- Robert Kirk Donaldson, LMFT
Have you ever travelled to a city, state, or country that you’d never been to before? What was the feeling you had when you stepped into that place for the first time, knowing that you were about to have a brand new experience? Maybe you felt a rush of excitement, eager to bolt out and explore. Or perhaps for you, like many, change is challenging and you found yourself feeling apprehensive about venturing into the unknown. Either way, I’m guessing you were more present and aware of each moment in that new place than you generally are when living the familiar surroundings and routines of your daily life.
It’s easy to get entrenched in our routines and not notice our moment to moment experiences as they happen. Sometimes our days and weeks might blur together with nothing specific or exciting that stands out in our memory when we reflect back on our past week, month, or even year.
What if you could have a sense of newness and adventure everyday, experiencing your life as if you were traveling through an unknown land? It is possible. Quite literally, each day, each moment we experience, is totally new. We are navigating our way through unique, once in a lifetime experiences with each breath we take. The problem is we often don't notice. We think we know what will happen in the next few moments. We imagine that we know what to expect Monday morning, Tuesday morning, etc. Often our guess about the future is accurate. Sometimes it's not. And while we're in our minds busy guessing and thinking, the reality of life rolls by.
As a psychotherapist I have helped hundreds of people learn how to better engage with the routine moments of their lives. I’ve discovered some common threads, both from my own experiences and from the many life stories I've had the privilege to hear. One thing I have noticed is how easily people can lose touch with the present moment. They are not anchored in the moment. They are not experiencing joy and a sense of adventure on a regular basis. They don’t feel like their life has meaning or that they are serving a larger purpose. Joy, adventure, meaning, and purpose spring from being present in our lives.
By coming back into our lives, into the moment to moment reality of being human here on Earth, we begin to experience the thrill that each moment truly is an adventure into the unknown, no matter how entrenched in routine we may be.