step sixteen

two people can experience and interpret the same event very differently.
we always choose how we respond.
case in point:

 

two women in a room. a flying insect.
one of the women verbally expressed her discomfort. the other woman tries to comfort her by explaining that the insect is a cranefly. she explains that they don’t bite or sting, they don’t even feed as adults, except the occasional nectar snack. this second woman relays a story about gardening and killing cranefly larvae along with cutworms, because they are so hard to distinguish. she tries to find the cranefly. eventually, the first woman spots the cranefly in a floor lamp. the second woman offers to cover the lamp with a baking sheet and chooses a pizza pan that appears to fit perfectly. the first woman inspects the space around the rim of the lamp with the pizza pan over it and chooses to add a baking sheet to cover up any open cracks. The women then continue their conversation.
the first woman later posts a social media status update about “something crawling in the lamp”. she adds that she put a baking tray on top. she does not respond to questions what “it” was. she also does not mention the other person who shared the event with her.
choice, and free will, are wonderful gifts. we always choose how we show up. we always choose how we interpret a situation. we always choose how we relay a message, how we tell a story.
we also choose how we respond to a situation. do we choose to stay calm? do we choose to judge, and if so, how? what do we base our judgment on?
how do you choose to interpret your world today?
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step eight

try something new every week.

that’s 52 new things in a year. here are some thoughts:

~ try hotsprings. a two-week east-west road trip left my butt triangular and my back sore.  the picture above is at mystic hotsprings in monroe, utah – a fabulous place for more than bathing. the accupressure chair massage i got from tammy, the therapist on site, immediately took the edge off my pain (but my behind retained the subaru-seat induced pie-shape). although i loved the property at mystic, where the hotsprings have shaped the rock formations in a unique way i have not seen elsewhere, i preferred a little less exposed setting. tammy recommended a few stops on the way to oregon and i tried a total of three different springs. it felt amazing, light, i slept better than ever, and if you’ve never tried hotsprings, go ahead – tell ’em your coach said you had to.

~ try… a new restaurant, a new dish, a new spice, a new drink, a new fruit.

~ look up medicinal plants that grow wild in your area and harvest what you can. in alaska, i loved picking fireweed shoots and young lambs-quarters or dandelions for salad greens. there is a powerful plant that belongs to the ginseng family, devil’s club, whose shoots in early may are the only tender thing about them to harvest and eat (watch out for the spiny stalks and leaf edges, the pulverized root of the plant is the only remedy for the rash they induce), so try something wild like that.

~ try dancing. learn how. if you know how, learn a new step. or dance in reverse. film it.

~ look at the “word of the year” … in different languages. try using them in a sentence.

~ draw, paint, do a paint-awake workshop.

~ absolutely try speed-dating. even if you are in a relationship. bring your partner. set an intention not to fight, regardless how it goes.

~ stretch. hit that spot of discomfort. sit with that for a bit. should i give an example? i don’t like elevators. for many reasons, but let’s just say it is a place that i would not choose to be in. so on some days, i know i have gotten complacent and too comfortable. enter the elevator. if it is time to stretch myself, i will go in. if it is time to face the fear, i just remind myself of how good it feels to know that panic subsides if i just wait a while, because the body simply won’t be able to sustain that state of high fear for longer than 20 minutes. once i come back outside, i have more sense of accomplishment than washing windows or vacuuming a whole day. those of you who are passionate about clean windows and carpets will be able to relate.

~ try a new road to work or to the store.

~ get a library card and check out a book. you’ll be surprised how much has changed in the last seven years.

~ pay for someone else’s cake pop at starbucks.

~ read E2 by Pam Grout.

~ part your hair on the other side, or do a comb-over. if you have children or grandchildren, give them a brush and a comb, and some water in a spray bottle, and let them practice how to be stylist on you. artistic selfies afterwards. which reminds me:

~if you haven’t yet, get an instagram account.

~check out new apps. try some of the virtual reality ones (e.g. Within-VR) and build your own 3-d-viewer, or assemble a google cardboard (good luck with that).  i got my first at TEDxBuffalo, which was a fabulous experience altogether, which reminds me:

~find a TEDx event near you and go. it will change your life.

~ …

keep going. you got this.