Written by: Andy Vantrease
Every life has ups and downs. Dips that make you feel like you may never be able to dig yourself out and highs so euphoric you don’t want them to end. Then there’s all the in-between. The everyday tasks, interactions, routines, communications.
Many people stumble through this life of in-between moments, treating them as boring, meaningless times that are all strung together from one day to the next. Before they know it, years have gone by and when they catch up with old friends, their only news is “same old, same old.”
It’s easy to get sucked into what many perceive to be the inevitable monotony of adulthood. But, even if you have the same job, are working on the same project and living in the same house, it certainly doesn’t have to mean that nothing exciting is happening. What if we could take the seemingly mundane moments of everyday life and treat them as extraordinary? Or, at the very least, acknowledge that they aren’t dull at all.
Sometimes all it takes is a shift in perspective. When life becomes stale, tap back into your inner child for inspiration and curiosity.
During yoga class last week, the instructor asked that we study our feet as if we were children, discovering them for the very first time. We were asked to describe them without using judgment words like good, bad, better, worse, ugly, pretty – words that we learn later in life from magazines, media and society. We detailed their texture, the shapes of our toes, the veins, the colors, the temperature of our skin. We looked at them simply as a part of us, as functional tools that get us through the day, beginning right when we step out of bed in the morning. They are our roots. We didn’t see injuries, nagging pains, insults or comparisons from the past. We saw the structures that exist to help us run, stand, play, move, jump, dance, live. The same can be said about every inch of our bodies, if only we choose to see these inches in such a light. We entered practice that day with a new perspective on movement, and we left practice that day with a new perspective on life.
Discovering life through the eyes of a child is an unparalleled way to view the world. Everything is new and fascinating and challenging and fun. It’s more about the mindset than what you’re actually learning, as long as you’re always learning. It’s about appreciating all forms of life for the amazing miracles that they are. It’s being able to take a step back from the misguided messages being hurled at us every day, and trust in our bodies, in our capability for greatness, and in the limitlessness of possibilities.
If you love to cook, dive into learning about where your food comes from or the health benefits of the spices in your cabinet. If you love to read, pick up a new book or an old favorite that may deliver a whole new meaning to your current situation and connect dots that didn’t exist the last time you read it. A change in perspective doesn’t have to mean a profound physical change at all. It’s an opening of the mind and a look through a different lens.
So go on, embrace your inner child, and watch the positive changes take hold.