“experience is the teacher of all things” ~ Julius Caesar
Can’t argue that.
The definition of experience from Wikipedia: is the knowledge or mastery of an event or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.
What are some of your greatest experiences so far? You likely have a few that pop into your mind right away, maybe something recent, or something from when you were a kid. These are most likely fun, or special times, maybe a wedding, birth of a child, a great party, completing a marathon. Do you get revved up just thinking about potential new experiences? This is your life right, and, no brainer, you want it to be awesome. Full of great experiences. Really really great experiences. This is living. It’s learning. Obviously not all experiences are pleasant. They can be brutally hard, gut wrenching, and seemingly debilitating. These are important in your life too. How do you handle the really tough experiences? These hard times are a part of your growth. Good thing they can also be the exact opposite of bad. The awesome ‘woop woop’ and ‘yahoo!’ good times that everyone loves. We learn from every single experience. And it’s how we handle these experiences that helps shape who we are. On the inside. You would not be who you are today if it weren’t for all of the experiences in your life to date.
I recently had one of the greatest experiences ever. I’ll have to write another blog all about it. One of my bffs asked me to join her on a running trip to Spain. I think I laughed and said something like ‘oh that would be great, but I can’t’. 3 kids, new business, bad timing, blah blah blah. That was that. But then there was this little flicker in me that wouldn’t go away. I read a lot, and I believe it was Liz Gilbert in her book Big Magic, that said to always be curious, especially if there’s a teeny tiny flicker. Any flicker. So I paid attention. I called my friend up and said I was in :). And I am so glad I did! I’d always wanted to go to Spain, and here was an opportunity. Sure the timing wasn’t ideal, but that’s just how life is, right? It all worked out. I’m an over thinker (yes I am well aware that some of you reading this are totally rolling your eyeballs right now…) and I love to look at past experiences and figure out what I ‘got’ from them, what I learned, or try to figure out what the hell I was supposed to learn. Because sometimes things just happen and leave you wondering WTF. And sometimes those things are not figureoutable for years. But at some point, you will figure it out. You will understand. If you try to figure everything out immediately, well, speaking from experience, sometimes the more you try to figure something out as its happening….it will elude you. Some things need to be left alone for awhile, and not overthought. I learned a lot from my running trip to Spain. It was an epic ‘living in the moment’ trip for me. It was impossible to not live in the moment, which was awesome. And on the flight home I told myself that that experience was a MUST REPEAT experience. So good for the soul.
Think about some experiences that are common for you - hmmm, lets say exercise (I know, it always comes back to exercise!). Every time you work out, go for a run, a hike, a bike ride, whatever it is that makes you sweat, these are experiences that have a positive affect on you. Maybe you go out for a 5 or 15 km run - your mind is happy, your body is happy, and your soul is happy - you are likely to repeat this. Why? Because it was a positive experience and you have learned that exercise works in your favour - you feel good when you exercise. And then when you don’t exercise, you soon figure out that you don’t feel as good. Back to exercising :). See how that works? Experience IS the teacher of all things. Embrace your life, and all the things that happen along the way. All of your experiences are like little puzzles pieces that get put together to make a beautiful picture. Of you. And YOU are awesome.