Be Open

Marbled Tulip Since the beginning of the year, I've been operating under the banner, "BE OPEN." It wasn't so much a New Year's resolution as it was a shift in attitude--a decision to make a concerted effort to act upon ideas that, to me, seemed daunting or scary or downright nuts and to do so WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS and WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. It's that last part that is the hardest for me. I lean toward grand expectations. I have a tendency to judge. I know it's not good for me and yet I do it anyway. Sort of how I deal with a bag of Lay's potato chips--I know I shouldn't eat the whole thing and then I do. Some habits are just too salty-good hard to break.

On the surface, these ideas may not seem as intimidating or wacky as I make them out to be, and, in fact, when I share them with other people they usually elicit excited words of encouragement and support. But deep down, when I take my first steps in acting upon these ideas, I am a swirling mess of self-doubt of apocalyptic proportion. I just KNOW they are going to fail or backfire or disappoint or they suddenly become stupid ideas to begin with--which then sends me into a "I CAN'T DO THIS! WHO DO I THINK I AM?!" tailspin that usually involves a lot of sulking accompanied by aforementioned bag of Lay's potato chips. I needed something to take the edge off, preferably something non-salty and low-cal. A mantra of sorts seemed a good fit.

Without trying to sound too dramatic (but it's going to sound that way anyway), these simple two words, BE OPEN, have brought me nothing but good fortune, fascinating opportunities, and exciting experiences. I'm not saying my life has been a constant surge of uplifting moments and boundless luck with an Aaron Copeland score playing in the background, but I am saying that when the worrywart and pessimist in me rears their ugly heads, BE OPEN is the tool I use to stuff them back into their jack-in-the-boxes. It has allowed me to move forward with not only confidence, but with joy as well. I actually look forward to doing "scary" and "downright nutty" things on a daily basis now.

In all honesty, I knew if I stopped judging myself and my ideas and stopped boxing things in with expectations, there would be a positive change in my life. But what I didn't expect, and why I am talking about it now (yes, I'm finally getting to the point of this post), is BE OPEN has also contributed to a delightful BURST of CURIOSITY and UNINHIBITED EXPLORATION. I'm not sure why these two have been a little quiet around me the past year but right now, I feel like I'm four-years-old again and the whole world is new to me. The multiple mes in my head are constantly talking: "Hey, look at that!" "I wonder if I did this..." "Huh, what's going on here?" "Oh, that's different...and so beautiful!" "Let's try this and see what happens."

Nothing bolsters creativity like curiosity. No one is more interesting to be around than someone who is receptive. BE OPEN is fueling new ideas and taking old ones to new levels. It's exposing me to new encounters with interesting people and building deeper relationships with those already in my circle. It's forcing me to see new ways of doing old things and giving me new opportunities to consider.

I'm on a roll with only a vague idea of where I'm heading...and I couldn't be happier.