Back in August, my friend came across some research stating January 24th is the most depressing day of the year. So to bypass the likelihood of succumbing to that depression, she booked a trip to South Beach.
Whether the research was justified or not, I can wholeheartedly agree that these days – post blizzard and holiday bills– things can look a little bleak.
Getting dressed becomes more of a utilitarian act (another day of snow boots?!?!) rather than one of expression. And the thought of stepping out to socialize (and spending more money) seems like a chore.
In order to snap out of the snow-fogged-post-holiday haze, you need to switch up your lens.
In yoga, there’s this thing called Beginner’s Mind. It’s where all expertise steps aside for curiosity to emerge. We use it to keep a sense of inquiry in the practice, and to allow possibility to enter the picture.
An essential both on and off the yoga mat, Beginner’s Mind can help you start seeing your life and style with fresh eyes. And a good way to click into this mindset is by trying new things.
I’ll be the first to admit that in these cold, dark days…I don’t want to try anything new. I just want to get through what I’ve got going on so I can be home relaxing on the couch. Last night, my friend who went to Miami, got stuck in Miami (Thanks, Jonas!) leaving me to attend Fun Home alone.
Broadway shows aren’t really my thing. So heading up to the theater district by myself on a slush-filled evening felt a little random. While I was on the train, I popped on some Kendrick Lamar to help energize my mood, and I actually got a little excited. Sometimes random is the way to go!
When I got to the theater I noticed things I probably wouldn’t have seen had I been chatting it up with my friend, or in my usual headspace. (Broadway attire is such a mixed bag these days! Some still dress up in heels, in the snow nonetheless, while others wear jeans.)
And Fun Home! Being alone allowed me to absorb the play on a whole other level. It touched me deeply.
So stepping outside your comfort zone is a wonderful way to trigger your Beginner’s Mind. But it doesn’t have to involve theater tickets or a plane ride.
Here Are 3 tips To Bring On Your Beginner’s Mind:
1. Think more about playing. Less about the shoulds.
This works out beautifully in the wardrobe department. Rather than wear what you think you should (it’s cold, it’s wet I have to wear these practical things), live a little and go for the unexpected. Of course, I don’t want you to freeze, but I also don’t want you to lose your sense of style and enthusiasm for expressing your best self. Try to keep the fun in getting dressed.
2. Forget what you know. Invite spontaneity.
As adults we so often have to rely on our experiences to dictate our direction. Been there, done that — right?!?! Let go of this urge to always have the answer. Employ an attitude of what would happen if? I always encourage my clients to take this approach when putting outfits together. Consider it an experiment and see what you can come up with. It’s also a great question to ask yourself while cooking, hanging out with the kids or even chilling on the couch. What Would Happen If?
3. Spend time around children.
Kids are living proof that Beginner’s Mind does exist. Try to take in their natural ability to be present. Watch how they notice everything! As the queen of TO-DOs, I have a tough time quieting my mind to be with what’s in front of me. But when I can pay attention to what my kids are doing, I’m opening myself to my Beginner’s Mind. Curiosity pervades children. Their questioning is something to learn from.
How do you keep fresh eyes on your life and style?
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Love this post, Elysha, and the picture. Timing couldn’t have been more perfect. “Jona” is really getting to me. Playfulness, spontaneity, and children. Great tips!
Great advice, Elysha, for getting through the long winter 🙂
Thank you, Michele! The winter can feel long!!
Thanks, Terry. You’re in DC, right? How is the clean up going? We’ve had some warm weather which is doing a good job in melting the mess.
I love that you took in a show on your own. I wish more people would do that. So many people don’t, as if they don’t deserve that treat when alone.
It was a treat, Kristine!
There wasn’t a second when I even considered not going. (Though I did invite several people to join me– none of which were available.)