Saturday, September 20, 2014

Each Time for the Very First Time

When was the last time you experienced something like a child? Or you experienced something for the 500th time, but it felt like the first time? Whatever your answer is, I'm sure it could be more. When we do something over and over again, say put our feet in grass, it may not feel as fun and interesting as the very first time we did it. Why do babies smile so much? Because everything that is going into their brains is new information. 

I recently saw the movie The Giver, based on the book by the same name by Lois Lowry. It's something I read in high school as well as reread just the week before the movie came out. However, being the visual person that I am, the film moved me to the point of not quickly letting go. 

In the film Jonas experiences joyful experiences for the first time in his life at the age of 12. He is raw and excited, and relinquishes control of his emotions to the moment. I ask again, when's the last time we were able to do that?

Without going into much more detail of the film or book (which is something I could gladly do) I want to take inspiration from Jonas and live my life as if I am him experiencing everything for the first time. The first time he rides a sled down a snowy hill, he feels the chilled wind in his face and is joyful in the moment that he loses control to the slope of the hill. He dances for the first time and experiences laughter, emotional connection, and the overwhelming feeling of love. 

The way we choose to experience things is within our control. We can walk out of our homes and stay within in confines of our own mind and thoughts. Or we can open ourselves up to the entire world around us, taking note of every sound, organic or man made, and experiencing it as a fact of life on Earth. We can shop in a store and choose to view all the colors and feel all the textures of that which is around us. We can experience the people that come into and out of our plane of view, wondering what their feelings are. 

I was recently posed with a life choice that challenged me to choose between my head and my heart. I'd always like to think of myself as a heart person, but I let me head win over in this one. I do think it's for the best. But after this choice I almost felt a shift in me. Whereas I didn't follow my heart on this grand scale, this time, I somehow began to give myself permission to follow my heart on a smaller scale and on a daily basis. For instance the other day on Cascades hill I decided I wanted to roll down it. When I got myself in position and proceeded to let go, I couldn't control my laughter. As I was knocked around by the hill I saw the world spin around me. Once my body came to a stop, even amidst a spinning headache, I still couldn't stop laughing. I experienced true joy. My hope was to experience that like Jonas probably would. I succeeded.