How do you respond to new possibilities? Do you notice the signs and invitations to change? How can you say yes to what’s calling you?
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Knock, Knock. Who’s there?
Knocks used to come on actual doors accompanied by a doorbell ring when stuff happened IRL and not completely online. Now, a knock is more of an unexpected opportunity that comes to your door literally. Like a glitch in the Matrix. Do you open the door? Will you swallow the red pill or the blue one? Did you even notice there was something unexpected that was dangling with possibility there?
I was lucky enough to have just such an opportunity come to my doorstep recently. I saw an invitation to do a house swap – Brooklyn for Maui – and I couldn’t say no. This was a chance I didn’t want to pass up. While I have few regrets, missing a once in a lifetime trip to Japan in business school is one that comes to mind which I wish I had experienced.
Visiting Japan stays on the bucket list, and thankfully I can check the box off for Hawaii. I just returned from an R&R retreat. Rest and relaxation. Release and rejuvenation. It was a journey of responding to the universe’s invitation in the moment and going with the flow.
How do you know when you need to do something? Well, first and foremost you need to pay attention to the signs. Hawaii had not been particularly prominent in my mind until 3 things happened in rapid succession over a 2-week period. First, I learned about a retreat there that I ultimately decided not to attend. After mentioning the retreat, a friend said (likely in jest), “Hawaii must be calling you.” Then voila, I read Facebook group post about doing an apartment swap and the rest is history.
I said YES to possibility!
We often have so many reasons not to do something. The excuses can be endless around the daily grind and all our other priorities. Are these necessities that are important or crises that seem urgent or just bad habits or expectations that have become part of our daily routine?
When we feel a twinge or an inkling because something is calling us or has piqued our interest, it’s really an opportunity to pay attention and listen. Notice the synchronicities. When I had several experiences that lined up, it was a clear invitation to move forward. For me, the call to adventure – my desire – was much stronger than inertia – my regular patterns.
Now we don’t always get the chance to drop everything and travel half-way around the world, but we do often have these windows that open where an invitation presents itself and we have a choice. To take a risk or play it safe and do nothing. I know many people who prefer the status quo, particularly since I used to be one of them. It’s much easier to keep doing the same thing than it is to take a chance on something new.
And we can always choose to step outside our day-to-day and consider a new way of looking at things. We get to decide how we want to live our life and it’s not always either/or. Stay or go. Safety or variety. But think how fun it could be to change things up every once in a while? After this trip, I have more reasons to be open to more opportunities and here’s why.
WHAT I LEARNED…
- Some risks are worth taking. While I had to change my schedule around to make things work, with planning and intention I was able to create more flexibility than I realized would be possible for a meaningful payoff.
- Being away reminded me of the things I truly care about. I love adventures and exploring new things. I love walks in the woods, being by the water, the smell of flowers, healthy food. I don’t do those things often enough in my regular routine, so this trip brought me back to myself. It helped me experience a new culture and immerse myself in a different and more relaxed way of life that I appreciated.
- New scenery shifts your point of view. I was forced to get out of my comfort zone. Multiple times I was stretched by the driving and hiking challenges I faced in seeing different parts of the island. Being surrounded by nature and water helped me to unwind and down-regulate my nervous system. The change of pace broke me out of my default patterns as I realized I’d gotten into a rut.
Changing it up was just the reset that I needed. Where might you need a new point of view? What signs are coming your way that you may be trying to ignore but might have a message for you? Want some encouragement to stretch beyond your safe zone? Reach out to explore what might be possible if you did more of what you really want. I would love to support you!
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