Try Something New: That Which Is

I read the quote below from the back of a book printed by Bell Tower Books.  It speaks of such beauty and reminds me to celebrate Now.  To accept the present moment.  To remain focused on That Which Is.

“The pure sound of the bell summons us into the present moment.

“The timeless ring of truth is expressed in many different voices, each one magnifying and illuminating the sacred.

“The clarity of its song resonates within us and calls us away from those things which often distract us — that which was, that which might be — to That Which Is.” — Bell Tower Books

Magnifique, non?

And while I am thinking about life and bells and ringing in the truth, I thought of these Leonard Cohen lyrics from “Anthem”:

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Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

What a great reminder that even though things might not appear to be “perfect,” I still want to be a’ringin’ on the bell.  And the cracks?  Those things in life that give us pause to question?  “That’s how the light gets in.”

This thought is of enormous comfort and encouragement to me.  When we don’t try to camouflage the cracks by stuffing them with “stuff” and distractions and placebos — measures we take to disguise That Which Is — and we choose to allow the light to enter, we acknowledge our vulnerabilities, our humanity, our humility.  It speaks of allowing and it speaks of embracing.

We hear that nothing is perfect, that we should lower our expectations, that we shouldn’t always expect perfection.  That there “is a crack in everything.”  Maybe when we consciously and graciously expose our cracked bells to the light and share our vulnerability, we are creating moments of perfection that are inimitable by anyone else on the planet.

This may sound idealistic as I do protest when life is not lining up just so.  I freely admit: I do like my Days of Perfection.  But.  Then I think of my Sweetheart, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my random dance partners, my students, my pets, my neighbors, my doctors, my family who is no longer here on the planet with me . . . the list is long when I take the time to appreciate the immense support of my faltering, cracked, light-exposing humanity.

Life.  It is beyond amazing.  It is sacred and spiritual and appreciated in ways I cannot express.  I understand that these words have been spoken, sung, written before.  People have devoted their lives to ringing their bells and expressing the wonders of being alive.   Every day truly is a gift.toaster oven

There is so much going on behind the scenes in the bell tower that I am unaware of.  Good stuff that I don’t notice or appreciate.  There are those certain and special days when I get a glimpse of the magnanimous machinery that is moving to keep the planet spinning.  It is humbling in the best of ways.

My goal today: Embrace That Which Is.  Appreciate the larger picture.  Ring a bell and say thank you.  Say I love you more often today.  Smile more.  Write a real letter.  Tell a stranger that they are awesome.  Do not be embarrassed by snorting when I laugh.  [Okay, now I am really laughing out loud! :)]   Dance for the security cameras.  Leave a goofy voice mail message for someone.  honey-beeDress up in a costume with my best-est friends and make a video.  Be happy in That Which Is.

 

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When does life begin?

eleanor roosevelt quote“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

I wonder what experiences led Eleanor Roosevelt to write or express such wisdom.  Today, they are words on the page that inspire . . . but I would suspect that there were some sleepless nights that provided the wisdom and the conviction to be brave, take risks, and look fear in the face.

I have not read any biographies about Eleanor Roosevelt and I would suspect that Eleanor experienced her share of uncertainty and doubt.  Looking “fear in the face”?  You can’t make this stuff up from fiction-based imaginings.  It would be like writing a story about miracles without having experienced one.  You just can’t make it up.  It is necessary to have lived it.

I take her one quote to heart: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  I don’t like feeling fear.  Fear is one of those queasy feelings that goes to my stomach and rests there like an ugly orc — ready to smite me down to smithereens if I steal a glance at it.  Fear is unpleasant, unpredictable, and unlovely.  It does not bring out the most attractive parts of me.  It gives me cause to doubt in my belief that something wonderful is about to happen.  It messes with my chi.  It gives me bad advice.  And it does not inspire me to lead by example.  Fear overpowers any other emotions.  It disallows my willingness to take a chance.  To do something risky.  It is a detour from bravery.  It is the absence of love.  And without love, what is life?

I have another Eleanor Roosevelt quote on my desk: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift.”  A gift.  Which leads me back to the reminder to do one thing every day that scares me.  This is all so much easier to write about in the wee hours of the night in my cozy house than to actually do.  Some days this gesture is a little thing.  Other days it is huge.  I have never regretted one single thing I have done while keeping Eleanor’s words in my heart.  I always feel better when I have chosen to beard the lion in its den.  If I succeed, my friends are there to celebrate with me.  If I fail, my loved ones are there to help me re-hash it with some degree of humor.  What is failure without a little light of humor shone on it?

