It has now been two weeks of doing a new thing every day and time feels like it’s just flying by (in a good way). As I did last week, I will share 4 things I learned from 4 of the new things that I tried.
1. Doing a new thing can open your eyes to what was always around you, but just outside of your perception.
During my lunch break, I decided to take a walk outside. I started out walking in a direction that I usually go, but I got to a street I’d never been down and something in me said to turn down it so I did. After walking a few blocks, to my surprise, I came across a nice park with a few benches. I never even knew that park was there! What started out as a normal walk down a familiar street turned into a nice break in the park; I sat down, read my book and soaked up the sun. Who knows what other fun things are around me?
2. Changing up your usual routine, even in little ways, can make a huge difference on your day.
During another lunch break, I decided to meditate. I’ve been taking a meditation class for the past few weeks and I’ve meditated as homework for the class in the evening after work. I felt the urge to sit in stillness after I ate, so I found a quiet, private space and I just did it. It felt a little weird at first, but it actually helped me to find my center in the middle of the day instead of waiting until the end of the day. Just changing the timing of something I usually do made a big impact on my peace of mind that day.
3. Life is short. Make time for joyful moments.
After missing my bus and beginning to feel the anger rise up within me, I suddenly had the urge to skip. I know, random! But it hit me as I walked to another bus stop. I ignored it at first, out of fear or maybe the potential embarrassment, but I eventually heeded the call and started skipping. I skipped all the way past my bus stop and down to the end of the block and then back. It made me laugh so much (which probably made me look even weirder). And nobody paid any attention to me. Skipping made me remember how simple joyful moments can be and renewed that childlike spirit within me.
4. How you do anything is how you do everything.
I’ve wanted to buy a deck of cards for a while. So when I saw a deck while checking out in the store I quickly bought them. At home after work, and all by myself, I decided to find a new solitaire game and learn how to play it. I chose one randomly – Four Seasons – and I began to read the instructions. Well, surprisingly, I had a pretty hard time understanding the rules and strongly felt like giving up and just playing a game that I knew. Then I had a bit of an “observer moment.” By that I mean when you see yourself from a place outside yourself. It hit me that the way that I was approaching that game – wanting to give up because I wasn’t perfect at it from the gate – was a proxy for how I’ve approached other things in the past. That strengthened my resolve to just stick with it and I eventually figured out how to play and won a hand, but it really made me reflect and want to improve on that aspect of my approach in the future.
So those were a sample of four of the new things I tried this week. I also tried to install a scanner that I’d avoided since Christmas (I say “tried” because it didn’t work), made a collage out of found art around my apartment (and now I want to take a formal collage class) and participated in a 6-hour meditation retreat. Since the meditation retreat just happened, I need to process that a bit more and may have something to say about it next week. Until then, I’d love to hear from you in the comments or via email.