Encounter new experiences
Stretching your limits is a good practice. Being a beginner to something reconnects you with that childlike mind, wide-eyed with enthusiastic observation. The excitement of not knowing what comes next and focused interest in the process makes for fully being in the present moment. Sitting on the edge of your sit waiting for the next action or word to be expressed truly allows freedom from the pseudo-control we think we have.
At some point, life can stop producing these new practices for us to undergo and we only come about them if we make it happen on our own. Taking a class, trying a new hobby or sport, traveling to an unfamiliar place and even meeting new people can get you in touch with this new energy. Putting a little fire under you while the pressure is on can excite life a bit. Being nervous and having butterflies in your stomach suggests you are alive.
It really depends how you engage with new experiences. If the negative programming takes over, it’s a lot less fun. But, if you can tap into that childlike wonder and set the ego aside, it can be exhilarating.
The rise and fall of adrenaline during a new endeavor is a healthy means of experiential exercise, if you will. It’s good for the soul to step out of the box and remember not to take yourself too seriously. Put yourself out there and let your vulnerability shine. Being too controlled doesn’t leave room for much of anything else to come in and surprise you.
When it’s all said and done, do you think you might lament over the experiences you have had or the ones you passed up? Some of the best tales at dinner parties are ones of embarrassment and folly. Why not go out and create a new story for your next get-together with friends. What do you have to lose?
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.