My soul is just landing from an epic experience at Wanderlust in Mont Tremblant. Comprising of 6 full days of road tripping, selling studs (Simple Studs specifically), yogic wisdom and movement, meditation, moshing to Nirvana, poutine (of course), encounters with nature, red wine, cheese and bring-you-to-tears laughter – this was a trip I’ll never forget.
I had expectations of how the whole experience would go. I imagined us all hanging out in a large open field with tents set up (most likely memories of 20-something raver days flooding back with nostalgia). I pictured the sun shining brightly with the mountains as a picturesque backdrop as we noshed on organic and healthy meals. With knowing about this trip for a least a month prior, I had a clear picture of how I thought the whole thing would be. And as it often goes when we come along with expectations and assumptions, I was wrong.
The large open field was, in reality, a resort-style environment filled with touristy resto’s and shops. The first couple of days were cloudy and wet. Organic and healthy meals were, for the most part, replaced by over-priced fast food style dining. With every assumption shot down, I realized that I had walked into this whole experience with a bag full of expectations that were just wrong. And it reminded me of how we all approach every experience with our own pair of glasses – our own set of expectations and assumptions of what to expect from people, places and things based on our own personal perspective.
It’s scientific fact that we can change the outcome of any event by simply observing it. Soak that in for a second. By simply witnessing something, we can change how it turns out.
In the case where things weren’t as I anticipated – it was my choice to decide if I wanted to stomp my feet, throw my hands up in the air and declare the trip as a complete write-off for not meeting my expectations, or embrace what was coming up as part of the experience and lean into it. And because I took this trip with 3 other women – each who had come in with their own ideas of how things would roll – I had to take into account that we all had that very same choice and we all saw everything differently. Multiply that with the thousands of other people who were there – locals, tourists unrelated to the event, and Wanderlusters – and all of a sudden, there were thousands of permutations of the same experience. Everyone there had their own idea of what to expect of their time in the mountains and while we were all at the same place, we all saw the entire thing differently.
We all come into every situation with our own outlook. And more often than not, we move through our days unconsciously projecting our ideas, beliefs and hopes onto everything that happens to, and around, us. We interpret things based on how we see the world – our self-imposed limitations, our beliefs in what we can/can’t do, how things ‘should’ be. So how do we open our eyes to the possibilities out there that we might be completely unaware of? How do we see another point of view and take off our own set of personal blinders?
1. Get quiet and get into your body. More often than not, when we’re stuck in our own version of things, it’s difficult to hear what’s really important – the gut instinct stuff beyond the incessant mind chatter. When we can take some time to get quiet, settle down and get into our body, we can begin to tune in to what we really need. Take a deep breath, notice how you’re feeling and just be with it instead of judging it. Allow your thoughts to just be instead of needing to process and re-process everything in your head.
2. Plant yourself in a new place. I’m a huge believer in the magic of vacationing – going somewhere new to recharge and pull yourself out of the ordinary can do wonders for giving you a fresh view of life. But if you can’t find the time to get away, pick a new spot to discover. Explore the city or town you live in as if you were a tourist. Go to a neighbourhood that you don’t often frequent. Notice something new in your own ‘hood. Take yourself out of your routine as a reminder that there’s plenty of world outside the one you live in every day.
3. Throw down your defences in a disagreement. When we disagree with others, we can often be so caught up in our own point of view that we’re more concerned with defending our stance, opinion or behaviour with little or no regard for someone else’s view of the situation. When we’re formulating our defence as someone else is expressing their opinion, we lose the ability to see where they’re coming from. Throw down the need to be right and listen – really listen to where the other person is coming from. You might be surprised to learn that the stuff you’re arguing about isn’t really the issue at all.
4. Recognize your shit but don’t wear it like a badge. When we become acutely aware of what’s really driving us, we can often make excuses for our behaviour. We can justify that we act a certain way towards others in situations because it’s what we grew up with, what our parents taught us, a result of an experience that shaped our way of looking at the world, etc, etc, etc. And while it’s super important to see the root behind our motivations and actions, it’s also super important to make the conscious decision to move beyond all that shit. When we use our past experiences forever as an excuse to treat others with disrespect, never love again, never trust someone, be the Debbie Downer in a group and so on, we defeat the very purpose of recognizing our shit. We need to see the things we do that don’t serve us and make the conscious effort to move beyond it all.
5. Get input from someone you really trust. We often know when we’re being completely blind to a situation and not seeing it in its true light. In these instances, we’re so busy feeling what we’re feeling, reacting in our own ways and not seeing the big picture. When this happens, it can be really helpful to talk to someone we really trust about it – someone who can take an honest look at the situation at hand and uncover our blind spots with love and respect. We all need someone to talk to that we know can show us what we’re afraid to look at.
It all boils down to realizing that we shape our experiences. We choose whether or not to accept the things that come our way. We have the power to make or break our interactions with others and the world around us. So take off your glasses, turn the world upside down and take a look from another perspective.
Much love, XXX