Sometimes we have to get outsides ourselves to explore what’s really going on inside.
I used to be an avid explorer. I’d sign up for a class just to find out more about a subject I didn’t know much about. I was more spontaneous, sometimes getting up early in the morning to take a two or three hour drive somewhere just to see what that place was like.
And, always when you set out to explore one thing, you end up making all kinds of discoveries — some that lead to places you never expected. Serendipity — I always loved that word — those “happy accidents” that happen when you’re looking for something else.
Inward is Good…But
I mentioned last Monday that I’d been going inward a bit. The time comes though when you can get so caught up in your thoughts — twisting them around here and there — going over and over them in your head so that the outcome turns out differently, you become stuck.
Introspection can be enlightening. It’s when that “intro-inspection” turns intrusive that the mind can turn so inward on itself, it stops exploring other options. And that’s never a good thing. Fear, anxiety, depression and anger can replace courage, gratitude, happiness and joy.
Have you ever noticed when you’re going through some kind of shock, trauma or life change in those moments when your brain is trying to comprehend it, you take in the most minute details? A vein in your hand, dust motes in the air, an eyelash on someone’s face, the tick of a clock, a frayed shoelace — your mind is slowing/discovering/exploring at the oddest moments.
We have the ability to notice minute things any time, we just don’t. I think it’s when we begin to consciously explore, we can discover all kinds of wondrous things — inside and outside ourselves.
Some of the greatest art, writing, literature, songs/music and probably even scientific discoveries were created or discovered when the person was going through a major life change — our minds hone in on those tiny details in order for us to take in enormous life-changers and survive them. Tiny little worlds of wonder offer themselves to us. We SEE in those snippets, differently and possibly more intuitively.
Put Up or Shut Up
I’m exploring this week. I’ve signed up for a class. I’m going to go some place different every week and see what I find. Who knows I just may discover what I’m looking for and I don’t even know what that is yet.
But I know exploring what’s outside my front door just may lead to something I never expected and maybe some happy accidents that change lives or at the very least, lead to a fine, fun discovery.
Happy Monday everyone and Happy Exploring. Enjoy a song that Eric Clapton wrote when he was exploring some unrequited love.
What are you exploring this week? What have you set out to explore and found something entirely different than you thought you would?
Good for you Brigitte. I hope you find something better than you even thought possible. I’ve always taken “adventure drives” to discover a new place we’d moved to or shake off the summer blues.
Yes, good for me! I hope so too and those adventure drives are just the ticket, huh? For me it’s the gray-winter-lasting-way-too-long and other stuff blues, but I’ll get there. ;). Thanks, Honie.
Love this Brig! I need to do the same. These details that you describe, the small things that we are so likely to overlook, I think those are the ones that make the best writing. I get caught up in trying to say something big, and then a spider web, or cotton candy sunset will remind me to slow down. I hope your week leads to happy discoveries.
Hi Rachelle, thank you. Maybe it’s just me — I’ll notice (and remember) the weirdest things when I’m going through some kind of change — always have. I hope your week is the same and thanks so much.
I love to explore – drive down a new road I’ve never been on, check out a new hike or ski run and I love learning new things. Right now I’m exploring a new form of photography (at least it’s new to me) – High Dynamic Range Imaging or HDRI for short. It’s very fun and I’m just learning how to do it, but I have a feeling it’s going to change my way of looking at things and how I shoot photos.
I’m glad you’re out exploring and I look forward to hearing about that class. I think you’ll love it!
I do too. I would be a full-time, lifelong student if I could. I love school, loved it the first time I walked in and smelled all those books and the whole environment of learning has always appealed to me. I don’t know how you could get any “better” with your gorgeous photos but I look forward to seeing the new ways in which you display them. And it’s always good to look at things in a new way, yes? ;). Thanks so much, Cathy.
I love this post, Brig! It’s so inspirational. You’ve got me thinking once again. (FYI – Layla is in my top five songs of ALL time.) We have such similar taste in music…
You have zeroed in on something so profound today. I do think we need to get out of ourselves to find pieces of ourselves – yes, indeed. It sounds easier than it is, though. I always picture myself going to some far away orphanage or working in the inner city schools, etc. Obviously those ideas are way too big for me right now – I need to take much smaller bites. Like micro bites of things around me. I like your idea of going to new places each week. I’m always looking for signs and waiting for books to drop on my head at the library – no literally, wouldn’t that be so easy?! haha! Surely God must see that I’m struggling. I need a two by four to knock me upside the head. LOL! Or I can follow your advice and be quietly observant and take one day at a time.
