“Everyone, everywhere – awake, aware and connected to self, others and Earth”
This ambitious mental image for the future provides the inspiration for everything we do.
“To ensure that every Ascend Adventure participant is offered opportunity for a meaningful experience through adventurous activity”
We achieve our mission by being cognisant of four core beliefs which fundamentally underpin everything that happens at Ascend Adventure- it’s a way of life.
Change is possible
We could go so far as to say that we believe change is inevitable! Just as the rest of the natural world is ever changing and moving; growing, evolving, dying and being reborn, so we as humans experience movement and cycles of change. Movement is everywhere, from the in and out of a simple breath, to the rising and setting of the sun; a simple reminder that everything changes. Our understanding is, that life is a series of transitions, from one state of being to another. Our aim is to model smooth transition in our work, striving to ensure participants at Ascend Adventure are supported into and out of our programs effectively.
Ascend Adventure sees how rigid thinking and fixed patterns of behaviour cause emotional pain and even physical illness. We think that the simple action of putting the body in motion, for example in adventurous activity, can effect both physical and psychological change. Whether the changes an individual seeks to make are life changing or relatively slight, we think that a combination of respectful challenge and timeout to gain perspective is valuable in facilitating transformation.
Everything is connected
The human genome project has revealed that we humans share at least half our genes with every plant. Droplets of water which make up our life blood today were once rushing over Niagara Falls. Our bodies are made of the same elements that make up the Earth, simply in different proportions. Ascend Adventure aims to appreciate the inextricable links in eco-systems, respecting the relationships between living organisms and their environments and believes whole-heartedly that people are part of the natural world, not apart from it. Our work is rooted in the premise that supporting people to remember or realise the inter-connectedness of all things is good for all the inhabitants of Earth.
We see the pain, loneliness and alienation caused by fractured relationships between people. We experience the incessant seeking of internal gratification through external means in the form of consumption, materialism, and addiction to substances or behaviours. At Ascend Adventure we value community and think that meaningful connection with other human beings is a vital component in a fulfilling life. Our work seeks to create opportunity for co-operation with and compassion towards fellow human beings.
A weekend spent crawling around a huge field of genetically modified corn in Iowa recently revealed…. nothing. No insects, no birds, no wildflowers. Nothing. Just corn.¹ In the 1800’s one million Irish people died when blight wiped out the staple food crop- genetically identical potatoes. These eerie examples illustrate how monoculture (the cultivation of a single crop) results in an absence of biodiversity, leading to a lack of natural balance and susceptibility to pests and diseases.
At Ascend Adventure we believe that happenings such as these hold valuable lessons for us as individuals. If we pay attention only to one aspect of our existence, if we become obsessed with work, or preoccupied with our material needs, or consumed by the demands of a single relationship we are inevitably neglecting other parts of our life, with potentially detrimental effect.
We seek to offer variety in our programs, giving consideration to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of being human. We aim to balance emotion with reason, work with play, structure with freedom and giving with receiving. Achieving balance integrates separate parts to become a well rounded whole.
Let it begin with me
If everyone on the planet lived the lifestyle of a typical resident in “developed”, affluent countries, it is estimated we would need 4 to 5 Earths to support us. ² Modern economy encourages us to be passive consumers, reliant on a chain of supply for all our needs and wants to be met, estranged from the consequences of our choices. Similarly a culture which encourages reliance on services and delights in apportioning blame when mistakes are made, fosters a non-active dependence, and a tendency towards a disempowering victim mentality.
At Ascend Adventure we believe in the importance of self responsibility. We feel that choices made of our own volition are powerful, and that recognising and taking responsibility for our own feelings and desires, increases self esteem. We seek to encourage each individual to make informed choices, and to be pro-active in creating the kind of world you desire. You do not need permission to get started!
¹ Childs, C. (2012) Apocalyptic Planet; Field Guide to the Everending Earth, New York Pantheon Books
² Leonard, A. (2010) The Story of Stuff, Free Press, New York or www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff