If you let go of the idea that you’re supposed to have all the answers, life can become a lot more interesting and fun. Here are a few ways to cultivate a beginner’s mind.
- Say: “I don’t know”
How many times have you nodded your head knowingly when someone made a reference to something you actually didn’t know about at all? As adults, we put a lot of energy into appearing to be savvy and knowlegdeable, but you’ll learn much more if you’re willing to say: “Oh, what’s that?”.
- Do just one thing at a time
Do you walk down the stairs while talking on your cell phone and pulling on your coat? It’s efficient, but is also means that you’re doing each of those activities mindlessly. Try to only walk down the stairs when you’re walking down the stairs. Take each step separately and bring your attention to each step. If you’re pulling on your coat, do it slowly, pulling one arm into each sleeve at a time, feeling each hand slipping through the cuff. Listen to the zipper as it zips. It sounds silly, but you’ll feel like you’re having a new experience just by doing things very deliberately.
- Sit down, lie down
When was the last time you sat on the floor of your living room, rather than on the couch? Or when did you last let yourself lie down on the grass? Putting ourselves in a different physical position than we’re used to can often reorient our mind, too. And if we get down low, we can sometimes experience life through the eyes of a child. Explore different spaces in and around your home and see how it feels to experience things form a different vantage point. Give yourself five to ten minutes to be in that space and really notice what’s around you.
*These tips can also be found in Issue 6.
Text Nina Siegal Illustration Deborah van der Schaaf