Life as an On-Going Experiment

08-life-as

Let’s face it. Raccoons are curious and mischievous characters that can be rather delightful. When I saw this photograph, it reminded me of how important it is to not take ourselves and our lives too seriously. (Sincerely, yes, but not seriously.)

One of the more liberating life intentions I adopted many years ago was that of enjoying my life as an on-going experiment. This orientation moves me immediately away from an infectious case of seriousity and into lots of permission — permission “not to know,” permission “to make mistakes,” permission “to learn as I go along,” and permission “to be adventurous.” (Gosh, so much permission!)

It reminds me of the corporate credo of the innovative and wildly successful internet shoe company, Zappos:

“At Zappos, We Think It’s Important For People And The
Company As A Whole To Be Bold And Daring (But Not Reckless).”

“We do not want people to be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. We believe if people aren’t making mistakes, then that means they’re not taking enough risks. Over time, we want everyone to develop his/her gut about business decisions. We want people to develop and improve their decision-making skills. We encourage people to make mistakes as long as they learn from them. We never want to become complacent and accept the status quo just because that’s the way things have always been done. We should always be seeking adventure and having fun exploring new possibilities. By having the freedom to be creative in our solutions, we end up making our own luck. We approach situations and challenges with an open mind.”

This blog has been a fun example of an on-going experiment that’s come to life. I had never created or shared via an internet blog, and was incredibly intimidated by the process at the beginning. I reached out for lots of help and thankfully gave myself lots of space and time to learn all the skills — and to organically discover my unique style and expression. This willingness to simply begin and learn as I go along is a BIG shift for me, as for most of my life I’d often steered clear of stepping into new arenas of expression because the process of learning was very painful for me. Learning something new at the beginning of a project often required more patience, self-support and compassion than I could muster. (I am certainly having much more fun giving myself room to be a dork and fumble around with a new expression that is calling me, and I sure am enjoying crafting and sending out these weekly journals.)

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare;

it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.

~ Seneca

Here’s a poem that speaks to the art of blending courage and playfulness in life as an on-going experiment:

THE GREAT AFFAIR

by Diane Ackerman

The great affair, the love affair with life,
is to live as variously as possible,
to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred,
climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day.

Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding,
and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours,
life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length.

It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery,
but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.

With mischeivous blessings of daring & permission your way,

Gavin

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