As a woman and a worker bee, I have always attached my sense of self to the work that I do; therefore I have felt very lost in my time when I am not working for something. I have always moved from job to job, hustling and moving forward. When I am not doing this I tend to lose myself, because I feel like I am not cultivating anything that I want to cultivate. Last week, I went to the mountains for clarity on this subject, and I found it at the peak. I tapped into three key mental powers that, if harnessed, can turn any mundane day into an adventure.
The first thing that occurred to me on the mountain was the idea of openness. I realized that in not “working,” I became closed off from my own sense of productivity. that I walked away from myself the second I stopped cultivating the things that I love. I have been guilty of this before in times of not idleness, but times of stress and overdrive. I am sure we have all experienced this. What is important is that we don’t stay in this neutral state. In times like these, the mind is active but not aware; is tired but not fulfilled. This is to say that despite what is going on in our lives-whether it be too much or too little staying open, aware, and acknowledging our desires and the things we crave to cultivate (even the small things) are key to ending the day with a smile.
Whether life is moving too fast or too slowly, our days are what we make of them. We are the controllers and the conquerors of few things in this universe, but we are absolutely that of our own perception. We should use it to strive for adventure, freedom, and joy!
As I sat on top of Snowmass Mountain my skin roasting in the sun and my muscles blazing from the steep climb- I realized how ridiculous I had been. I stared at the endless horizon sprinkled with lakes, and hills; dominated by ferocious peaks. I had the world in my backyard, and instead of making it mine, I sat idle. Why would I crave work when adventure fills every desire I’ve had? I gave that mountain my all, I walked up it raw and confused, searching for answers within the trees. I am proud of what I gave and what I got, and if that’s not work I don’t know what is. The bonus: one helluva view.
Sometimes I wake up with a sense of peace and zen, and I want to savor that. I don’t crave a big enthralling adventure, I want to notice the small things and feel nothing but gratitude. And that’s okay. The one thing that I search for every day, whether I am on the mountain, on my couch, in my car, or buried in some pages: I search for novelty. I search for a sight I haven’t seen before, a path I’ve never taken, a sensation I’ve never felt. This can be as small as a new route to your local grocery store or as big as bushwacking up a mountain. Whether it is big or small, the feeling is the same. Take notice of these new things, and they will fill you up. I always find it energizing to seek new things, because each time I find one (which is all the time) I am reminded of how small my world is, and I am prompted to expand and grow. To keep searching. Novelty is the heart of learning and growing, it keeps us rooted in ourselves and our experiences, and reminds us why we do the things we do.
Today, I will cook something for dinner that I’ve never made before. I will take notice of the colorful sunset on the mountains. I will finally get to that laundry that I’ve been ignoring. I will stay grateful for every breath of air I breathe today. I will not only acknowledge my desires but I will act upon them.