Moving to a new place where you don’t know a soul, don’t know what the weather will do, and don’t know where to buy stuff is a lot like riding a new, fresh horse. Or, it’s like being on a balance board. It’s a delicate balance of energy and thought processes,
Friends say ‘how adventurous!’ and, indeed, it’s adventurous and fun. But along with the curiosity and excitement, there is fear and self-doubt. Those negative feelings sit on the back porch of my brain. Most days, they knock to come in. I wave – which is to say, I acknowledge them – and move on.
It dawned on me one day as I was repairing fence that what I feel is precisely the alert state of mind described in the BestHorsePractices article on optimal learning. It’s midway between relaxed and panicked. It’s out of the comfort zone, as the article explained.
Interesting things happen out of the comfort zone as I meet people, explore new territory, and ask questions:
— My eyes and ears are more open.
— My attitude is inquisitive.
— When your windows face wilderness, do you draw the curtains?
— When you get lonely, do you have longer conversations with animals and with yourself?
— Do you wonder what strangers and acquaintances really think of you?
I tend to call friends and family more often. When I call, I pace around the mostly empty house, trying not to hear the echo of my voice.
I have conversations with people working cash registers, with fellow coffee drinkers at a local café, with the UPS guy. I ask their names and try to commit them to memory for the next time. I extend myself.
- Putting an energetic horse into a long trot
- Doing big turns in an open field with this same horse
- Reminding the horse that a one-rein stop is still there.
- It’s singing and smiling while galloping.
These are all exercises I use to relax and connect.
Do you have some of these ?
Do you “extend yourself”?