Open-mindedness 

Be open to new experiences  

Always keep open the possibility to experience something new and keep in mind that new experiences can counter old ones.

For the umpteenth time you stroll through the woods, for the umpteenth time you ride your bike to school or work. Everything is already known. Suddenly, you notice that the light falls through the leaves or the high grass of a meadow in a special way or that the colours are different and of a special intensity. You suddenly smell an unknown fragrance. Te fact that you notice this makes you happy and relaxed and that happiness and relaxation are reflected in your body: you smile, there is a sense of freedom in your head, you breathe more freely, you walk or cycle more upright. You wonder what's so special and you realise that first you were less observant, that you were inside yourself. You notice your previous seclusion. There is wonder and amazement at what you perceived, you have opened your soul to the world outside you. You have been open-minded, but that needed a special observation.

The aim of this exercise is that you stimulate open-mindedness. The more knowledge and skills you have, the harder it is to be unbiased, the less you are open to new impressions. You have already made many judgements and many patterns have formed in your thinking and your actions. Imprisonment of your mind may be the result, i.e. something or someone is simply this or that and you think it will remain so forever. You're not alert to changes. Habit determines your reaction in certain situations and to certain people.

To practice open-mindedness, you must open your senses and hold your judgements back. You want to see the world with different eyes and become full of expectation about everything around you. You try to listen to new experiences. You discover things that you did not notice before. Your attention is greater and the result is that the world is expressed in your inner self. You must not deny your already acquired knowledge, on the contrary, you should build on it, and enrich it.

Helpful when practicing, is an attitude of inquiring interest and curiosity. The result is growing amazement and wonder: there are always new observations. Along with these, new questions arise.

This exercise is a combination of thinking and willing. The component of thinking consists of a great openness to new observations, keeping your judgements back, letting events speak for themselves. The component of willing is that you engage everything with confidence, assume that you can change every day and that there is always something new to be discovered.

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© Heirs Tom van Gelder - Stichting AntroVista