When it comes to encouraging good mental health and what to talk about, well, the possibilities are endless. And I love talking about anything and everything in the hopes of inspiring some positivity in your lives – whoever you are reading this. It is also a cathartic exercise for myself, it makes me re-evaluate and challenge my relationship with my own mental health and wellness each time.
Flicking through some inspiring quotes and diaries for inspiration of where to lead September’s Monthly Musings, I came across a quote:
“An open mind and an open heart are among the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. When we aren’t limited by preconceptions, judgements, labels, anxiety or fear, we become like birds soaring through never-ending skies. We free ourselves from limitations.”Every Day Matters 2020 Diary, Dani DiPirro
September is a time for us all to “get back to it”, generally speaking. Schools are back, students start or recommence university terms and office workers head back after some sort of Summer holiday period. I appreciate this summer 2020 has been vastly different to those which we have experienced before, but there is still a certain mindset of “getting back to normality” (whatever that looks like to you).
At the same time, I also appreciate that nothing about this lifestyle is normal or “as it was before” and perhaps the very thing we need in order to step forward to enjoy this lifestyle is an open mind.
“Through openness, we can get to know better our strengths and vulnerabilities, create stronger connections with others from all walks of life, develop new and deeper relationships and learn to appreciate the beauty and value in difference.”Dani DiPirro
When we allow our minds, thoughts and souls to be open, we welcome in different thoughts, different perceptions and those which may challenge our own. And in turn, this openness will broaden our horizons and our opportunities with new and often exciting changes.
Change is scary and it is there to challenge us each step of the way, but a lot can be said for stepping outside of our comfort zone.
Welcome change with open arms and thoughts and you can be amazed at all you can learn. We physically open ourselves up to new life experiences when we strip back our preconceptions and lay down our fears. We mentally open ourselves up to challenging but rewarding and positive thoughts. We can similarly spiritually/mindfully open ourselves up to greater powers of intention, manifestation and destiny and dive into our lives without hesitation.
“Openness often leads to better decision-making, a constructive handling of difficult situations, a sense of adventure in a world without limits and the pure joy of welcoming the unexpected.”Dani DiPirro
But day-to-day, how we can practise being more open?
I suppose, the main thing is that openness will look different on all of us, as does health, mindfulness, joy, wellbeing, anger, hurt, joy… we are all unique. The things that challenge us personally will be different, so similarly our fears and preconceptions will vary. That said, the mindset and intention to be open remains the same, whatever we are faced with.
- Be curious: challenge your preconceptions or your current understanding of something and dive in deep. For me, it is food photography and I am throwing myself into learning all I can to improve and gain a better understanding. I’ve been putting it off as I fear it will make me feel inadequate…. Open your mind to constantly learning and accepting that you will never know it all.
- Change it up! I am a lover of routine; it feels safe and it keeps my day flowing nicely. On the flipside, amazing things can happen when we step outside of this and try something new. Instead of making food straight away after work, try going for a walk. Or instead of starting work by 7:30am, trying a gentle Pilates or yoga class and accept that you’ll start work a little alter (from experience, this feels invigorating!)
- Ask around: it is very natural that we form our own ideas, conceptions and thoughts around any given topic. And, if we are never challenged on this stance, we may never see the other half of the picture. It needn’t be anything too “heavy” or “political” but talk to friends and family about something that you are passionate about and see what they have to offer. An open mind is an active one.
- A change of scenery: throughout COVID this year, we have been very limited in where we can go physically. Or have we? While we cannot as easily travel abroad, how about planning a little trip to the bottom of the garden? A walk around the block? Spend some time in another room in the house? When I want to change it up and be inspired, I’ll often change the room that I’m working from, or sit outside for 10 minutes. That said, there’s nothing wrong with making a dream “to visit” list and a lot can be said for a holiday away for opening up our hearts and minds.
- Challenge your fears: as we mentioned above, fear often holds us back from being open. It actually closes off our world and our minds. Figure out what scares you. Write it down and think about the action steps you can take to challenge your fears and be more open to other opinions.
“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”Frank Zappa
Take some time out this month to challenge yourself and keep checking in about how openly you are living your life. Are you accidentally closing yourself off to opportunities, relationships and ambitions? Are you missing out on life? Living life with open intention to explore, challenge and experience to the fullest just may surprise you.
Let me know how you challenge yourself to be live in openness in the comments below and get in touch on social media, too – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!
p.s. find the recipe for these Espresso Cacao Nib Cookie Dough Balls here.