Life is challenging, isn’t it? Even when you are a relatively healthy person with great coping and strong faith, it can still feel overwhelming. I know that your energy is going into very deep places in your soul. I think about you every day. 🙂
I hope you’re having a great start to your Monday. You’ve made mine better with this sweet little offering. Thanks, Brig. xoxo
Ah, Lisa, thank you so much. I know, mine too (song) and I like the original version when he was with Derek and the Dominos. Obviously we know great music, huh? It is difficult. I’ll sometimes begin too much at once and get overwhelmed. I’ve looked at volunteer options around here and they are NUMEROUS. I think baby steps, as you said, is the best way. Just BEGIN — that’s the most difficult part I think. I think, at least for me, it is getting still and hearing that “voice” that tells you do this or don’t do this. Do I sound nuts here??!! Faith is the key I think and that, as you said, is hard to do when you’re going through some life stuff/struggles but it sure feels good to have it and rely on it, doesn’t it? I hope that this week brings you much adventure and that whatever you explore, that voice tells you — Do this, Lisa! Thanks so much, my friend and I so appreciate those thoughts. xxoo
I am discovering HOT YOGA!! Very different and somewhat scary at first! Thanks for inspiring words.
I read that about you, you brave woman. It is different but you seem like a “different” kind of person (in a very good, creative and lovely way) and this may lead you to all kinds of explorations about yourself. Thank YOU, Ruta.
“As the inside, so the outside,” a wise teacher once told me. So, just as you’ve been examining and discovering within, it’s time to bring that forth and examine and discover outside. Have fun, Brigitte. It’s time! xoxoM
Well done! (Standing and clapping) I’ve been in my head for too long and needed this reminder.
Hey D, why thank you! I guess we all get like this. If we can get out of our own heads, maybe we can see all the great things in front of us — just waiting to happen. We just have to start paying more attention.
I love your insight, Brig. And I agree that there’s time for introspection, but it can only last so long before you have to start inviting the world back in. For me, I have plans… to be posted tomorrow! But major life changes ahead and it feels good to be back out in the world.
He RG – always nice to see you here. Sounds as if you’ve been doing a bit yourself lately and yes, getting back into the world is necessary. Thank you and I look forward to hearing about your plans!
Glad to hear you will be venturing outside! I get so stuck at my computer and need to escape more often.
There is actually something that happens with the brain when it is in the same surroundings. It gets lazy and doesn’t process the details. That’s why we can be looking for our car keys on the counter and don’t see them.
When we are in a new situation or like you said, go through some kind of shock, our brain goes into hyper drive.
Love your idea of exploring every day! Have fun!
I didn’t know that but wow that makes so much sense! Our computers are a double-edged sword at times; we are connected to more but sometimes we lose that life-affirming “live” connection. I love when my brain is in hyper-drive. Keeps that “muscle strong”. 😉 thanks Susie.
Tiny little worlds of wonder–love this — I love discovery too and have been much too complacent (where is spell check when you need it) of late — thanks for the awakening — glad you are going on some new adventures
Hey Lou Ann — thanks so much. I’m very guilty of this myself, settling for the status quo so I figured if I signed up for a class and then wrote about it, I’d actually do it. Work is nearly at a standstill so mows a good a time as any. Or maybe EXACTLY the right time, huh? Xo
exactly the right time for so many reasons – you have inspired me (as always)
I suffer from too much intro-inspection. Way too much.
Yesterday my hubs and I decided to get out of the house, we went for a hike and starting talking. We usually will walk in silence, lost in our own thoughts(which is quite peaceful and comforting). He said two observations about me, his wife and friend of almost 25 years that surprised me, one of which came from him reading my blog– he said ” I never realized what a quick wit you had, never knew you were that funny” — so I guess the blog has been somewhat of an exploration for me, and evidently, him. Funny how we bury ourselves in our roles as parents and spouses that you sometimes forget the person.
Happy Exploring Brigitte. I am amazed at your drive and inner strength to always push yourself. You set a great example for us all —
I signed up for golf lessons in May…I’m already second guessing myself. WAY outside my comfort zone (sorry for the long comment)
Audra, you know I think those closest to us don’t always see our inner selves or maybe we just take for granted that they do. You and your hubs enjoying a time like that together, well that’s one of the best times we have,right? Spending moments with someone who GETS you and has been there through the good and bad.