People who are nearing the end of their lives have said that they didn’t regret the things they did.  Rather they regretted the things they did not do.  The same message with fancier language was written by Sydney J. Harris: “Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”

life begins quoteWhen does life begin?  “At the end of your comfort zone”?  Today is a celebration of looking fear in the face and going for it.  Pushing past your comfort zone.  If you are feeling a lack of confidence, remember: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  We are as free as we choose to be in the face of fear.  By disallowing fear, we invite love to enter.  And what an amazing thing this is.

When I think on these things, I feel a strange Muse entering my office.  Like a sobering calm has entered the room, and I long for spontaneity and laughter to overtake the moment.  But these moments have value in that they embolden me with the rootstock courage to be spontaneous, to take risks, to take the chance of making a mistake, “to do that which [I] think [I] cannot.”  I want to be wildly unhindered by a lack of regret.  I have been accused of being foolhardy and goofy.  Ditzy and capricious.  Irresponsible and risky.  Maybe these adjectives are the encouragement that I need to tell me that I am on the right track, and I don’t even know it.

juggling music notesToday . . . I am going to do something that scares me.  I am familiar with my fears . . . one of them being the fear of failure.  The fear that I won’t have enough time in my life to do all that I hope to do.  The fear of not having tried to accomplish that one dream within.  The fear of feeling regret at the end of my life.  Do I live this way?  I try not to . . . still, these little nagging doubts linger on occasion.  Eleanor believes that we “gain strength, and courage, and confidence” by trying to do something that we cannot do.  It is time to shake things up, go forth, and do something a little scary.   toaster oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try Something New: Down at the Car Wash

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Truck Bomber

I would not exactly say that I am claustrophobic, but I do not like the feeling of being in a room without having the windows open.  The door open, too.  My blood pressure elevates a bit.  I think about exit strategies.  I start to feel concern about hydrating.   And I want to be out in the sunshine or rain — as soon as possible.

My truck recently was baptized by what looked to be the aftermath of a rowdy seagull kegger.  Wow, was it a mess.  I suspect that they were up on top of the canopy partying it up and having a blast and not thinking hygiene.  Not to be crude, but it was pretty remarkable.  So an afternoon of truck washing was in order.

I always wash my truck myself as I don’t like being in tight places while being flailed, battered, and beaten about by high pressure hoses and those massive brushes that swoop in from odd angles to whap-whap-whap the sides of my truck.  It is a long journey for me through that lane of cleaning violence.  But after looking at my truck and surveying the extent of the bird party, I thought that I would Try Something New and go through the car wash.  Feeling fearless!

For those of you who go through car washes with great frequency, the only other things I can compare it to is perhaps playing violin at a recital, public speaking at a TED talk, standing at the edge of a precipice with a fear of heights, small rodents crossing your path in the kitchen, a spider dangling above your nose when you wake up in the morning, a snake curled around your carton of eggs in the root cellar, seeing a clown walking toward you in a dark alley, fear of failure . . . this sort of thing.

But cleanliness is a virtue, and I do like to feel virtuous.  I pulled up to the lane and was surprised to see that I was the only car there.  Perhaps because it was a lull between steady downpours, but I felt happy that there was no one behind me in line that would witness any ineptitude in me lining up my left wheels just so in the shoot.

The young man who met me was super tall and lanky.  It looked like he could handle a hose with a pressure washer.  And it made me happy that he was definitely tall enough to see and wash off the Party Vortex on the top of the canopy.  When I pulled up, his assessment was simply stated: “Wow, man!  You really need a wash.”  He walked me through the various options and, not trusting the thought of coating my vehicle in wax, I chose “The Basic Wash.”  He assured me that with The Basic, it was likely that most of the stuff on my truck would be removed.

I was able to miraculously line up the wheels just so.  Then he and his partner-in-wash started to spray the truck down.  I then felt even more panic.  I hadn’t asked if the engine should be on or off.  Intuition told me to not have the e-brake on.  But what about being in neutral?  Oh no!  I was going to be shunted through the tunnel without any sense of propriety.  I started to sweat.

