Recently, a friend of mine (who happens to be a beautiful, funny, and all around amazing gal) invited me to a Bikram Yoga class. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a rather difficult type of yoga done in a room that’s 105 degrees. In other words, it’s a form of self-torture. Yet, as part of my philosophy of always being willing to try new stuff, I went to the class. I must have lost 10 pounds in sweat during the one-hour class. However, after the torture was done, I felt fabulous. In fact, now I’m a regular…and the benefits to my body are already very clear.
The reason I’m sharing this story is to talk about the importance of trying new stuff. As we get older, it’s easy to fall into routines, ruts, and grooves. Unfortunately, the only difference between a groove and a grave is a couple of feet! Taking the chance to try a new hobby, a new spiritual practice, or even a new type of food allows you to grow and change at an accelerated rate. Had I not tried that first yoga class, I would have potentially missed out on a valuable new addition to my life.
Where in your life have you fallen into comfortable routines that no longer serve you? Perhaps in your job, your marriage, or in how you take care of your body? I believe people are like sharks—if they’re not moving forward, they’re slowly dying. Therefore, it’s critical that we occasionally re-evaluate our routines and see if they are still working for us. It’s also important that we periodically try out new stuff just to see if it might be a valuable addition to our lives.
On a related note, yesterday I ran into a friend at a store in town. I had not seen this friend in a couple of months. I asked her how she was doing, and it was clear she was doing very poorly. The church she had been going to for twenty years was slowly shunning her. She was miserable. I asked her, “Why don’t you try some other church? After all, the purpose of a church is to help you find inner peace.” She responded, “I couldn’t do that; I’ve been going to this church for over twenty years.”
My friend was making a classic mistake. She was holding onto a past that wasn’t working for her because she was afraid to embrace an unknown future. Yet, I believe our first commitment needs to be to finding peace, joy, and love—not to continuing with jobs, churches, or outdated beliefs that no longer serve us. This can be challenging to do, but the alternative is to stay with a comfortable but ultimately deadening past.
So, I encourage you to be willing to try new stuff this week. Look at the various areas of your life and ask, “Is this still working for me, or is it time for a change?” If it seems like it could be valuable to try something new, then take action—even if it’s just a small action. Life is always asking us to move forward. It’s best to be willing to move with the ever-moving stream of Life…