Wandering through the world. Roaming. Nowhere to go, nowhere to be, just be. Anything can happen, nothing might happen. No expectations and full trust that something fun will eventually happen. Being completely open to new encounters, to meeting new people and to visiting new places.
New was the word in a time where we could still travel. The excitement of having the freedom of movement, of being alone and yet, feeling so connected with everything and everyone around you.
Embracing a sense of openness, of being challenged again and again to refrain from judging when finding yourself in new situations, seeing different habits or unknown rituals that could not be further from what you consider to be ‘normal’.
The wondering, the excitement and being surprised at countless occasions. The letting go of control, even letting go of the false belief of having control on anything. That sense of uncertainty which hold the seed of happy anticipation and joy. The surprise element that so many of us truly embrace when traveling.
It’s all so boring…
Might it be exactly this sensation that I’m missing right now? Is this yet another danger to the human psyche to watch out for in the ‘era of lockdown’?
There is a new illusion lingering, the illusion of knowing what is coming.
On my daily walks for example.
Ah, my cherished early morning walks, nobody around except for the jogger in yellow, the old lady with her seemingly even older dog: ola, bom dia, keep your distance, wear the mask – let her not freak out again and walk on. Same same, no differences, every day. No surprises.
We are facing this new challenge to wonder the ‘unwonderable’.
Just what we all need, another challenge…
It’s important to fully grasp and acknowledge that there still is so much to be absolutely and utterly surprised and stunned about. Especially if you live anywhere near nature.
The thing is that you need to switch off the comparison mode to your past memory experiences. Yes, that boat trip in Bali was slightly more exciting than the walk to your local supermarket and at the same time, maybe it was not?
Walking up and down the boulevard of Sao Martinho do Porto with not another living human in sight is different than my annual climb of Mount Toubkal in Morocco or hosting 15 yoga retreats a year, sure, it really is different.
Is it less interesting and fascinating though? Yes, no and maybe.
Where’s my nuts?
It is up to us to interpret our experiences.
The Atlantic is different every day. The little birds, sandpipers? , they crack me up every time and make me fantasize subtitles, matching their frantic behaviour.
They remind me of looking at the squirrels in my mom’s garden. Ever since someone told me that squirrels tend to forget where they hide their treasures, I became fascinated by these little creatures. I can so understand their anxious running around. Going nuts over their nuts.
So many goodies in this garden, I know I have them, but where did I hide them???!
The sandpipers show a similar behavior to me, they seem to forget that the water actually gets them wet or something? Enthusiastically and with high-speed running towards the waves, just to fast and furiously run away from it again the second the waves come into shore.
Maybe it’s because I recognize some human (my own…) behavior in it? We run and run towards the things that we think we need, all the things that will make us happy and then once we are in reach, many of us start the self-sabotage. We turn around and run away.
Call it the fear of success or the fear of failure but we all have some genetic squirrel/sandpipery behavior within us. Or, is it just me?
The little things, sandpipers and squirrels
Our excitement to the little things in life is in our own hands. Everything can get boring and at the same time, nothing can ever be boring as nothing is permanent. Everything is literally constantly changing, every single aspect in our lives.
So, if you’re feeling on the low side of the happiness scale, go outside, check out nature and give them all some lines, some subtitles and, smile. And, if you see sandpipers and squirrels, smile even more.
Rachel Bonkink holds a master’s degree in Commercial Sciences and has had a corporate career as an operational director. As a yoga and meditation teacher, Rachel now guides people on her worldwide retreats and online meditation challenges.
Order Rachel’s book on how to bring Yoga philosophy (Yama and Niyama) into your daily life right here: Flex Your Mind, 10 powerful Yoga principles for less stress in a busy world