The men were having a lot of fun as they worked.  The tall one blasted a dilute spray of gull waste at the short one.  Cussing ensued.  The tall one laughed.  Tall people.  I don’t know.

Blessedly, there was a pause in the initial washing, and I tentatively rolled down my window.  “Should I have it in neutral?”

“Man, you don’t want it to be in park or with the brake on.”

“What about the engine?  On or off?”

“Doesn’t matter.”

I am thinking, Doesn’t matter?  How can this be?  I opted for off.

Well, you veteran Car Wash people know that nothing bad happens when you go through the wash.  It is done in less than 2 minutes and you have a very pretty truck when you are done.  It is so shiny!  And I felt as if I had conquered one of life’s mysteries.  The tall one told me to not take off.   He wanted to polish everything up nice and pretty as a final courtesy.

I drove away happy with the experience.  While in the wash shoot, I did start to panic a bit, wondering why it was slowing down.  Do I have water in here with me?  A power bar? Should my antenna be rattling like that?   But instead of feeling stressed, I grabbed my phone and started taking pictures midway through the experience.  Nothing artistically stellar, mind you.  Just click click click.

So, my Try Something New is surely going to become a regular event in my life.  I now really like going to the car wash.  So easy and shiny and pretty.  And it feels good to know I am taking care of my truck.

My Try Something New for tomorrow?  I am not sure.  It hasn’t revealed itself yet.  But this passage of doing something extraordinary (for me, that is) every single day has really opened up all sorts of possibilities in life.  Like ordering a honey martini for the first time, trying a new dance move, introducing myself to someone whom I see out and about town all the time, not caring about my boss’s bad jokes about my hair, wearing something that is not black, white, or gray . . . these things sound small and inconsequential but they are moving things around.  Molecules are being re-arranged.  Life is being renewed and cleaned and made shiny.toaster oven

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It’s Monday. Do you want to be happy?

Happy-Monday-Are-you-happyIt’s Monday.  Yippee!  Are you happy?  No?  Do you want to be happy?  No?  Keep doing whatever you’re doing.  Pretty simple, right?  But if you aren’t happy and you want to be happy, change something.  Try something new.  Anything.

That change can be tiny and infinitesimal.  It can be a baby step in relation to the Universe.  But Change Something.  You will not regret it.

Why?  Because the influence of Change, like the weather, is akin to the microscopicButterfly-Wing disturbance of a butterfly wing. A simple flutter has the potential to determine if it is going to rain on your outdoor wedding day six weeks hence.  You never know.  Weather and life and Change all have a beautifully fickle nature about them.  Surprises abound.

While climate may depend on the broad and long and predictable haul, the weather is changeable.  Its fluctuations are hard to predict.  The weather can produce a different result in the immediate.

67 Bear Waiting Patiently For PicnicYour plans might change as a result of the weather.  You may decide that a picnic is not in your best interest if there is a 90% chance of rain.  But you never know.  There goes a rabble of butterflies winging by, and you are out the door with your picnic basket, trying to decide which beach to lunch at.

Thank goodness for the seemingly impetuous nature of butterflies.  While some may consider their flight to be monarchbutterfliesa contribution to chaos, others may embrace the short term atmospheric changes as beautiful.  Predictable climate patterns may merge and alter the atmosphere’s balance, but the short term, day-to-day atmospheric changes are what we live in.   Climate is shaped by unseen global forces that create patterns — all of which are great to analyze, but chaotic disturbances affected by a butterfly migration are what add interest to another Monday.  Nature is a miracle, and I am going to roll with the butterfly-generated chaos every time. I’ll choose a miracle any time.

Are you happy?  I am.  I love Mondays.  Is there a pattern to the calendar and our work week?  Yes.  Do I want to abandon my post and join a kaleidoscope of gypsy butterflies that are winging by?  Most definitely.  Still, I am a bit of a homing pigeon, and I know where I want to light at journey’s end.  With my sweetheart and my loved ones while listening to the stories of their Mondays that are always so magnificent and interesting, even when they do not believe that they are.

I love Mondays.  Mondays: they re-define another shot at another week of happiness and bliss and appreciation.  How could we not love them?

Life.  Metamorphosis.  Change.  Growth.  Struggle.  Movement.  Hope.  Rebirth.  Flight.  Freedom.  Happy Monday.

