The Startup
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The Startup

Have Routines Gotten You Into a Rut?

Infuse curiosity into your days and open up a world of possibilities!

What I like most about traveling is exploring the place in which I’ve just arrived. I get up early and walk randomly around the streets, before they get too crowded, and get a feel for the city. My process is simple: go out and let my curiosity take me where I need to be.

If I look down a street and the building at the end of it seems interesting, I follow my curiosity. If beautiful flowers are adorning a Juliette balcony and they catch my eye, I go and take a closer look. I explore, being fully present in the moment.

Today I’m in Dijon, France. And that is exactly what I did. I followed my curiosity. On the streets here, little bronze owl markers point the way to noteworthy sites. So, in addition to my intuition, I’ve got these cute owls helping me out. They hook my attention and pique my curiosity too.

Experiencing life this way feels really good.

In general, I’m living my life this way, more and more every day. I allow my inner sense to guide my steps. But busyness has a way of blocking my instincts and closing me off from seeing new opportunities. And, recently, I’ve been quite busy.

Taking this mini-vacation has created an awareness in me. I need to be more intentional and give myself quiet time each morning, and throughout the day, to reconnect to this inner sense and anchor myself to my curiosity.

What helps me be in a state where I can hear and follow my intuition is the novelty of being someplace new or doing something different. On vacation, all the sights, sounds, and smells are new. My senses are awash. At my home here in France, though it’s very different from what I’d called home in the US, life has become normal again. I’ve gotten into a busy work schedule. This focuses me, and I’m productive; however, often routine creates a barrier, blocking my ability to tap into my intuition. The range of what I think and do is limited by what I’m no longer sensing.

As I write this, I’m at a cafe steps away from Dijon’s Notre Dame Church. Even though I’m focused on writing, I can’t help but be pulled into the events happening on the street in front of me.

Amandine, a blond-haired toddler, is dressed in green culottes and a pink top that spills out underneath her navy jacket. Atop her head sits a straw hat with an orange sash. She is playing as she walks along the step in front of one store’s entrance on the other side of the street. She comes to the end and down to street level she lands. Then there is another store with a step, this time much narrower and she has to balance herself to keep from falling. She does this at each store she comes to as her mother and older brother gleefully watch as she masters her balance beam walk.

But I digress.

Being able to see the freshness of life every day would help bring me to this state of presence. I could be more intentional each morning before my mind starts to itemize the business of the day. Taking this step would be a great way to infuse freshness into my life every day. To do this, I think I’ll begin my days by asking myself the following question, as soon as I awake: “What am I failing to notice that would give me a fresher, more curious perspective?” Then I will get quiet and sense the answers. This method will help me enter my day from a more expansive vantage point and open up new possibilities.

There are so many things with which we occupy our time. The question is are they the right things? Maybe. Maybe not. But whichever is the case, mindfulness can help you discern what is right for you.

I am getting ready to explore more of Dijon. But before I do, I want to leave you with two questions that can help bring more mindfulness into your days: What daily habit could you start that would create a sense of curiosity and exploration (like when you are on vacation) into your everyday life? What holds you back from developing this habit and taking action on it?

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