New experiences is the first thing I say to may son when I wake him up in the morning. He is not a morning person like his mother. He needs a little extra encouragement. Actually this practice didn’t happen intentionally. I was saying, wake up little Nigel. So the next morning after the first day of school, I said it again. Then Nigel said, “Mommy, I want you to say new experiences like you did yesterday.” Actually, that wasn’t what I said, but it was a good practice to start. Now I say it to him every morning when he wakes up.
I have been putting that practice into action in my own life. I am very fond of rituals and routines and I think that is just fine, but there are times when you need to give new things a chance. I recently started drinking coffee. Now I love it! I don’t drink it every day, but I enjoy a good cup of coffee. I don’t use it as a stimulant as I have been accused of being caffeine personified, but I drink it for the taste. In the past I refused coffee because I felt that I had no use for it. I viewed coffee as a means of staying awake or jolting one from a groggy morning, things I never had an issue with. One day I decided to give coffee a try. It happened in a very strange way. I was watching an episode of Satisfaction on Netflix and I saw one of the characters making a cup of coffee with a french press. The whole process looked interesting and I wanted to try making coffee that way. That particular way of making coffee appealed to me for its simplicity. So I purchased a french press, a hand-crank ceramic burr grinder, bought a bag of coffee beans from a local coffee shop, and made my first cup of coffee. I enjoyed the process of heating the water, grinding the beans, and waiting patiently for the coffee to steep. I found the experience to be therapeutic. It is nice slow down and savor an experience, and now I have a new ritual. It forces me to slow down, take my time and really enjoy the moment.
I would not have gained this new ritual had I not been willing to try something new. I have learned to let go of feeling that I cannot benefit from something that is not necessarily marketed to me or the identity I have assigned to myself. I must remain open to new experiences. We all must let go of notion that something is “not for you” or “you are meant for something like that.”
I would like to challenge all of us to try something or experience something new. Try a new food. Visit a different place or just take another route home from work. See what’s out there!