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Try Something New: Enforced Restfulness

My Try Something New today: contentment in enforced restfulness.

If you light a lamp quote

The story of my past few days has allowed for some enforced restfulness.  What I have learned is that as much as I say I want a peaceful and quiet and tranquil life in the midst of my self-made chaos . . . there is another part of me that craves the hub-bub, the drama, the go-go-go, the challenges at work, the randomness of just wandering with no projected outcomes, the movement that gives me inspiration to create and to laugh and to love.

This enforced restfulness has given me time to just be with me.  And it has been nice.  And it has also been not so nice.  The nice parts have given me an opportunity to observe and take note of what runs through my mind when I am not thinking of what I am going to do next.  I am just being in the Now.  Just chilling and petting the cat and figuring out inversions on the  piano and stir-frying onions and garlic with asparagus and having long conversations on the phone with my sisters . . . this sort of thing.  I have been focusing on the simple and important things that get nudged aside or that get squeezed into the day.

The thing that has been rather bittersweet has been realizing truly how little time I create for being with me.  I find that I often am so busy projecting my light outward, I don’t replenish the source of this light within.  Again, not necessarily a bad thing . . . but  the words of my mum come to mind: Moderation in everything.  I think I have been putting too much time into outward and not into inward.

Calligraphy-Pen-500x366In high school art class, I was given a calligraphy assignment.  I was to find a proverb or quote and write it using the calligraphy style of my choice.  Wanting it to be perfect and vintage-y, I procrastinated and I remember spending more time ultimately looking for a short quote that would satisfy the assignment than I did practicing my lettering.   The quote was short, but compelling.  I knew it had a lot to say, even though I wasn’t quite certain what it exactly meant at the time.  It reads: “Contentment is the absence of selfish ambition.”  Quite the dose of profundity in only seven words.  No wonder it befuddled my teen-aged mind.  It still sort of does.

kerosene-lampWhat this enforced restfulness has done is it has slowed me to a place of seeking contentment.  By replenishing, I have refilled the lamp, trimmed the wick, and polished up the chimney.  How is my little light going to shine if I don’t take the time to fill the lamp?

I also know that this time to myself has created deep appreciation for all of those people who shine their light my way — for their “absence of selfish ambition” — for sharing who they are with me so selflessly.

Am I committed to take more time to just think and to be and to not be doing all ofcontentment the time?  Yes. Am I ready to resume my days at the speed of light?  Yes.   But this has been good.  Good for realizing that I am paying attention and wanting a life with a balance of contentment that generates and receives light and that puts a smile back into my soul and that not just enforces restfulness but embraces it as well.

 

Parles-tu français? Non? Pas de problème. Vie d’amour!

restez-calmes-et-parlez-franc3a7ais-3My Try Something New for today: I responded to a mystery text in French.

I received a random text from a man named Francis who was looking for a woman named Yvette.  In that I received his message, it appears that Yvette possibly gave Francis a wrong number.  Or perhaps Francis had a case of Fat Fumble Finger Syndrome when he was entering Yvette’s phone number into his phone.  It’s a tough call.

Francis’ message read: Is this Yvette from ______.  (wanting to keep this private for Francis’ sake)

I responded: ??

Francis: Yes or No if this is Yvette.  

Me: Nope.  

And thinking this sounded harsh, in a follow-up message, I added: Sorry.

Francis: Sorry wrong number.

Me: Pas de problème. (Translation: Not a problem.)

Francis: Huh?

Me: No problem.

Francis: Ohhhh hahahahaha.

I don’t know why I responded to Francis in French or why this was funny, but apparently it eased Francis’ disappointment that Yvette dissed him with my number instead of her own.

Responding to strangers in French  is certainly nothing that I have felt compelled to do in the past . . . not with the person who keeps trying to ask Hot Jazmyn out.  Or the person who keeps trying to tell Ted to pick up his paycheck before Friday — this has happened twice now.  Poor Ted.  And there is the man who keeps trying to schedule dates around his doctor appointments.  I guess I must have a popular number.

I mentioned this Francis-Yvette exchange to a friend of mine — who also speaks French — and she recognized Yvette’s name and the name of the bar.  She said that her boyfriend used to be roommates with Yvette, that Yvette indeed works at the place that Francis mentioned, and . . . drum roll, please . . . Yvette is from France.  Amazing?  No.  Mildly coincidental?  Sorta.

