Everything starts with a blank canvas
I once lived in a place that I had no idea what was going on. Upon first sight I couldn’t help but feel unimpressed, ambivalent and generally disappointed. The strange thing was that I had made the calculated decision to actually move there and give it a go. There was never that dread feeling of ‘good God what the hell have I done’ nor cursing myself for making the decision in the first place. Instead it was more like well here we are Stu, another adventure and another fresh start.
As I gazed out of the window and looked at the surroundings (although not impressive or inspiring awe in any way) I distinctly remember the feeling of a complete blank canvas being before me. I didn’t really have any expectations or any definite plan other than to find somewhere to sleep that night and what the local beer was going to taste like. After dumping my stuff I headed out to have a look around. Then I had the second occurrence of a feeling that it quite amazing. I had this feeling that I knew I was going to be there, that I would call it home. There was nothing really awesome to see, just the crowded streets and busy roads with millions of scooters. The weird thing was that I celebrated this feeling with what actually was the last time I had a MacDonald’s – that was 7 years ago now and I’m still proud of that! I ended up finding my feet and staying there for quite a long time.
So what’s the point to all this? I guess its an event in my life that I always remember and always think about when something new comes up. Expectations are a natural circumstance of any event, you can try and not think about it but you always will. With a bit of introspection, I find you can train yourself to switch it off and actually approach new situations without any preconceptions as to the what, where, when why etc. What you have is in effect, a complete blank canvas in which to create your own phenomenology. Sometimes that can’t always be the case as turning off your brain in certain situations is impossible and lets face it, sometimes against your personality. However, that doesn’t mean to say that when there are too many variables to consider and your pre-conceptions are limited due to the lack of experience, it actually is possible.
The here and now shapes what we do and how we experience life. By dragging too many of our preconceived thoughts and experiences, are we actually creating our environment based on what we already know – or think we know? A always precedes B, water is always wet and the sky is always blue. Being hot does not make you sleep well, all women act the same and all men are bastards. Really? I certainly don’t think so. Things can change, people can change. The idea about the canvas being blank allows you to really start again, fresh and from the beginning. Its like experiencing snow for the first time or the feeling of being totally comfortable with who you are in a crowded room.
There’s nothing to spoil what you are about to experience or make things happen the way you completely expect them to happen. Everything happens in a new way and because of it, you become a new person free from everything that you once were. No barriers, no negative thoughts, no dissonance just a complete new experience.
Letting go and feeling something happen around you that you’re not in control of is totally liberating. When was the last time you experienced something for the first time? Everyday – you just have to let it all happen.