I am a routined, structured, organized human being. I get the whole linear, sequential camp thing. I live there. I’m habitual about it.
But sometimes I feel like I want to, maybe even need to, shake up my regular day-in, day-out routine a bit, maybe seek to spark an interest in something new, even dare to explore and discover.
Today, I will seek to learn who I am by trying something new, by mining deep inside myself to tap into a hidden jewel, maybe an interest, a talent, or even a passion. I’ll never know that part of me until I try.
I will live my life out loud in a new way today.
What else can you do?
Have you ever heard yourself say, I can’t do this or that, or I tried this or that once? Did you walk away from this or that because you weren’t good at it, or the end result wasn’t what you’d envisioned in your mind? I have. A lot of times.
We humans tend to get stuck in what we do well – our jobs, our hobbies, our social roles, even our passions. We tend to shy away from, even avoid doing things we’re not so good at, even when they interest us. This routine behavior often limits us.
Simply ask yourself, “What else can I do?” What I’ve realized is that I can try to do a lot of things. And I can certainly do a lot of things. But I’ve also learned that I don’t have to do them well to enjoy them, that simply doing them is the joy.
Do some self-loving nudging.
Our routine behaviors are simply our perceived limitations. But don’t let all the positive self-talk fool you – we can’t all do whatever it is we may want to do. Some actually have real life and limb limitations. Others have financial limitations.
Pops will never scale a mountain, but he can stroll along, arm in arm, with me at the park. Taking those flying lessons would certainly be a thrilling adventure, but they might just cut into making my monthly mortgage payment. It wouldn’t be worth it to me.
It’s important to ask ourselves to try something new, but we must do so with what I call “self-loving nudging”. In other words, do try something new, something out of your routine comfort zone. But recognize and understand your limitations – are they perceived or real? – and then lovingly nudge yourself to do it.
Jump heart-first into exploration.
I’ve always wanted to learn more about photography. When I was a kid, my dad had a darkroom. It was so fun to pose for the photos, and then help him develop (dip and dry) each image from a negative. It was like magic, watching myself slowly appear onto the paper.
Then, about 30 years ago, I took a photo class while in college, just for fun. That was also back in the day when we shot and developed real, and really expensive, 35mm film in a darkroom. I’d borrowed a camera. I was enjoying photography. But I ended up not finishing the class because a job opportunity popped up and I needed to pay for real college classes. I decided to take the money, and return the camera.
Now I own two digital cameras – a big one with various lenses and features, and a little point-and-shoot travel camera. Last year, I took a six-session photo class and learned the basics of digital photography. Today, I think I’ll see what I can do with these cameras, get to know how to use them a little better. And just maybe I’ll get to know me a little better too.
Open your heart to joyful discovery.
I decided to go outside and play around with the light. My subject? My very own Wild Woman that our dear, creative, artsy, industrial and loving friends created for me. She stands steadfast and strong out in the woods, come rain or shine, through the seasons. She’s well seasoned too, rusted, made from the stuff of Earth.
Like that little telly gnome, she traveled from place to place and modeled for me, much like I had modeled for Pops, only slightly less animated. Still I felt a connection with her, with my wild woman nature, the childish joyful play that comes right along while doing something new, without a thought if you’re doing it well.
If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good. —Dr. Seuss
It was a brilliant, sunshiny day, and I just soaked it in. We ventured into the woods, my Wild Woman and me, and I snapped her here, there, just about everywhere. I played good and plenty. Pretty soon, though, the temperature started to drop, and I could see I was losing the light.
Then I heard my now-mind holler, “It’s getting dark! Time to come in!” And right on cue, my child-mind shouted back, “Aw! Do I have to?”Do you get stuck in a routine? Do you nudge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and try something new? Try it. You’ll like it. Photographs © 2013 A Wild One Within