It happened today as I got off the 5 train. Among a bunch of people going about their days’ was a person (I’m almost 100% sure she was a tourist) posing for a picture looking extatic to be on an NYC subway platform. Witnessing this got me thinking about ways in which we could keep that special kind of “tourist enthusiasm” and excitement around for everyday activities, like commuting.
When we travel, we strive to get the full experience of being in a foreign land. There is something enchanting about doing the things that locals do (like take public transportation) and going to the places that locals go to. We find splendor in their “regular” things. Yet, when we visit those places, there is something (besides for any language difference) that separates us from the bunch, and makes it easy for anyone to label us a *tourist* - and that is our excitement! And the same is true for our own "tourist radar." Chances are you can sense if someone is a tourist right off the bat.
So I leave you with this question: What would our days look like if we were as excited as the girl I saw on the subway platform today, about life, and our everyday experiences? If we approach the things we do every day like it's the first time we are doing them, with a tourist's sense of wonder.
I will be trying to bring my "tourist enthusiam" along everyday , and I encourage you to do the same! And keep in mind the marker for success - To be mistaken for a tourist! I hope I am, and I hope you are too!
Photo Source: New York Daily News
I decided recently that I wanted to make an extra effort to really “be” with the people I’m with, to cherish our time together, and be fully present with them.
The more I thought about this, the more I realized how many places this idea is applicable. It’s important to be with ourselves, the people around us, our feelings, our emotions, and our experiences – fully and completely, and a part of that is accepting them, as they are.
What does being entail?
We don't need to learn to be. Being is something we are. It is an ability that resides within us all, though sometimes it can get lost between the hustle and bustle of life. So if we want to be, we need to think about returning to our natural state of being, where we can be fully present with ourselves, our feelings, and our people, as well as accepting all just as it is in that moment.
Why practice being?
By being with people around us, as they share their experiences with us, we convey empathy, they feel understood, and the connection between us and them gets strengthened.
How to practice being
Places to start
When you wake up in the morning
Before going to bed
Meals with friends and family
(This list is just the beginning for where I’m choosing to start this practice. I’d love to hear where you plan to start!)
Finding inspiration in unlikely places has turned into quite a hobby for me. And although I love finding it in places I expect it, there is a magic in finding it when I don’t. For example, today, I woke up thinking about all the things I wanted to accomplish. I felt like I was somehow already behind, in a race that had just begun.
I then decided to go for a walk. And there, on the side of the road was this mini garbage truck, with some words of advice for me. When I saw it, I felt like it was telling me, “Today, slow down to get around. Don’t think of this day as a race, rather take your time, and take it all in.”
My takeaway from this is that if we can teach ourselves to slow down when we feel like we have a lot to do - which is hard, since at these times, there is usually a voice in our heads' telling us to "hurry up!!!" - we can enjoy the things we need to do and "get around" with more ease.
I will be adding this garbage truck's teachings to my to-do lists this week, since I know that when I look at it, I'll need its reminder. Try coming up with places that you feel like you would need this reminder, and place it there! Some ideas: In a phone memo, on a post it on your desk, by your bed...
Today, this garbage truck was my teacher. I thank it for it’s lesson - as it changed the course of my day. May it change the course of your's as well.