In my Womenfolk series, the women I’ve spoken to have all sought to explore different dimensions of themselves. One thing they all have in common is their personal evolution. They have gone in search of things that have helped them grow, and evolve. They are explorers.
Our society dictates that we call ourselves something. We are all a bit prone to labels; we want a box to sit in, a pigeon hole to rest in, a safe place to say we fit. I think this is a completely natural thing to seek. Wanting to define yourself and your purpose is important as it helps us navigate the world.
There is a certain freedom that comes from casting off the box though. Allowing yourself to be ‘nothing’, means you can be all the things. We really are an embodiment of all the things.
Defining yourself through how you make money can be so limiting. There is something so inspiring and joyful about being an explorer. By being an explorer you become bigger than the box you are in. You become the rainbow bursting from the sky.
You become all the colours.
My husband has recently taken up learning the piano. He doesn’t call himself a musician, but he’s exploring it. I’ve started experimenting with different mediums in creative work – painting mostly, because I’ve always defaulted to soft pastels, but I’m just exploring; I’m not calling myself an artist. A few months ago, I did some sewing classes – but I’m not a seamstress.
It is the experimentation, the exploration of new things that feeds and builds the the layers and multiple dimensions of the self. If you’re making a cake, you don’t leave out the flour, you include all the ingredients because you know that all the ingredients together makes for a good and tasty cake.
Think about doing that with your self. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try or to experience?
You can do that. Be the explorer. Become the kaleidoscope.
There is something deeply satisfying, and exciting about exploring new things, learning new skills, feeding potential. If you really need a label, something neat to help you feel safer – call yourself an Explorer.
Humans naturally seek growth, but sometimes we get stuck. And that brick on our head, slowing our growth, it eventually becomes too heavy. When that happens, we have two choices – to collapse under the weight of stagnancy, or to cast it off and allow our new-found lightness of being to lead us to things that will help us continue to grow.
While this may sound lofty, there are lots of opportunities for exploration, no matter what your circumstances. Thanks to the inter-webs, the opportunities are endless.
Here are a few resources if fancy a little exploration of your own:
This fabulous resource has online classes for business, food, design, craft, photography, technology, writing and anything in between. You can sign up and pay a subscription, but there are also loads of free classes, if you don’t have any spare cash.
This is a freeform dance session where the lights are turned down. If you’re feeling self conscious but feel like you want to dance, this is a great place to start. It’s cheap and there are sessions all over Australia and New Zealand, and in parts of Europe and America. The NLNL philosophy says: “At the heart of No Lights No Lycra is the belief that everyone can dance. NLNL is a global dance community providing an inclusive and non-judgmental place for people to explore this notion. NLNL brings people together to experience freedom of self-expression and joy.”
I can attest to that freedom and joy as I’ve been to a few sessions. I wrote about my experience at NLNL for Sunday Life magazine. You can read that here, if you’re interested.
If you are feeling a bit more confident, there are dance studios for grown ups everywhere – just google ‘dance studios for grown ups’ and your location, and google will deliver.
With phone cameras getting better and better, more people are interested in developing their photography skills. If it is something that you’ve been thinking about, but feel like school, work, kids or money are barriers, there are ways around this. There are so many free online photography courses. Here’s a link to one that I’m thinking about enrolling in. This one is through RMIT, which is a reputable Melbourne-based university. It’s online and it’s free!
C25K – Couch To Five K
In case you’ve never heard of this, it’s an program designed to help you learn to run, delivered through an app on your phone. The app is free, and the aim of the program is to get you off the couch and running. By the end you’ll be able to run 5km. I am actually doing this program right now. More on that another time, but so far so good.
The program lasts eight weeks, consists of three training sessions a week, of around 30 – 40 minutes duration. You can read more about it here. If you want a real life story, my blogging friend Edie has written about it quite a bit. You can read some of her posts here. But be warned, you will laugh – she is very comical, and then you will probably want to learn to run (if you can’t already).
All the above examples, these are just suggestions. You may hate the idea of all of them, but if your secret ambition is not mentioned, think about a way to try and make it happen.
First things first, call your self an explorer. Say “I am an Explorer” – that’s you giving yourself permission to evolve. To be the rainbow, to be your own kaleidoscope.
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves”
– William Shakespeare
Have you got any plans? I’d love to hear about them. 💕