A Lifestyle Leadership blog…
It is liberating and terrifying to leave familiar worlds to explore new ones.
Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white. –Mark Jenkins
Change…. whether chosen or chosen for you is not always an easy path. When we lean into change and the often resulting discomfort, we are building new neuropathways. The more we practice our new patterns the less awkward we feel. It’s like going back to the gym after a hiatus and doing a set of dumbbell shoulder presses. The movement is all herky jerky because the neural pathway isn’t deeply set. We’ve been on a break after all and our brains were busy myelinating other pathways, as this one remained dormant and began to dissipate. The more we practice the more we add an insulative coating of myelin that wraps around nerve fibers in our brains. This increased myelin affects the signal strength, speed and accuracy of the electric signals traveling through these nerve fibers. This is why, over time and deep practice, the movement once again becomes fluid and smooth.
The following video accurately highlights the dedication to this fine artform of deep practice. Sit back and enjoy. I guarantee – you’ll love it!
So, back to leaning into change expat style…
Upon first arriving in Bermuda, we learned that taking the written drivers theory exam was something that needed to happen very soon if driving on the island was to be in our future. Add to this, driving on the left side of the road (different from Canada) and also sitting on the right side of the vehicle while driving (again a change) and we had a recipe for a lot of new neuropathways to be developed! Practice, practice, practice and I’m happy to say I am now the proud holder of a Bermudian driver’s licence! You know, it’s taken me about 6 months to truly feel comfortable driving here. A testament to the myelination process for sure!!
Stepping outside our comfort zones and altering our lives in small and large ways is a reminder that we have not reached our full potential and that we are still capable of evolving to higher levels of consciousness. Often times, amongst the chaotic change lie great opportunities for positive growth. The challenge is creating enough calm amidst the chaos to see a clear direction.
Have you ever felt STUCK? Doing something creative and/or simply just going for a walk could be all that is needed to shift the energy. Science says you release compounds such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine when you raise your heart rate. We all know the feeling of increased endorphins after we do something strenuous. Those walks and the resulting elevated endorphins will assist in clearing the fog and from this clarity you’ll be better equipped to focus in on that something creative shifting your energy.
Remember being a kid and going to the doctor for a needle or procedure? Ever have a doctor or nurse tell you something wasn’t going to hurt only to be writhing in pain seconds later? The more you resist the change you need to make, the more it will hurt.
So do yourself a favor. Lean in and start laying down some new myelin.