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Opportunities to Explore

Have you ever sat at the top of a mountain and thought man I need to do this more often? That is exactly how I feel every time I make it out to the mountains. I am really lucky that I live so close to the mountains and get many opportunities to get out and explore. Each time I get out, I come back feeling more centered, more at ease and more alive.

You do not need to escape to the mountains to have opportunities to explore you can explore just about anywhere when you set the intention to. I read in a book once, about how monks go over the same path over and over each day with the intention of being present and noticing the path in the present moment. At first the person in the book learning the monk way thought it was a bit crazy to do the same path over and over but then they realized you are never truly walking the same path twice because things change each and every day if you choose to be present with them. I am not saying your exploring should be the same every time, what I am saying is that sometimes we can see things in a new exploratory way if we choose to.

One thing I like to do with my students is to go outside and slow down and really notice things on the school ground that they may not have noticed before. Each and every time I do this activity the students notice something that I have never noticed before and I have been teaching at that same school for over 13 years. I am always amazed at what they notice when they slow down and area really present.

Have you ever tried to explore in your backyard and really be present to notice things you may not have noticed before? I love doing this in the spring time because it helps me learn to be in the present moment and there are always things that I notice in the spring that I have not noticed before or get to see in a new light. Like a pansy that is growing up in a new space that I didn’t plant before or how I notice the changes in my garden and how the perennials come back a bit different each year. Or what types of insects are present in my yard that I never notice unless slow down to really look. If you have kids I highly recommend just exploring your yard for different insects and seeing if there are any you have not notice before.

Exploring can also be going to places you have not been before in or near where you live. Often we get busy in our lives and do not realize all of the things we can explore in the very place we live. I have a friend who lives in a big city and never goes to the places the tourists go to unless she has friends in town visiting who want to see the city. She often remarks about how she forgets how many things there are to do unless she has someone in visiting to remind her to go do them. Don’t wait for a friend to visit to begin exploring, start now! You have ample opportunities to explore.

I challenge you this week to explore something new, take a new path on your walk, go into a new store, check out something where you live that you would not normally do. Be intentional and creative with your exploring and you will see that when you choose to look there are an abundance of opportunities to explore all around you.

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