I've been taking the dog for a walk the same exact way for three weeks. I found a nice path and followed the same route every day, three times a day. It was so ingrained in me that I didn't even have to think about it — it would attach the lease and turn right as soon as I left my door. Today, I turned right. I'm not sure exactly what made me turn right, but I essentially reversed my usual course — starting from the end and returning to the beginning. I was dumbfounded about how this simple change of path opened up a whole new perspective for me. All the things I've walked by so many times in one direction, seemed almost completely new approached from reverse. But the most striking change of all, was this affected my mental patterns, too. I had been treading this path so frequently, and in the same way, that my same worries and thinking patterns followed in my shadow each time. But not today. The new path jolted my mind out of its river beds, and flooded the banks. I felt like I had all sorts of new thoughts, new ways of thinking about old worries, new inspirations and sudden new revelations. It was a friendly reminder to me that we often see ourselves in such finite ways — reverting to such finite patterns of thought — thinking the water of our minds can only follow the river bed. And while that might be most efficient most of the time, every once in a while, let the water flood the banks, and overflow into new places, and see what other flowers may grow in that newly watered terrain.
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