Emotional & Mental Health for Widows

Being Adventurous

Cindy Toledo

Adventure is not a word I would ever have dreamed would be part of my vocabulary. I spent my childhood and most of my adult life trying to avoid anything out of my comfort zone, anything that could possibly cause harm, injury or pain of any kind. To say I was ruled by fear both seen and unseen was an understatement.

After my husband died from a sudden heart attack, I was suddenly catapulted into realizing just how short life really is. The fact that life is here and then it can be suddenly gone opened my eyes to the fact that I had not really LIVED in my 57 years. My mode of protecting myself had kept me from really experiencing all that life had to offer.

I began to recognize that there is just this one chance to live. When I first met our founder, Carolyn Moor, I remember telling her  “I wanted to LIVE my life FULLY ENGAGED.” Her answer to me:


I began to think of things that I was scared of doing. At first, I thought I needed to do something wild and crazy like parasailing! I love the water but am terrified of heights. As time has passed, I’ve come to look at living my life fully engaged or with adventure as keeping an open mind to anything that is out of my comfort zone. Being willing to explore unknown territory, even being willing to fail at something, being willing to say yes, I’ll try that. I wanted to say YES to more than I said NO. So that became my mantra. Say YES to as much as you can.

When Robert (my chapter two) took me to California to meet his family, he took me to have a mud bath at Calistoga. Okay this girl does not like to be dirty let alone lay in a tub covered with mud completely naked! It was quite an experience! Maybe not something I need to do again. But I did it, and I fully embraced the experience. Since Robert is a traveler, I’ve had so many opportunities to do things I never ever would have done. And I’ve done most of them without fear. I never would have dreamed of going on an African safari, I would have been too afraid. I never would have seen myself in Kenya building a mud home for a village widow. Oh, the places I’ve been and the places I still will go that I would have missed had I not been willing to step out of my comfort zone.

There are many tragic things that happen in life and losing our husbands is right up there with the worst of the worst. Thru the grief, loss and pain there is the opportunity to allow this experience to open the door to awareness of ourselves, to redefine who we are, to embrace the beauty of life! I believe life is a gift and we show our gratitude for this gift of life by how we choose to live. We can be challenged with obstacles along the way, but it’s been my experience that looking thru the eyes of gratitude changes the perspective of everything.

Take the challenge, move out of your comfort zone,

ADD-Venture into your life one YES at a time.

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Knowing there are women who have not only survived what I was going through, but were also thriving and moving forward in their lives.
— MSC Wister® (Widow + Sister)