Last weekend, I flew to Puerto Rico to surprise my sister for her birthday (check out my disguise!). She was vacationing down there with some family and friends to celebrate her big day.
Two weeks prior, I had no plans to go anywhere. Then, my brother presented me with an idea and an opportunity, and after hemming and hawing, I took his advice to stop hemming and hawing, and said, “Hell yeah!”
Now let me make this clear: I am not a spontaneous traveler when it comes to flying somewhere. As someone who takes comfort in control, getting on an airplane is a bit scary for me. OK, maybe more than a bit.
If I’m going to travel somewhere that requires a plane, I need months of planning and preparation (both logistical and emotional). Or so I thought.
By not indulging my anxiety with rumination, and instead, jumping in and saying YES, I instantly felt more alive. Now the few days leading up to departure were another story, but I digress…
After a successful surprise, and a fantastic weekend, I returned home on such a high, and as I settled in more to that feeling, I realized it wasn’t just because I took a whirlwind trip somewhere. It was because I said Yes to life.
Over the past couple of months, I had become pretty isolated, working from home, alone, or occasionally, from a café. I’ve been plugging away, sometimes barely, waiting for life to come to me.
Knowing we are in this area temporarily, I wasn’t very motivated to connect with the community. After my trip, however, I realized how socially starved I’d become and I made commitment to find other places to say Yes to.
On a client call this week, we were talking about being plugged into life and I said, “Remember, it takes two to tango.” After I hung up, I realize I wasn’t meeting life halfway. I had become a wallflower.
Since returning just a few days ago, I’ve attended a small business meetup breakfast, reached out to a woman who was in Puerto Rico with us and happens to live nearby to see if she’d like to walk together sometime (we’re going tomorrow morning), and contacted the local Toastmasters group, and will be attending their open house in a couple of weeks.
I can’t wait to see what unfolds as a result of my action.
Last week, I wrote about the power of the pause, and how taking a moment will help you see where you’re agreeing to things you’d rather not by responding too quickly.
In looking more closely, you may discover that you’re an automatic yes machine to others’ needs and interest, but equally as quick to say “no” to your own.
I recently listened to one of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcasts, and she mentioned that, every day, we are making a choice between curiosity and fear.
Your challenge this week? Choose curiosity.
I’m curious to hear what you think about all this. Share with me in the comments below.
Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.