a CTI-certified coach (a.k.a. “catalyst, not therapist”) and speaker who believes that life is a grand production…and it's time for you to step into your starring role. And radiate. Right now.

Fun/Recreation ~ Jason Kotecki: Jason Kotecki is an artist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to design lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com for more tips for escaping adulthood.

Career ~ John Spence: John Spence is the author of “Awesomely Simple – Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action.” He is an award-wining professional speaker and corporate trainer, and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America.

Health ~ Todd Dosenberry: Todd Dosenberry, aka "Primal Toad," is a primal enthusiast who is on a lifelong mission to inspiring millions of people. You can find him on his blog, Primal Toad, various social media sites or possibly in your hometown as he is in the midst of a world travel expedition through 2020.

Family and Social Life ~ Jen Slayden: Jen Slayden finds her harmony in Western Montana with her husband Mark, their three kids, and an outdoor loving black lab named Cody. Stop by and check out her life in music, words, and education at Find Your Harmony.

Personal Growth/Spirituality ~ Stacey Curnow: Stacey is a nurse-midwife and a mentor who helps you give birth to your BIG dreams. You can find out more about Stacey here.

Relationships ~ Jayson Gaddis: Jayson Gaddis, MA, LPC, CGT is a relationship psychotherapist devoted to helping people awaken through relationship and intimacy.  He’s calling in a new paradigm of connection, deep relationship, and family. He’s a husband and part-time stay-at-home Dad getting schooled by his two kids.

Personal Finance ~ Paula Pant: Thanks to wise money managing, Paula Pant has traveled to 27 countries, purchased a 99-year-old Victorian home near central Atlanta’s most beautiful park, and has never — ever — had a penny in debt. Her blog, Afford Anything, is based on one radical idea: money should never hinder your dreams.


For a more in-depth description of our writers, check out the Jungle Writers page.


New beginnings. 

"Life is not a dress rehearsal. Stop practicing what you're going to do and just go do it. In one bold stroke you can transform today." ~ Marilyn Grey

What new beginnings are you starting?

Andrew Zuckerman Music Trailer from Andrew Zuckerman Studio on Vimeo.

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“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” ~ Zig Ziglar

It's a warm Sunday afternoon.  The breeze by the lake quickly disappears as we wander into the forest.  Under the canopy of trees, it's cool though.  With a bounce in our step, we begin our ascent toward the most picturesque view in the park. 

{…the easy moments on our path toward success…}

Some rocks to climb on, a large hawk flying overhead, a few other fellow journeyer's on this hike.

The Climb

A turn and we are moving upward.  The forest begins to give way to a steep upward climb – a climb highlighted by large boulders and open skies.  A narrow path leads upward, large stone steps.  We curve back and forth, slowly getting higher and higher.

{…the success journey often has moments where it becomes an uphill climb…}

We pause, replenish our bodies with water.  We pause, and reflect back down to where we have come.  We pause, and take in that moment – seeing where we have reached to.  A look forward, and we see continued steps, no end in sight.

{…when we stop on our success journey, we give ourselves time to reflect and re-focus…}

The climb continues.  We are hot, our legs not wanting to take that next step.  We continue on.  It's easy to think about what the view will look like once we've reached the top.  What about each step along the way, though?  We notice the trees growing out of the rocks.  We notice a chipmunk near another tree.  We see that hawk again, this time much closer.  We see the rocks – all these rocks….

{…success is in the whole journey, not just some perceived peak…}

We reach the top.  Surrounded now by foliage, and no majestic view in sight – there is still this sense of joy, of accomplishment, of bliss.  Even though we fully expect that our journey (on this path) is not reached, we still savor the accomplishment of the climb we have made.  A glance back, at these steps we've just climbed…a smile…a knowing that we have persevered, a knowing that we did not back down from the challenge of this climb.

{…take time to savor the path you have traveled, and the steps you have taken to get where you are…}

The Summit

We continue on, the path now much easier.  Soon we reach a gorgeous rocky overlook.  For many minutes, we just explore the area…climbing, sitting, walking.  Others are here also – a stopping place to take in the amazing views. 

{…soak in the success that you have created…}

The Journey Continues

Our journey doesn't end, though.  We cannot stay here forever.  We move on, working our way back down a different path.  Many people are coming up, to see that view we saw.  We offer encouraging words here and there. 

{…share your knowledge with others, so they may too experience their own success…}

We reach the trail head, our bodies sill warmed up from this hike.  The nearby lake is calling out.  It's time to play, to splash, to have some unstructured fun! 

{…take time to rejuvenate and have some extra fun…}

Later on that day, we again explore another trail.  This time, we take a wrong turn, and soon find ourselves in the middle of the forest, no trail in sight.  We wander, looking for the trail we had started on.  Eventually we find that trail.

{…sometimes you will get off track.  That's okay.  Take time to adjust your bearings.  And remember, also, that these off-track adventures often lead to new discoveries…}

We return home, our day filled with memories, and with all sorts of moments we'll treasure.

{…wherever your journey takes you, remember that this is YOUR journey.  Savor what you are creating…}

Note:  This story was developed from actual moments spent together as a family at one of Wisconsin's true treasures – Devil's Lake State Park.  If your journey ever brings you through central Wisconsin, a day (or longer) at this park is joy and fun all wrapped up together!

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