Thank you for exploring my website and welcome to my blog. I’ve never written for a blog before so, it seems fitting that the topic of this first entry is about trying new things, and especially, trying new things you’re not sure you’ll like. Starting this blog is not my only first today. I was introduced to a website of free yoga classes online. I’ve been struggling with stress lately and I’ve tried every tool in my toolkit; none of them worked. I tried a hot relaxing bath, some stretching, deep breathing, a mindfulness exercise, exercise, going for a walk, watching some mindless tv, reading a book, cleaning. As you can see I didn’t just try one thing and give up, I tried lots of things, but still, none of them reduced my stress to what I’d call a manageable level. So, I was open to suggestions and primed to try new things by my strong desire to alleviate my pain.
There were a ton of videos to choose from. Do Yoga With Me has hundreds of videos, and I haven’t done yoga since a one semester course during my undergrad. I guess I was turned off then by the whole “be a tree in the wind.” It didn’t suit my mindset or where I was in my life. But, here I was with a problem and willing to open up to the possibilities that even something I used to think was somewhat silly, might help. What did I have to lose? Another 20 minutes of sitting around stressed? So I picked one that was so completely out of my realm of experience – kundalini yoga. The woman in the video was dressed all in white with a feather-light blue shawl draped around her shoulders. She had a soft, kind voice, and a look like she lives and breathes yoga. I put my assumptions and notions to one side and dove in for whatever experience I was about to have.
There was some talk of chakras and connecting to infinity that I vaguely understood, but not enough to be rightfully opinionated about it. I decided this experience would best serve me at face value and without judgment. So I went through the whole video and at the base of it was breathe control, settling into silence, and some light stretching. I found the whole thing quite calming.
What made this experiment work was that I went in open minded – just to try it out. And crucially, I set my evaluative mind aside for the time being and went in like a naturalist, observing my surroundings and collecting data without evaluating it until it’s done. By setting it up as a test that I didn’t have to like or dislike, I was able to gather some real information. And last, I ignored the temptation of all or nothing. I was able to walk away from this new experience taking what worked and leaving the rest behind.
If you’re faced with a problem and none of your tools are working, see if you can’t be open to trying something new, or something strange. Some part of the experience just might help.