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welcome, surprise!

These long July days and abundant sunshine beckon us to leave home and dive into summer. It’s almost as if the light helps us see. We’re more inclined to get together with friends and family. We can’t help but look forward to scheduled dinners and outings. But be sure to keep an openness to what’s not on our calendars, too. The best of connecting—whether with ourselves or others—often occurs in the spontaneous, unexpected moments. You’ll feel so good when you get into the practice of listening to the voice that dares to suggest an alternative.

To hear this voice, we have to be present. While being present sounds simple, it asks that we not think about the past (what went wrong, what we wish we’d done, you name it) or the future (what’s for dinner?). Children are often our best role models. They thrive in the present and think nothing of asking for the urgent playground visit or ice cream cone. Even if it’s 9 a.m.

The whim doesn’t have to be grand, either. The simplest detour can be just the re-set we need. Taking the back road home to admire the cows grazing in the green meadow. Asking the neighbors to pop over for dinner. Picking up the guitar and singing at the top of your lungs. Anything to get out of our routine is soul food.

And spontaneity has some added benefits, according to the folks at LifeDev, a blog that encourages individual growth. Expect the unexpected to help you:

  • keep your mind sharp. When we weave unknowns into our daily lives, they grab our attention and keep us alert.

  • feel ease. The more we welcome unexpected situations, the less stress we carry through the rest of the day.

  • lift your spirits. A small dose of surprise can be just the tonic for a dull day. The spur-of-the-moment can quickly lift a funk.

So, what do you say? How about listening to the child and going to get that early morning ice cream? You know how refreshing it'll taste.


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