Thursday, January 29, 2009

February is almost here.


I thought I would make a suggestion for a February challenge. For the next 30 days and that means starting today, do something every day that will take you out of your comfort zone.
Little things like driving on a different street when you are out in your car.
See or rent a movie you think isn't really you and give it a try.
In the book, Life is a Verb, Patti Digh suggests that if you listen to classical music that you just try listening to hip-hop. Read a magazine you would probably never pick up. Read Jennifer Finney Boylan's, She's Not There or Jamison Green's, Becoming a Visible Man, to learn what it's like to be a transgender person. Pick up Dawn Prince-Hughes's, Songs of the Gorilla Nation, to learn about what it's like to be a person with autism.
And, the one suggestion she makes that I love the most........Ask respectful questions about the differences you see around you using the opening phrase, Help me understand....______________.
The phrase help me understand indicates a desire for something beyond judgement and even beyond curiosity, something at a deeper level.
I used that phrase in Peru a lot. People made eye contact with me as they explained what they thought I needed to understand. It was an amazing connection.
As Patti Digh says, "Experiencing the world of others doesn't imply agreement or adoption of their way of being in the world, but it does require openness."
So, here's my challenge for myself and for whomever wants to give it a shot.
Try respectful curiosity for the next 30 days. Try to do something new, different, unusual or ask to understand something and see how it shifts you out of your comfort zone.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, on this challenge, please feel free to leave a comment and thanks for stopping by.

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