There is no denying that feeling we get when we go away to a new place for a trip or vacation of some sort. You know the one I am talking about…where you look at trees and actually admire every single branch…where you look at buildings and you take in every curve and facet…where you look at people and actually see the beauty and diversity out there. This is not just that happy-go-lucky relaxed feeling, but one where by taking in new sights, new sounds and new experiences you awaken a higher state of yourself and your senses.
That feeling that is so priceless is too often missing when you are at home in your regular routine. Every morning seems like the other, you get yourself ready, jump in your car, take the same road to work, see the same people at work, come home on the same road, eat one of your usual meals, interact with the same people and watch the same routine shows on TV.
If you live in such a way, you know how quickly life can become mundane, boring and unstimulating. And what is worse is that once those feelings take over, they usually leave us in an unfulfilled state ready to lash out at anyone and sometimes everyone.
One can see that such a way of life is in no way serving our personal being or collective state.
So what can we do? How can we actually tap into the feeling of heightened sense of awareness in our routine environments? And secondly, is it worth the effort – what is the actual benefit of that?
Why and How to See Your Environment Brand New
The benefits of experiencing your environment each day as brand new are countless! Below, are 5 ideas that I feel have the greatest value to our personal and collective states and examples of how to achieve them.
1. Raise Your Consciousness
Looking at life and your usual environment through those “vacation” eyes raises your consciousness. Willingly or not, you become aware of more. All of a sudden gone is the routine, gone is the auto pilot, and with it gone is the numbing unconsciousness.
Your senses guide you to smell, hear, see, feel, taste and sense things that back home would have many times gone unnoticed. This is not a coincidence of just being in a new place. Change stimulates our consciousness. Routine stimulates our unconsciousness.
This is not to say that all routine is bad. It is after all not the place, person or thing we interact with that determines our consciousness, but how we choose to interact with it or them. See, in our home environments, we give the benefit of the doubt to things and people around us. You know the road to your work; you could probably drive it blindfolded. You know how your kids respond to pizza and you know how your boss responds to missed deadlines.
While on vacation however, our days are full of discovering new places and people, etc. Our mind is open to new experiences and our senses hence become elevated. So keeping some routine in your life is fine as long as you also bring into that routine new experiences. For example, look at the cashier that is ringing through your usual groceries and choose to say something nice to them or pick up your kids from school and share something new with them.
Truly there are numerous examples of how to bring in new experiences into your everyday routine, from tiny new thoughts, to spoken words to brave new actions that you thought you would never take. Whatever you choose, every new experience will awaken your senses and heighten you consciousness.
2. Rekindle Your Innocence
Do not be afraid to look up at the sky or at a flying bird each day and get giddy about it. Nature is beautiful. Life is beautiful. And it is only when we look at these through new eyes, like those of a child or a vacationer, with joy and innocence that we allow things, people and experiences to surprise us, astonish us and excite us!
In the average workplace if you quiz most people what color the sky was that morning or if there were clouds and such, most are unable to answer. When most people go for a walk or jog, they move past numerous beautiful trees and plants without giving them two thoughts.
Look out your window when you wake up, look at the sky as you drive, smell your lunch as you eat it and feel your loved one’s face, all as if for the first time and by all means get excited! Let the tastes, smells, sights and sounds awaken and astonish you – after all why should kids only have all the fun. Do not be embarrassed to reclaim your innocence as it can greatly enrich your life experience.
3. Drop Your Judgments
Can you imagine how amazingly it would serve you to walk into a room with a person you have seen, talked to hundreds of times and see them as brand new. This is especially powerful for people you do not perhaps “like” or have a preference for. And you may think “well this works in their favor, so I am just supposed to forget what they did or said to me…”
Well believe it or not, the first person to benefit from this is you. Instead of walking into a room perhaps where your boss is and thinking “I wonder what will tick them off today” walk in and try to look at that person as if you did not know them – without trying to pass any judgments.
The benefit to you is huge – you get to be filled with positive energy instead of negative. Every negative thought is poisonous to not only your inner being, but your physical body as well. It does not serve us one bit.
Now this does not mean subject yourself to perhaps an unpleasant situation, if you know the potential is there for such, but at least stay neutral if you cannot be positive. Remember, everyone has the capability to change and are always changing, so seeing them as if for the first time may make the world of a difference especially to a person who perhaps is trying to rehabilitate themselves in some way.
4. Renew Your Appreciation
Trying to look at your world brand new each day does wonders for your appreciation of your self, your environment and those close to you.
I am sure we can all relate to a family situation where strangers on the street are treated better by us then our loved ones or where we get treated better by strangers than by our loved ones.
It is sad, tragic at times really – but that is what happens when we fall into the rut of routine. Look at your partner each time the way you did when you first met them. Look at your kids each time the way you did when they were first born. Do not hold past words and actions against them, but renew your relationship with them each time you are confronted with them.
This is also most clear if we consider the following example:
Think of how a Brazilian responds to seeing a polar bear in Alaska versus how they respond to seeing a monkey back home. Think of how the Alaskan responds to seeing a monkey in Brazil versus the polar bear back home.
The truth is just because we have seen something or someone numerous times, should not diminish their worth to us and our experience. Just think of when you go on vacation to a new place and you look at everything in awe and appreciate the architecture or the hospitality, etc. Well, you already know how to do it, all you have to do is apply it when you come back home.
5. Increase Your Happiness
Yes, number five is that simple! It is not a coincidence that when we are on vacation we are happier and more relaxed. You may be thinking “Of course not as it is only then that I don’t have to worry about the house, kids, spouse, bills, etc…” Well actually you do not have to worry about them back home either – you simply got in the routine of doing so and for some crazy reason thinking that it gets you somewhere.
If you think about it really, why shouldn’t you worry about the bills not getting paid when you are away? They still exist don’t they? Ah, but on vacation we allow ourselves to forget them most of the time, because we subconsciously know that worrying is not going to change them one bit. So we allow ourselves to have a break. But of course society and routine dictate us once we get back home to stress and worry over the various things in our life.
Well my final piece of advice to you is to start by living one day in your routine environment as if you were on vacation:
Wake up and look around your room as if it were a hotel. Get in your car and explore its features as if it were a rental. Arrive at work, as if it was some vacationer’s convention – okay that might be a stretch, but try it ;) , take a walk and take a look at the plants and perhaps animals in this part of the world. Eat your meal as if tasting a new cuisine. And fall asleep dreaming of all the exciting experiences that await you tomorrow.
Did you notice anything from the above example…living life this way left you no time for worrying. This is not to say at all that you are abandoning all your structural and active thinking. After all you can plan your day, your meal and your social gatherings just as if you were on a trip. It simply leaves out the negatives, the nonsense, the tension and the unease and lets numbers 1 through 4 from above to kick in, leaving you in a happier overall state.
The above ideas really hit home for me every time I come back from vacation or some trip. And each time I increase and strengthen my awareness not just while away, but while living my everyday life. I continue to be inspired to observe the things and people around me and do tasks as if for the first time!
The benefits for my personal state of well being, those around me and our collective world state are not only worth it, but I believe the natural way to live.
So it may not be easy at first, but try to break your unconsciousness-stimulating routine and see it all again…for the first time!