Do you remember how to be spontaneous? Or, is your life so overly scheduled that you can’t recall the last time you did something just for the fun of it? As a business owner, wife, and mom, my days are busy. I wake up in the morning to an alarm and my days are often managed by my google calendar. I have a coaching client who recently shared with me (and I’m sharing with her permission) that although she wants to learn to play the guitar, she can’t seem to ever find the time to pick it up and practice. She shared that the setting needs to be right for her to play and so the only time she finds herself practicing is when it’s scheduled into her day (often after the kids are in bed and everything on her to do list is accomplished). During this conversation, I wondered aloud; what would it take for you to spontaneously pick up the guitar and just play for a few minutes? Instead of grabbing another load of laundry or unloading the dishwasher - could you put that on hold for a few minutes and do something for yourself instead? If we are always living by our schedules and not tuning in to what is important to us, we might lose sight of those things after awhile. If we are always waiting for the perfect time, place, or environment, we might be waiting forever before we accomplish that goal we’ve set out for ourselves or that life experience we’ve always wanted to have. In the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, she shares her story of picking up and moving to three different foreign countries to be reminded of what it is like to experience a life of spontaneity. She shared that while in Italy she was introduced to the concept of La Dolce Vita, (the sweet life) and the art of doing nothing. As an Italian I loved reading about this way of life and as a yogi fully embrace the philosophy that sometimes we need to stop what we are doing and check in with ourselves to feel centered, whole and in alignment with what is important to us. In order to experience the sweetness of our lives, we need to be in command of our schedules and not the other way around. Think about it for a moment… when was the last time you did something just for the fun of it? Just because you felt like doing it? Not because it was planned or scheduled into your day. How does it feel when you let go of all the constraints we’ve created and allow yourself to be free of a schedule and demands on your time and energy? For the last few years I’ve hosted yoga retreats in Mexico that typically last seven days. Each year I am in awe of how many people tell me they could never take a break from their busy lives for that long and that it would be impossible to organize their lives enough to do so. I’m also in awe of the transformational experience I get to witness in the people who do choose to take seven days for themselves in this way. As the days go by you can see the stress and tension begin to unwind from their bodies and minds. They have no where to be or nothing they have to do and I get to watch them relish in the lack of decision making that they are afforded. What do they tell me they love best about the yoga retreats? That they have no schedule they are required to abide by and that their biggest decisions typically revolve around whether they should read by the pool or on the beach. They are afforded the time to be spontaneous and decide, from moment to moment, what it is that would bring them the most peace and joy. My biggest wish for them (and for myself, to be honest) as they board the plane to go home, is that they will be able to keep some of the unplanned fun in their lives. Better yet - that their friends, families, and colleagues will watch them choose spontaneity over schedules every once in awhile and be inspired to try it out themselves.
How can you insert more spontaneity into your life? I challenge you to give it a try... “To be more childlike, you don’t have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being in full awe and wonder at this magnificent universe. ~Wayne Dyer