Also funny you say that about your hubby — I knew from the first time I read you, you were deep,witty and a true smartass, wonderful traits that I’d like to think I share. Hubby reads my blog and will make comments such as — you have a gift, will you please finish your book? Im very self-deprecating and need to just get the hell on with it.
Good luck with golf — let me know how it goes! You can comment as LONG as you want here, my friend. Thank you. Xo
Get the hell on with it– summed up beautifully
You know I go back and forth on my blogging– but I guess some good came of it 🙂
I do the same thing. I think we all do. 😉
Wonderful!!! And just when I wanted to crawl up in a ball…yesterday I wanted to rule the world…maybe today I will step out to some unplanned adventure thingy to keep my mind occupied!!! Big interview tomorrow and I need this badly so I’m fretting today. Kudos to your for continuing to sign up for stuff and going out and exploring!!! The Artist’s Way reminds me of this. How she makes you take yourself out on dates. LOVE IT. Let us know of your weekly finds!!!!
Hey Judy, I can so relate about crawling up in a ball and hiding lately. But like you, I have my good days and I’ll send some good stuff — there take those good vibes — the very best to you on your interview. I so hope it works out exactly the way it’s supposed to and for your greatest good. Sounds as if you have everything you need to succeed. Thank you.
awe thanks! You definitely inspired me…I went out and got another interview today. I haven’t worked in a bar for so long…and I don’t know fine details about drinks and stuff and I was quizzed. It sucked. BUT – prepared me for an interview I have tomorrow at a super hot neighborhood spot – I’m going to study up and know my stuff when I go in there tomorrow. It won’t hurt. You rock…thanks for the vibes…here’s some back atcha…
I hope you enjoy your exploration this week! Enjoy the class Brigitte and happy Monday!
Hey Sandee — thank you. Hope you find all kinds of good stuff this week and Happy Monday.
I cannot wait to explore my new neighborhood:) Great Post – thanks for sharing! Happy Monday
That’s ALWAYS fun, Craves and Happy Monday to you.
Sent from Brigitte’s iPad
I don’t do enough of this. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and do the same things over and over again, thereby missing the little treasures and new discoveries that are out there everywhere. That’s probably one of the reasons I love traveling so much. Gets one out of one’s routines and forces exploration.
You have such a gift for putting into words those experiences and feelings so many of us have but don’t think to express. Always a pleasure to read you. 🙂
Carrie, we all get caught up in routines so much sometimes we forget to look at life as full of so many avenues to explore and so many can be right outside our front door. As a writer yourself, you know how much you can explore just by going somewhere and taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a place then trying to bring your interpretation of that experience to life. Challenging and fun, you know?
I love to travel too. When we first moved here, I’d plug something into the GPS and just go. That’s why I’m determined to do that at least once a week. And thank you so much for your very sweet compliment. I’m glad you gained something from reading — that’s the best!
Great post. I think I’ll explore my backyard, tax data (icky…but must explore before Apr 15), and the bag of chocolate covered craisins I picked up over the weekend. I’ll get more daring as the weather warms.
Ha! Char we finished exploring the tax thing! The backyard and chocolate thing sounds like some pretty fine exploration to me. :). thank you.
Excellent! I am inspired and excited. Studies show that humans need variety to feel happy. I’m going to consciously go exploring this week! Oh, and what class are you taking?
One is all about relaxation and meditation and healing. The other is hubby and I taking an Italian language class. I kind of like to “set things in motion” for what I eventually want to do. I’m hoping this springboards a way/journey to a faraway place — Italy. And you are right, we do need variety. Didn’t someone say it’s the spice of life once? 😉 Thanks, Michelle.
Well said. You’ve inspired me. I used to explore all the time but I haven’t gone outside my comfort zone for a while. There are many lovely areas within a 2 hour drive and I have only seen a handful of them. You’ve prompted me to make a decision. Very soon (I would say this weekend but it’s my mum’s birthday so I’ll be home) I will go to see Dylan Thomas’ boathouse in a village called Laugharne (Pronounced ‘larn’ – Welsh words have so many letters!)
Thanks Brigitte 🙂
Hannah, thank you! I’ve seen your beautiful blog with your gorgeous pics and it seems to me you’ve gone outside your comfort zone more than a few times. How I would LOVE to see Dylan Thomas’ boathouse. Loved his poetry and writing! I look forward to reading about this adventure from you and of course, seeing all that beautiful life you capture so well. Thanks so much.
