Experience gives us the tests first and the lesson later.
– Naomi Judd
Our experiences shape the way we view not only ourselves, but the world around us. We have two choices: let our life experiences define who we are, or defining our life for ourselves by choosing our experiences.
When we choose to simply react to events, we may find we have a more negative view. When we are mindful and present in our actions and thoughts, our view tends to be more positive and optimistic.
Here is a scenario: you are driving in the car, going to run an errand but not in a time crunch of any sort. Next thing you know, the car in the lane next to you swerves into your lane, cutting you off. You react with profane language and raising your voice; the anger bubbling up from the inside.
You can also react with a deep breath, a reminder that you are still safe, and the thought that they probably just didn’t see you in their blind spot.
What does each of these reactions about the same experience bring?
The first brings stress, anxiety, and the possibility of letting this little event ruin your day.
The second brings the breath, understanding, and compassion.
How would you say you normally react?
Experience covers a broad range of subjects. From books, to travel, to meeting new people, trying new things, and most important of all – making mistakes. A yoga teacher of mine once said during a balancing portion of class, “It is completely okay to fall out of a pose; it means you are pushing yourself past your comfort zone.”
When we choose our experiences as ones that push ourselves past our comfort zone, we grow. We grow through hardship and sometimes failure.
Think back to a time you experienced personal growth. Did it come easy or did it come about through the discomfort, perseverance, and sometimes complete and utter failure of the goal you had originally set?
This category of my blog is meant to bring my life experience to share with you. Books I’ve read, articles I like, places I’ve explored, conversations I’ve had, and my failures that I have grown from. The discomfort of the new and unknown of life brings challenges and new experiences.
The only constant in life is change. We can either choose our experiences and our attitudes, or we can let the road bumps of life control us.