04 April 2010

Opening Our Arms to Life

I have been thinking about how much we gain in life when we open our arms to new people, new experiences, and gain appreciation for new things. It's amazing how much we can learn from other people, whether we have a lot in common with them or not. Anyone who crosses our path can teach us a lesson from their strengths. There is something about them we can learn, appreciate and benefit from. When we are closed off to other people, we miss out on those opportunities.

This weekend I went to a gorgeous museum that was new to me. I'd driven by it for years and years, but making the reservation and getting there provided me with a wonderful new experience. I had no idea what was hidden behind that gated wall. It was food to my soul, a respite, an escape from my worries, duties and chores. The structures were inspiring, the artwork educational and interesting, the outdoor environments gorgeous and refreshing. One phone call and a short drive is all it took to bring this deliciousness to my life.

No matter what town or city in the world you live in, no matter how long you have lived there you can find new corners to investigate. I have been trying this year to check out new places within 2 hours of home. A couple of months ago we checked out a new neighborhood not far from where I once lived. It was fun to walk and wonder, have a great meal at a new spot and adventure through new public outdoor spaces. I have been keeping a mental list of little streets to visit and when we need something to do on a Saturday afternoon for a few hours, these are perfect and inviting new adventures.

Spending time with others and visiting new locations gives one the opportunity to try new things. It might be a food we've never tasted, a new restaurant, a new museum or outdoor adventure. Being open in these moments can bring a great richness to our lives when we find we have new hobbies, new creative opportunities, recreations, and learning we can enjoy. What joy we experience when we are open, willing and ready to increase the breadth of our lives and who we are.

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