At the moment, I am really big on the concept of change and trying new things. I am a strong believer that you cannot grow as a person without change and development. A large part of my decision to move to New York from Adelaide was because life in Adelaide was too easy. I craved uncertainty (rare for me!), instability and wanted to get out of my comfort zone.
Unfortunately, once we find a stable existence once more, it is all too easy to fall back in to the routine and myriad of old habits. Staying in at night becomes all too easy. The couch beckons or a good book next to bed calls your name. Experiences, however, particular life-enriching ones, do not happen inside the home. In a city like New York, where no one spends any time in their apartments, life is lived outside – in bars, restaurants, live music venues, theatres, parks and on the streets generally. It is only in these places that one can truly connect with their fellow human and indulge in the pleasures of life.
I am guilty lately of taking the easy route. Of staying home, staying in, being solitary and shutting myself away. While this time by myself has been peaceful and healing, I know deep down that I am missing out on the richness of this city. I am missing the nightlife, the people and that connection that I truly crave.
In light of that, my mantra this week is to just show up. Even when I don’t feel like it. Even when the last thing I want to do is socialise or go to a noisy bar late at night. Every time I go against my grain and do this, I come home feeling so much more fulfilled, content and excited. I meet new people, have interesting conversations and experience new ideas.
The mantra of ‘showing up’ doesn’t have to just apply to social events though. You can apply it in your life to any area you want to improve. I find it works particularly well with exercise – when you really don’t want to workout, just lacing up your shoes and getting out the door with the promise you will do only 5 minutes of exercise often will mean you end up doing more anyway. As a bonus, you reap all the rewards of exercise and you feel much better about doing so when you get home. Or just show up at the gym with the promise you will buy yourself a yummy smoothie there. I bet you end up doing at least a little bit of exercise.
Applying this mantra to your life guarantees you will find yourself in new situations, meet new people and enrich your life generally. Next time you are considering staying home, re-think your decision and contemplate what you could be missing out on. It may just give you that push to get out the door and show up.