AND Move For a Change

August 23rd, 2015

It is so easy to get caught in routines. The more that the relationships and situations in our lives feel familiar to us, the more likely we are to have unconscious expectations about how they should happen. These expectations become a major source of pain and suffering, not to mention blame and seeing oneself as the victim, whenever the expectations are not met in some way.

Simple opportunities to get up from a desk or familiar chair to sit somewhere else, or walk around, can physically help us change our perspective. The bolder we are willing to be in challenging ourselves to do unfamiliar things in unfamiliar settings and in unfamiliar ways, the greater the opportunity we have to see the world from another perspective and develop a deeper appreciation for what others may see or experience. Start the morning without coffee? Turn off the cell phone or other media for an hour?

I watch children on the move at the beach. They discover delight in the simplest things—a rock, shell, chasing a seagull, or digging in the sand. What would our lives be like if we noticed the things we do routinely every day and mixed them up so we can just be present to experience whatever shows up? We just might notice how much we limit our ability to see the world anew or experience people we think we know through the eyes of a child.

We might also become more aware of how entrenched and rigid our expectations about our world and our roles in it have become. It is easier to judge situations and people for not doing what we expect of them than to step back to see from outside our limited world what else might be going on.

We may be unconscious victims of our established routines and as such unaware of the cost in our lives of holding onto them. It is very easy to focus on disruptions to our expected comforts when we are unconsciously attached to them—who sits in my seat, who gets picked first, who gets promoted, who gets more attention, and the like. The choice to disrupt our own routines because we want to grow, experience the people in our lives for the gifts they are, and situations with new eyes is a conscious choice available to all of us.

There is a cost—perhaps a very hefty one—to feeding our familiar ways and unconscious expectations. Maybe—just for fun—this week could be a time to disrupt at least one routine just to see what we notice. AND an easy way to begin is to move, physically or emotionally, for a change.

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