Happy Monday, all of you mavericks! Hope you had a fantastic weekend and that you're ready to take on the week ahead. As I mentioned last week, I started this weekly series every Monday in hopes that by kick-starting our week with some optimism, we’ll all be able to spread more positivity in today’s world and do our part to make it a better place for everyone around us.
I spent a good bit of time this week working on some trips I have coming up-- the first being this weekend (follow along on Instagram stories to see where!) You may remember from my post a few weeks ago that while I came to Chicago because I was ready for a change, I also love what an easy hub this city is for travel (I’m a 30 minute train ride to O’Hare, which is a flight away from just about anywhere in the world!) So as I was working on these said travel plans, a line from Lord Huron’s “End of the Earth" (which I just added to the Monday Mavericks playlist) seemed to scream at me:
The lyrics continue and pose the question: "What good is living the life you’ve been given if all you do is stand in one place?"
You likely don't need me to elaborate to why I couldn't agree with these words more. Traveling and exploring places around the world has been hands-down the most positive influence in my life and I highly encourage everyone do as much of it as they possibly can (I mean, I kind of have an entire blog that's based around this mindset...) But while it's easy for me to jump straight to the importance of travel, I also realized that this idea of "seeing the world" can be applicable to the everyday areas our life- no matter where we are.
Even in the 3 weeks I’ve been here in Chicago, I’ve already found it’s so easy to settle into a routine. I know the schedule at CorePower (a yoga studio I love) and have a handful of classes I go to every week. I know how to get to the nearest Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and Target. I’ve found several great restaurants, coffee shops and juice bars that I already want to go back to. It would be pretty easy to let myself stick to this list day in and day out, because I know I like all of these spots already (and as the proverbial adage says: "If it ain't broke...) But the reason I came to this city was to pursue discovery and get outside of my norm, so sticking to what I already know would not only completely contradict that intention, it would also cause me to miss out on a lot of the great stuff that's out there still waiting to be discovered.
Keeping an open mind like this has lead me to some of my favorite life experiences. Sure, going back to countries I've already visited would make my life way easier because it'd be a breeze to plan, but visiting destinations like Granada or Madeira, where I knew absolutely nothing about (or that they even existed in the first place), turned out to be some of the most incredible adventures that I wouldn't trade for anything. And the only way I got those experiences was because I had a willingness to abandon what I already know and to try something new.
I believe this same practice can be woven into our life day in and day out- even if it's not as grand of an action as booking a trip to Europe. This week, what if you mix up your workout routine and go for a run in a park you've never visited in your city? Or if you try cooking a new meal you've never had before and don't know how to make? Even if you're busy and "have enough friends"- what could happen if you set aside time to actually get coffee with those distant acquaintances like you so often suggest, but never make the time for?
I know it's a lot easier to cook the dish you could make with your eyes closed or to show up to the workout class that fits perfectly into your schedule like clockwork. But:
Unless we're willing to complicate our lives and try things we've never done, we'll continue to get the same things we've always gotten- and while that may work fine, I believe there's a lot more sweetness we can get out of life that's waiting for us just beyond what's comfortable.
This week, let's be conscious and mindful to partake in all the simple opportunities to see the world from a fresh perspective and appreciate it in all its glory as it unfolds around us. Whether it's in nature or yummy food, in Europe or your own backyard, or whatever else that may look for you.
Today I'm headed to coffee in a neighborhood I haven't explored with a person I've never met. What are some ways you're planning to experience discovery and seeing the world with fresh eyes? Tell me in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and for opening your mind to what's possible alongside me! I hope you have a week that's bursting with new, wonderful experiences that make your life a little richer. Until next time...
SUBSCRIBE TO THE MONDAY MAVERICKS PLAYLIST HERE (I ADDED SOME NEW SONGS!)