Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
— What Not to Wear
Practice spontaneity and try something new every day. Take a different route home, enjoy a new restaurant, try a new iGnite class, or stay up late watching a movie on Monday rather than Friday.
Last week while walking my son Durant, I became overwhelmed by one of THE BEST smells in the world. As I approached Wally’s Burgers on Mesa Drive, the smell took me back to a childhood memory-to a place called Wilburn’s. Wilburn’s was a “greasy burger joint” in Riesel (where I grew up), and there was not a single healthy item on their menu (except for the iceberg lettuce salad, which by the time it was covered in Ranch Dressing and croutons, it actually had negative nutritional value). In addition, smoking inside was perfectly acceptable, and therefore there was always a layer of cigarette smoke, making Wilburn’s a real safety hazard. Despite the heart attack risk, the hamburgers were unbelievably delicious and unforgettable, which is why my mouth watered when I approached Wally’s this last week.
As the smells took me down memory lane, I contemplated when I had eaten my last greasy hamburger, and sadly remembered it was my Junior year in high school. Upon graduating from high school I literally became obsessed with a healthy diet and up until my pregnancy, I deprived myself from indulging and enjoying fatty foods, which included greasy hamburgers. So, as I continued to walk, the smell from Wally’s drove me crazy and I began asking myself the following questions:
- What is the worst thing that will happen if you ate a greasy Wally’s hamburger?
- Why are you afraid of eating a greasy Wally’s hamburger?
- Are you that boring and lack spontaneity so much that you won’t allow yourself one single greasy hamburger?
As I walked and thought about these questions, all of the answers were fear based. For example, I thought, “I’m afraid that if I eat a greasy hamburger I’ll like it so much that I’ll want another… I’m afraid of the fat and calories and fear I’ll gain weight.” Fear, fear, fear! What’s that all about?!?!?
Needless to say, I did not stop and get a greasy hamburger because I felt like at that point in the week I had not calorically earned the right, however I decided I would have one in the very near future. I concluded that while eating a predominately healthy diet is a great goal, there is nothing wrong with having a greasy hamburger once every seventeen years! In fact, that would be a joyful and spontaneous experience for me, and one that would contribute to my enthusiastic life, just like when I indulged Friday morning and snuck away to watch the movie, The Way.
Ironically, The Way (an inspirational must-see) spoke to me like Wally’s. I realize this is a silly analogy, however in essence they both reminded me to shake up my routine and be spontaneous. Just as quoted in The Way, “You don’t choose a life, you live one,” and while cliche, life IS too short to not occasionally enjoy a greasy hamburger! Furthermore and also from The Way, were the words of a female inn keeper who never walked The Camino de Santiago/the Way of St. James. When asked why she had never walked it she said, “When I was young I was too busy, and now that I’m old, I’m too tired.” Honestly, her words knocked my socks off as “too busy and too tired” are excuses that I commonly say.
So, what’s your greasy hamburger? Are you possibly avoiding spontaneity as a result of fear, like me? If you are, then you are in good company and the best news is that becoming spontaneous is no different from developing a strong muscle, increased stamina or flexibility. It simply takes stepping outside of your comfortable shell and practicing. Soon enough, you will crack your protective shell and begin seeing life with a new pair of fearless and enthusiastic eyes. Furthermore, spontaneity, like practicing regular exercise, adds heart beats and energy to your life, and who doesn’t want that?
Therefore, in the spirit of spontaneity, let’s get uncomfortable, messy and try new things. Who knows, maybe you’ll dress up like a dancing trash bag and spontaneously scare your family or neighbors. After all, it is almost Halloween! Enjoy this week’s Weekly Intention Guide for a helpful guide in thinking about new things you can try every day this upcoming week. Also check out the video below and enjoy a hysterical Ellen moment.