There is nothing like travel to let you see yourself, literally, in a different light.
I have lived in my home for 2o years. I know what I look like in the mirror where I dress, fix my hair and put on my makeup every morning. At least I think I do. You know how the brain is: you see what you expect to see.
So when I travel, my brain expects to see the same thing. Well. Different lighting and unfamiliar mirror means my brain doesn’t quite know what I’m supposed to look like so it opens up and lets me see what’s really there. Worse than a photograph at my age!
Add in different water (mine at home is soft well water), different shampoo – a small one to travel, more humidity and my hair has taken on a life of its own. And I’ve had to decide whether to obsess or go with the flow.
My word for the year is unflappable so with the flow it is.
There are some things you do that broaden you without your even thinking about it. Staying away from the safe cocoon of your home – at a friend’s or on the road – can do that. Snap. Just like that.
Yesterday I was heavy into a book, on paper not on Kindle, Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday
LIfe. It had the same effect on my mind that different light had on my face. Opened up new spaces and gave me some new ways of looking at things. Also gave me some one word names for things I have been describing in sentences for years:
- scaffolding: holding open a space for learning experiences – not solving problems but providing a supportive structure for folks to reach solutions for themselves. The way I’ve always described what I do when I’m organizing in communities.
- embodiment: taking the abstract to concrete. I’ve always thought of my skill set as taking abstract to concrete whether it was an idea that a community wanted to put forward when doing community based organizing (the real thing, not the door to door canvassing thing) or bringing a piece of clay alive. Energy wants expression. I provide the conduit and then get out of the way. “Embodiment.” Who knew?!
There is so much information in this book I could (and will be) write about “ahas” for days.
But for today I leave you with this thought:
..the great change we call transformation isn’t really a change at all, but an unveiling, a reorganization, a deepening
into who you are and what already is..
I wish you different lights, new mirrors (literal or friends or a great book) and an few awesome “aha!s” for this, the first week in the new year!