In all cases of mis-received texts, I have tried to break the truth gently.  I am not Yvette; You deserve better than Hot Jazmyn; Ted is going to be broke if you don’t try harder;and I hope that you are feeling much better, but this isn’t Connie.  My words of empathy bridging the gaps in cyber space.  Hey people!  You are all awesome!  Thanks for saying hey!

But then . . . the plot thickens.  Being one of those people who likes to keep an arsenal of Cupid’s arrows in my backpack at all times, I forwarded Francis’ message to my French-speaking friend whose boyfriend used to be a housemate with Yvette.  victoriancupid

I do not know what the outcome is at this point time, but perhaps Kismet is serving in Francis’ favor and my friend’s boyfriend will forward the message to Yvette and then Yvette can make a decision as to Francis.  Maybe she believe in Kismet, as I do, and she will give Francis a second chance and give him her real number.  (Enter: Hollywood crescendo music to indicate happy moment)

So, none of this loop would have been set into motion had it not been that I mentioned the French-reply reference to my friend.  Random?  I don’t know . . . at least not yet.  Reste calme, Francis.

I realize that this has generated quite the lively exchange of nothingness at this point in time.  But it does speak to those promptings to do something that makes absolutely zero sense at the time but could have an ooh-la-la impact in someone’s love life.

Hourra! Kismet! Et vie d’amour!  (Love lives!)

 

 

One New Thing: allowing the cat to stalk me

My One New Thing today: I allowed the cat to go on a walk with us — my dog and me.

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No, this is not my cat. It is my dog, Valentino.

Normally, I contain the cat to the house when I take the dog for a walk on the trails behind my house.  The thing about this cat is she was raised with a pack of dogs.  In the time she has been living with me, she has had 6 different canine roommates.  She has been observing dog-clan behavior her entire kitten life.  As a result she loves going on walks with whichever dog companion is living with me at the time.

Being on the trails while she is hunting us from behind is disturbing.  I never know when an unleashed dog is going to come bounding up the trail and she will go skittering into the woods.  How would she find her way home?  Is she smart enough to turn back around and march home?  Has she channeled enough of my old rough collie’s Zen in order to pull a Lassie-Come-Home moment?

But today Jane really wanted to join us (Valentino and me) — as evidenced by her running to the door when I picked up the leash.  I thought, What the heck?  We can stay in the neighborhood and she can play tiger-in-the-tall-cool-grass this morning as Val sniffs at every post, tree, blade of grass.

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This is my cat, Jane Eyre.

Well, it is a beautiful day in the neighborhood today, and many neighbors were out tending to their yard work.  As Val and I walked and Jane stalked,  every neighbor commented on how we had a cat lurking behind us.  They all asked, “Is that cat yours?” I guess I never thought of this as being an odd cat behavior, but apparently it isn’t entirely common either.  The things you learn when you take time to reflect on your daily bubble.

As a result of this One New Thing (taking the risk to allow Jane some stalking freedom), I talked to three of my neighbors to whom I rarely ever speak.  It was a nice bonding moment over Jane’s Peculiar Cat Trick.  By being open to changing my routine with my pooch, Jane got to do her wild cat thing and I re-connected with some neighbors.

So, all’s good in the hood!  We all came home and — it being a weekend — we all  had a leisurely breakfast.  As I continue to add One New Thing to the mix, I continue to be surprised at the simple yet sweet consequences.  Who would have thought?

Walking Tall (with a little dog)

My Try-Something-New today . . . walking tall.

chicken crossing the roadYesterday, I was held up in traffic.  It was a beautiful day, and I was rushing home from work to catch some evening sunshine.  Traffic started to back up, so I looked ahead and saw a very tall woman walking a very small dog at a crosswalk.  What caught my attention wasn’t that she was so tall and that the dog was so little.  It was that she was walking with great confidence and really good posture.  She was looking up.  She wasn’t rushing across the 5 lanes of traffic.  She was sauntering like she meant it, like she was paying attention.  And enjoying her stroll with her little pooch.

