We could all stand to learn a little something from that seemingly naive yellow haired girl from the familiar childhood story of Goldilocks and the three bears.
A young girl goes for a walk in the woods. Which I applaud. She soon, however, realizes that she is lost and finds herself wandering by an empty cabin. She then proceeds to enter and try out each of the three occupants chairs, breakfasts and beds. Only to find when she wakes up, that the home belongs to three bears. She slightly overreacts, given the fact that it was she who made herself at home, and dashes away without so much as a thank you.
Now, I know, it’s easy to sympathize. She is a young girl who not only stepped out of her comfort zone
, but she burst the whole comfort bubble wide open. The best part of the story is that she is really doing an experiment as to what suits her best by good old-fashioned trial and error.
So what are these lessons our young adventuress had laid out for us?
1. Go outside. Go explore. It really isn’t dangerous. Get informed and know your surroundings. It is okay to get lost every once in a while.
Some seriously amazing things happen to the brain when we spend even just 20 minutes a day outside, engaged. According to a Rochester University study
, it actually makes us feel more alive. Whether we are walking in the woods, weeding the garden or climbing a mountain. Just get outside.
2. Be open. Don’t always assume the worst. We are taught to be so fearful. Rather than buying into fear, allow yourself to be vulnerable. You may be surprised.
Throw caution to the wind. I have dismissed any notion of security at times by pushing the comfort level boundaries and it is in those moments I have been rewarded or I have found myself crying and alone. I know that sounds dismal but is in those moments that I am reminded that people really are inherently good.
3. We need to learn our preferences. It usually takes figuring what it is that we do not want, to understand what it is that we do want. It is a life long process. Enjoy it.
I know that not everything works out. There are times when we are completely kicked on our ass. I mean that figuratively…luckily. When that happens we are left with two options. We can allow those instances, that take up one percent of our time, to negatively affect our entire outlook, by shading our vision and lowering our expectations. We could allow that one percent to make us cynical and jaded.
Or, and this is a big or. We can allow those adverse (sometimes borderline and sometimes downright catastrophic) moments to help carve our ideal. Allow them to shape our inspiration in life. We can use those moments to find what it is we want. The gist of this is that we can use that one percent for good. We can use that one percent to gain wisdom.
I now know that I wouldn’t wish to be at any other point. I have lived over the last decade and I am excited about the next. Partly because I find myself wiser after the ups and the downs of my twenties, yes I do know there will be more. Yet, I know myself better because of the trial and error, so I don’t seem to mind as much. I have learned to enjoy the process. Because sometimes things have to be too hot or too cold, they have to be too hard or too soft, before you find the path that is just right.
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Assistant Editor: Morgan Webert / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Elephant Journal Media Library