Exploration – How To Keep Your Sense Of Wonder
October 19, 2017 Joyoga / in Yoga Blogby

In this week’s classes we’re working with the concept of EXPLORATION, the act of searching for, (re-) discovering or exploring information, resources or something new.

I personally believe the very basis of a desire to explore is a strong foundation, an unshakeable trust, curiosity, courage and an open mind along with an open heart.

Whilst this applies to many situations and circumstances in life, the practice of yoga offers us a gift to explore and express the crux of it: our spirit, the deepest part of ourselves and the very centre of our being.

Spirituality – or yoga, in case this is a little too out there for you – refers to one’s search for a sense of meaning and connection through fulfilling relationships between oneself, other people and the whole of existence.

That, of course, always changes. There is always something new to discover and learn. Why else would we come back to our mat again and again and still get something out of it?

“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”

― Ansel Adams

How to keep your sense of wonder

Like with everything in life, it’s so easy to get bored and move into autopilot. One minute, things seem mundane or even as they have come to a halt. However, then new opportunities and discoveries can present themselves quite unexpectedly and we realise that nothing ever is the same. We just mustn’t lose our sense of wonder.

The reality is, each day is new and every morning when we get up we have absolutely no idea how the next 24 hours will unfold in front of us. Each day we are explorers of something new that we have not experienced before.

For example, the other morning while driving down to the ferry, I realised I forgot my mobile phone at home. First, I was stressing out and responding like an ego mind would respond: For God’s sake, how could I forget my phone? I’m so not grounded today. Why am I not grounded? I really should be grounded. I’m going to miss the ferry. I’m going to be late. Of all the things, that’s the last one I needed. Do I really need my phone today?

Any other day I would have embraced this as a phone-free day, however it turns out I needed my phone that morning. So, I paused and said to myself: Hang on, this is interesting. Let’s see what happens from here.

I took a detour back home and explored an area I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Yes, I missed the ferry, but I bumped into an old friend of mine on the ferry after who I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. In fact, everything I explored that morning was completely unexpected – I discovered something new.

Nothing ever happens by chance. It’s our job to observe each situation and location as if we have not seen it before. It’s our job to note and observe patterns, focusing on all the things that happen around us. It’s our job to listen, feel, see and be here.

If you do so, I promise you that, you will never lose your sense of wonder.

Now, how does that relate to yoga?

Well, it all comes down to awareness and consciousness. There are people in this world who are sceptic towards the idea of mediation or connecting to something greater than that little ego mind. And don’t get me wrong – I get it. I really do. Sometimes I wish I would have never opened myself up to that. Because then I could still live an ignorant and seemingly pain-free life.

However, at some point I did choose to open up. So now I need to recognise what’s there and I can’t go back anymore. In the world we live in, the world I live in, there is always something to explore – whether that’s my body, my emotions, my relationships or my environment.

For me personally, the  best way to do that is yoga. I’m not saying that must be true for everyone – find something that works for you. Some of the things I recommend in your daily life routine include walking, running, yoga, surfing, meditation, singing, dancing, writing, reading, painting or caring for others. All of that can be a spiritual practice.

The point is, approach it with curiosity and an open mind every time. Even if it’s the one-thousandth Downward-Facing Dog you’re coming into – how does it feel today? How is the articulation of your spine? How do your shoulders feel? The back of your legs? What are the sensations in your mind?

I’ve been choosing a regular practice of some kind for many years now. Rightfully so, you may think: Don’t you get bored? No, in fact, I don’t. Ever.

A day has 24 hours. A week has 168 hours and, according to Google, 10,080 minutes. I show up on my mat (the beach, ocean or whatever) with a different mood every time. So let’s say, I have about 3,000 different experiences every week. How could I possibly get bored of that?

Keep an explorer’s mind – curious, open and observant. If you do, I promise you that one thing: it will never get boring. In the world we live in there is always one more thing to explore and to learn.

As always, I hope it goes well for you this week. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

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