As traffic resumed, I thought about how poised she looked.  I have crossed in heavy traffic at crosswalks before, but I know I have done so almost apologetically — like the proverbial chicken crossing the road.  Like I am so sorry, People.  I know I am holding up traffic. I sometimes feel self-conscious.  My posture probably sucks.  Scurry scurry.  Probably my head is down, and I know that I am moving more quickly than I would if I were walking across a sunny cow field or strolling in the shade along a riverside trail.  The thought occurred: Why do I feel like such a nerd for holding up traffic? 

So, today . . . I was out walking my little dog.  I came to a crosswalk that connects the interurban trail.  I stood on the side of the busy street and  . . . the first car went blowing by.  Okay, I won’t take that personally.  The other drivers saw us, and we, my tiny and strange-looking dog and I, walked with vigor and buoyancy across the street.  Now, I am not a fraction of an inch over 5’4″ — but I felt taller.  On the inside, that is.  One driver even waved hello.  Maybe because my dog is such a weird mixture of genetics but then again maybe not.  Maybe she noticed that I was paying attention to her and not being all hurry-scurry.  We smiled at each other.  I finished crossing the street.  She drove off.

This action truly did not require any measure of courage.  To be clear, I am not paranoid about crossing the street!   But making a conscious shift in attitude is what caught my soul’s attention.  It caused me to wonder about all of those times I have felt apologetic for simply being human.  Like making a mistake at work or blurting something without thinking.  Like burning the birthday cake or backing into my neighbor’s parked car.  All of these ouch moments that only mean that I am human.

Paying attention means walking tall.  And walking tall means giving up on my apologetic default.  And giving up on my apologetic default means making small connections here and there.  It allows me to embrace that small part of myself that sometimes feels like a pain in the ass.  Maybe I am the only one who feels this way on occasion.  But there you have it.  I write this and take the risk so that it might speak to someone else who also hurries across the street.  Walk tall.chicken in road

Wear who you are on the inside on the outside, too.  You are an ultra-cool person with so many experiences.  There is boldness in claiming who you are.  And rewards in looking up.   And gifts in walking tall.

The Try-Something-New Challenge . . . want to join in?

old vintage clockIs 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?  Is a lack of resources holding you back?  Is there someone in your life who is telling you that you don’t focus 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, precious time, to even think about starting something new?

The bad news:  You don’t have enough time.  The good news: You do have enough time.  You CHOOSE which news you want your inner soul to hear.

I kept delivering the bad news to my heart, my mind, my hands, my spirit.  Financial struggles, too many jobs, juggling household chores, burned out from work, distracted by pets.  All of this mindspeak was proving to be so exhausting to my Inner Spirit that I simply stopped trying to express any creativity.

Until lately.  I have undertaken a personal challenge: Try something new every single day.

In the beginning, this challenge verified the bad news –> it was something that felt overwhelmingly huge and impossible.  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.IMG-20120104-01935.jpg. wooden spoon

But.  I read once that if you lay a wooden spoon across a pot of boiling  pasta that it won’t overboil.  No more messy stove to clean up.  So, I tried this trick and it works!  Pretty amazing and soooo simple, right?

This Try Something New Challenge to myself has proven to be that magical wooden spoon.  I not only have enough time to Try Something New, I have plenty of time.  I don’t understand the way that time has expanded, but it has.  The hard part was starting.  The easy part is enjoying the rewards.  It has been so. much. fun.

I originally intended on focusing on one single something new to try for the 30 days.  Develop some consistency and build some sense of habit by adding only one thing.  All sorts of ideas came to mind.  Play piano every single day.  Ride my scooter to work every single day.  Eat a healthy breakfast every single day.  Work out every single day.  Do one or all of these things every single day for 30 days.

But I found that this wasn’t working.  I couldn’t decide on one-single-something-new.  As I was casting about for that perfect one-single-something-new, I discovered that was working was trying something uniquely different every single day.  Examples?  I started piano lessons — and have been pretty disciplined regarding playing everyday.  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 ex-boyfriend 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 have been wanting to go to.  I took photographs of garbage.  I painted a Jackson-Pollack-inspired painting and then added all sorts of 3-D items.  I started reading my horoscope.  I started blogging.

So. Many. Fun. Things.  Now?  I make sure that I squeeze that Something New into my waking hours.  I have effected change.  The ripples have been spreading.  There have been some really fun and surprising and happy results by expressing some willingness to shake things up.  bigstock-Zen-stones-in-water-27418907

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 is changing your world.  We all would love to hear about it!