Aw thank you xx
Such true words, Brigitte. I’ve been too introspective recently, which is one of the things I need to work on. Kudos to you for finding your sense of exploration and adventure again!
Hi JM, I know — I’ve been the same way lately and I really need to get out — into the world again. No time like the present, right? Thanks, friend and here’s to some exploring.
I’m so happy to see all this positivity going on, Brigitte. Last week, I was suddenly crippled with doubts and fears about heading to another country for school later this year. But eventually I got over it and really, when am I ever going to have another opportunity to do this again? When I ask myself that question, I almost always end up going for the ‘riskier’ option because if there’s anything I truly dislike, it’s regret. Better to explore the unknown and know that you tried instead of sitting at home, wondering “what if.” Cheers to both of us for more exploration in the near future! 🙂
Thanks, Lillian. I am making a conscious effort to be that way. I too go through that. I think most people do; some are just better are keeping that to themselves. I’m an open book, always have been and it’s easy to spot if I’m upset, happy, etc. I have a feeling that’s the way you are. I’m so glad you decided on the “riskier” option. You are right — the only thing you won’t regret is going for it. This is the PERFECT time in your life to be doing what you’re doing or you wouldn’t be doing it! Good luck and thank you, my friend — cheers to you as well as you begin this new and exciting journey!
I’m glad that you’re healing Brig. I think that it’s great that you’re taking a class, trying something new and moving forward. When it comes to details, I’m always rather observant, but when I’m not doing well, that’s when I’ll miss the forest, the trees and that great shot of a Michigan J. Squirrel in a top hat and tails dancing and singing right in front of me.
Hi V, I am, some days better than others. Thank you for that. And thanks for always being not only very observant, kind and astute yourself but making me laugh and that, is priceless!
I’m glad that my brand of silliness amused you, Ragtime Gal.
Brigitte, that’s a brilliant idea. Exploring for the sake of exploring might get someone out of a rut. It’s easy to get stuck. Sometimes it feels like it would take so much energy to do something new, so I think it’s just a matter of going for it. Great things are accomplished when you’re not sure what you’re trying to do, when your mind is more open to discovery. You make me want to try something different. Great post!
Amy, yep it is a very slow time for me in all sorts of way so I believe it’s the right time to do this. I so hope you’re right. I think/hope there’s all kinds of good “new” in store for me and I’m ready. Thanks so much.
I’m not sure “Layla” is about unrequited love so much as forbidden love. It’s about George Harrison’s wife, whom he eventually married.
Like you, I think introspection is a very good thing. “Know thyself.” However, I don’t think it can be taken too far if it’s healthy introspection. But I agree that getting trapped inside the darkness of your own head is no good.
What was really interesting was your point about how everything is captured in such detail during moments of crisis. I haven’t noticed that, actually–not in those moments. That “clarity” happens to me at strange times, seemingly random times. I’ll have to take stock to see if I can identify when it’s most likely to occur.
I like your idea of learning and doing new things. I don’t explore as much as I should. When I was younger, I drove out to the Mojave a couple times to get my head together. I don’t do that as much these days, but I do love long drives by myself in the car.I’m gonna visit a friend in LA next week. I’m looking forward to that–not only for the chance to see my friend, but also to check out some new dispensaries.
Yeah, I know the Patti Boyd Layla story but actually Eric’s love was unrequited (and forbidden but they ignored the forbidden part) in that he never got to have her entirely for himself. She was a very popular girl.
I think if you think about when something happens, if you really think back, you’ll recall that you remember the weirdest things. At least that’s my experience.
It’s all about learning — all the time. For me, it makes me get a new perspective, be a more contented person and exercising one’s brain keeps it perking along nicely, methinks. Enjoy that drive. I did that myself and sang — very loudly — listening to some very nice tunes. Thanks!
Your blog always makes me feel good about life. I love Layla. Great song choice. I like what you said about observing all of life’s little moments. I usually don’t think about them too much, but it’s nice to just sit and think for a while. Great post!
Thank you Lily. I like just about anything Clapton. Seems to me you’re pretty good at soaking in those small details as evident by your wonderful blog.
Aww you’re sweet. Thanks Brigitte! I saw Clapton in London a couple of year ago. You would’ve loved it!