If you’re not sure what Conscious Mindsets are about, visit Conscious Mindsets, Part One.
Conscious Mindset #2 — The Tourist
When we visit a new place, our minds are open to all the new sights and sounds and experiences around us. If we visit Mexico, for instance, we might be delighted by palm trees, coconuts on the shore, strange bugs, the food, and the people. We’ll visit shops, observe architecture, or go to educational programs.
Of course, when we live somewhere for a time, we start to be less amazed by our surroundings. This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle, because as we stop looking around us, we begin to create ruts, whereby we travel the same routes all the time and seldom deviate from our habits. Soon our environment can seem boring, because we’re always seeing the same places, the same people, and the same things.
To create the Tourist mindset, consider that everything is always changing. We might think that the drive into town looks the same as it did yesterday, but in actuality it’s quite different. Begin to imagine that you are a tourist in your own town or in the natural areas you frequent. Even, if you like, in your own home! Try some of the restaurants you’ve never bothered to go into, visit some shops you’ve always ignored, talk to some of the ‘locals’. Look on bulletin boards to find out what community activities are happening, and see if you can observe your surroundings as if you’re beholding them for the first time. When we do this, we are often surprised at the wondrous things all around us — things we ignored because we had adopted habitual patterns of observation.
— Affirm each morning that you want to intentionally hold this mindset using the following thoughts —
I’ve just arrived here in this foreign country, and I’ve never seen any of this before. I’m excited to experience and observe all the new things, people, and places that this country has to offer.
Thinking like this helps us experience the world from a fresh perspective, and helps to rescue us from our tendency to develop a sort of tunnel-vision that largely prevents us from engaging with our surroundings.
It helps even more to do this with a friend, child, or partner, who can point out things that you miss. At the end of the day, share your experiences, or if you like, keep a journal and take some photos to record all the things you experience. Take a moment to notice how much richer your experience is when you approach everything from a fresh perspective.
Developing This Mindset
With a little practice, we can permanently incorporate a sort of Tourist mindset. By observing the amazing changes that take place around us all the time — in our environment, in other people, and even in ourselves — we can begin to understand change, and become amazed at everyday phenomena. As this grows in us, we start to find wonder in raindrops, in clouds, in the way our fingers can move over a keyboard and communicate thoughts and feelings to people on the other side of the planet. Living life in amazement opens our hearts to every moment, and gives us a true passion for living.