Is there something that you have been wanting to learn? To do? To try just once to see what it would feel like?
Is the Fear of Failure holding you back? Does it feel like a lack of resources is underwhelming your life? Is there someone in your life who is telling you that you procrastinate and you never finish anything? Is there a voice in your head that always gives you bad advice? Don’t start. You have so much to do around the house. You have to get up early in the morning. You haven’t done laundry for a week. The garage is a disaster.
Do you feel like you simply do not have enough time to even think about starting something new?
You make the choice.
Well, there’s bad news and good news. The bad news: You don’t have enough time. The good news: You do have enough time.
I kept delivering the bad news to my heart, my mind, my hands, my spirit, while forestalling the good news for an unspecific time in the mythical future when “I had more time.” I was living in a steady hum of constancy that was focusing on everything that wasn’t quite right with my life: playing an elaborate shell game with finances, juggling too many jobs with school and homework, barely keeping up with household chores, and feeling like my life had all the fun sucked out of it by some cosmic vacuum cleaner. All of this MindSpeak was proving to be so exhausting to my Inner Spirit that I simply stopped trying to inject newness or creativity into my day.
It felt like I was buried by life’s stuff.
I wasn’t merely stuck. I was buried. I would find myself paying bills online, while listening to a class-assigned podcast, while brushing the dog, while folding the laundry, while feeding the cat. I was all over the place. All of this multi-tasking madness. . . until I thought to add a new personal challenge to the day’s mayhem: Try something new every single day.
In the beginning . . .
In the beginning, this challenge verified the bad news –> it was something that felt like an added extra that felt to be overwhelmingly huge and impossible. My MindSpeak went into hyper-mode: When am I going to have the time to try something new every single day?! My days already feel like pasta in a pot of water — on constant boil and threatening to spill over onto the clean stove top at any given second.
The Wooden Spoon Trick
But I was so craving Different in my life. Better. More centered and mindful. I remembered reading that if you lay a wooden spoon across a pot of boiling pasta that it won’t over-boil. The pasta can boil merrily away with no more messy stove to clean up. So simple and easy . . . and it works! This Wooden Spoon trick reminded me that life need not be so overly complicated. Just try . . . and do . . . and lay the spoon across the pot. And try again. It is absolutely possible to turn a moment of my day into a gesture of mindfulness. I can make it happen. I will make it happen. I scrawled across the top of the wall-mounted white board in my office with my blue marker: You’ve got this! Try Something New! Today! I mean it!
It has proven to be a bit of an experiment to see how it works.
I originally intended on focusing on one single something new to try for the thirty days — in an effort to create a positive new habit. My thought: develop some consistency and build some sense of discipline by adding only one thing for an extended period of time. Like one of those scary-clown jack-in-the-boxes, all sorts of ideas came popping up out of my mind’s Procrastination Department. Play piano every single day. Save on gas and ride my scooter to work every single day. Eat a healthy breakfast every single day. Work out every single day. Sort through one box in the garage and get rid of stuff. Do one or all of these things every single day for thirty days.
What did these things have in common?
But I found that these ideas weren’t working — and they weren’t very inspiring either. And besides, everything that I was thinking of involved fulfilling some obligatory should: be healthier, practice music, save the environment, clean the garage. All of which are very lovely ideas, but still . . . this challenge was supposed to be fun and invigorating.
As I was casting about for the best way to implement my challenge, I discovered that was working was trying something different, unique, and unexpected every single day. Examples? I started piano lessons — and have been pretty disciplined regarding playing every day. I went dancing at a casino — great stories as a result of this adventure. I broke out the new orange-and-white kitchen towels that had been preserved in their pristine state in my kitchen drawer — now brightening my kitchen and thoroughly broken in with the hues of red wine, carrot juice, and tomato sauce. I introduced myself to a stranger — and we have since become acquaintances.
You get the idea. I called an old friend just to say hi. I bought Swiss chard at the vegetable stand. I wrote a long overdue letter. I told someone about my current writing project. I had dinner at a restaurant that I had been wanting to check out. I took photographs of garbage. I added kale to my morning smoothie. I had fun with some color and painted on canvas. And another new thing for me? I set aside judgment of “what is good” when I was done painting. I simply valued the experience and the time spent swirling color around.
I started reading my horoscope. I subscribed to a new-word-of-the-day website. I started blogging. I downloaded an app that reminds me to stretch three times a day. I bought three tiny wooden tops that create a relaxing “stop point” during work and study time at my desk. I spin the tops and, while they are spinning, I do absolutely nothing. I learned that an absence of activity can feel pretty good. When was the last time you did absolutely nothing?
My Try Something New Challenge has proven to be that magical wooden spoon on the pasta pot. I not only have enough time to Try Something New, I have plenty of time. Life’s harried pace has reduced its boil a bit. Not completely, but a bit, nonetheless. Nothing is boiling over and making a spilly mess that I have to clean up.
It feels like I have effected change. Like the motion of the little tops, the vibrational ripples have been spreading. There have been some really fun and surprising and happy results from being willing to shake things up. I don’t understand the way that time has expanded, but it has.
What I learned about this personal challenge: The hard part was starting. The easy part is enjoying the expansive feelings of reward and appreciation.
You’ve got this!
Would you like to share in this challenge with me? Is there something new that you have been really wanting to do?
Please, leave a reply and post your One New Thing and share how it has enriched your perspective and your life. We all would love to hear about it!
Life is a lively event. Try something new, spin some tops, & effect the ripples of happifying change. What’s stopping you?
Kennedy Farr is a daily writer and blogger, a lifelong learner, and a true believer that something wonderful is happening right now in this very moment. Her passion for writing first caught light at the age of four when she learned how to write her dog’s name on a sheet of lined tablet paper. Kennedy lives high on the mountainside of a tranquil island in the Pacific Northwest. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Image courtesy of unsplash.com.