A new year is a little like an open door.
On the one hand, it fills us with a sense of mystery and excitement. We wonder: What’s beyond the threshold? What’s in store? On the other hand, there can be a sense of dread that keeps us from walking through that opening. We don’t even know we’re doing it, but we often pull back and cut ourselves off from what might be. The unknown, the uncontrollable–the very thought of uncertainty makes some of us go cold.
So why do we say we love adventure when we secretly fear change? And how can we learn to greet the future with gusto rather than anticipation?
Is it possible to stay in the wonder and out of the anxiety so that we step into the possibility rather than recoil from it? And what good does it do to walk through the open door if we just take our resistance with us? Why do we wrestle rather than embrace change?
These are questions many of us struggle with on a daily basis, myself included.
For the last three years, I’ve done something a bit extreme: I stepped outside the “normal” life box. Way outside. I have dedicated the majority of my time to exploring different parts of the world, largely resting and eating my way through each day. In doing so, I’ve experienced a completely different side of life. It was what I call “my radical sabbatical,” because traveling on purpose for no particular reason and without the expectation of an income or an outcome is a curious, unusual and often frightening thing to do.
In a culture where most people live in a cycle of working to accumulate money and things, I have spent the last several years doing the opposite. After letting go of my home and most of my possessions, I pulled up stakes and travelled extensively for long periods of time. It’s been a revolutionary change from the life I once knew and has taken me to edges I never knew existed. Along this journey I met myself again and again as I grappled with uncertainty and learned how to navigate an ever-changing path in unchartered territory. Needless to say, living a life less ordinary has delivered many valuable insights that I’m eager to share.
The new year now stands before us like a virgin whiteboard offering a fresh surface to write or rewrite the story of our lives. But we all know the excitement of January quickly fades as we return to routine and retreat into ingrained patterns despite our best intentions and efforts.
So, to keep you motivated to meet your goals and stay the course of change, I’m excited to launch an inspiring new series focused on turning everyday experiences into joyous adventures and celebrating even the scariest of new beginnings.
Join me here on the blog as I explore some of life’s juicy questions, offer regular tips to help you make sense of life’s twists and turns, and share insights from my work and life. Each month you’ll find inspiring quotes, illustrations, and articles to nourish your mind, lift your spirits and ignite your heart.
We can’t hug the future if we greet it with our fists up, so let’s make this a year of less fear and more courage. Here’s to jumping boldly into 2015. Go on, throw that door wide open!