Greeting All New Experiences With Curiosity
This World Wide Presence Tour (WWPT) has taken me into new realms from the moment I left home.
As you all may know, I am committed to learning more about how to be present in my environment no matter what it brings.
This is not an easy practice to cultivate, as the human brain and all our past experiences form an internal committee in our heads and nervous systems that are hell-bent on protecting us at all costs by limiting our activities. It saved our ancestors from being eaten by tigers. However, today it means we often miss out on wonderful experiences that are available.
This Inner Committee – as I like to call the chorus in my head – keeps trying to shout, “Watch out!” Or, “Don’t even think about that – it would be too much for you.” Or, “That is simply wrong – it is not good enough.” Or, “If you do that everyone will SEE you and heaven only knows what judgment that will bring.”Or, “That’s sure to be painful!”
You get the idea. So…in being fully present in each moment there is the requirement that I greet each new experience with curiosity, or an openness to discovery. In light of that, what do we do with this limiting Inner Committee?
Here’s what I have worked out. The Inner Committee can chant softly in the background, or ideally not speak at all. They know they are simply NOT allowed to control my experience. I call this “sending them to the back of the bus” and letting my full self be in the drivers seat. (Healing From the Core skills come in mighty handy here.)
SO…the new experiences started almost immediately on this tour, particularly in the realm of food – a basic primal response is elicited here in many of us when we try to venture beyond what is familiar.
AND…As many of you know I am gluten and dairy free. So I have in the past been very cautious about eating unidentified foods.
Yes, I know. I have enzymes that can help me in an emergency (which are in my pocket all the time now).
Yes, I know, every food holds many possible ingredients that cannot be seen if I did not prepare it…but I have chosen to be adventurous for this tour. I have not knowingly chosen anything with wheat or dairy, but in the Japanese and Chinese culture there are many foods I still can eat if I steer clear of a few basic categories like fried foods and pastries (think Dim Sum).
On the ANA flight from Tokyo to Guangzhou I was brought this beautifully prepared Japanese dinner most of which I could not identify (the rice, ginger and miso soup were all I recognized):
The flight attendant patiently explained what each thing was, and she was able to say, rice, fish, vegetable or fruit. But beyond that….well…she simply did not have the English to explain the ingredients.
So, I began to explore with curiosity. Some of it I liked. Some of it I would NEVER have tried (jellied fish – ew!) But I did try it this time… And I can now proudly say that most of this tray was eaten by the time she returned. (Okay, the jellied fish was not gone but I tasted it. And the pancake thing was not eaten as it was obviously a baked good) And some things I would NEVER have tasted were phenomenal. (Who knew that little formed round white wheel was a delicious vegetable of some kind? HA!)
The exploration process has continued here in China. No adverse effects and lots of fabulous, interesting food. My taste buds are waking up!
It is never too late to step into each present moment with curiosity and greet what arrives.
Remember to have healthy boundaries and stay in right relationship with your body and what it needs.
However, don’t slam the door on that new guest too quickly – you may be missing out on something marvelous.