This week, I’m headed to World Domination Summit in Portland, where I’ll meet 2,999 like-minded people—but, I’m flying sola, which is a thing I don’t do very often. My partner in crime is long distance (or what we like to call “medium distance,” since we’re blessed to see each other so often), and the reasons we have for 95% of our travel are intertwined with seeing each other.
This week, it’s just me. Especially today, before the conference starts, as I write this in a beautiful café in SE Portland—it’s really just me.
A different part of our brain is activated when we’re in a new place wandering around, finding our way by ourselves. It isn’t turned on so easily at home unless we’re highly intentional about it. So often when we’re home, we operate on autopilot.
Even though I appreciate my favorite roasters and restaurants, my watery routine flows purely in the trench etched by repetition—and it requires some swishing around to shift the current.
When I’m traveling with others, I see them as part of my environment, my experience. Sometimes, depending on our level of intimacy, I see things through them. This can be lovely. But, it doesn’t use the part of my brain that lets me think entirely of my own survival, enjoyment and pleasure.
This is my Explorer Mind.
Explorer Mind pulls the eyelids higher, makes the pupils widen with pure, feverish wonder.
Explorer Mind is absorption-ready; it sees everything more evenly, with more latent energy and potential, from colors (of landscapes and people) to alleyways (what would be “dirty” is now checkered with character).
It sees derailments as opportunities, diversions as serendipity.
I feel it in the smallest of things. In making a subway decision; in choosing a place to sit in a park; in catching a friendly eyeball at a bar.
Explorer Mind is the place from which I attract magic. Here’s to diving in (and out).