Possibility (noun): a chance that something might exist, happen or be true.
I am lucky to have been given a glimpse of what life could look like when you open yourself up to possibility. What I mean by this is – staying open. Staying open and seeing what happens, seeing who or what crosses your path, seeing places and spaces and discovering things that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
When I moved to the city of Toronto for a brief period of my life, I had a choice – either let fear of the unknown hold me hostage in my little apartment, or I could show up and stay open. I chose the latter. It was a choice I had to make repeatedly, day in and day out, and some days I didn’t make it out of my apartment (or my head, for that matter). But I strove to choose courage over comfort more days than not, and that made all the difference.
Staying open is more of a mental practice.
It’s an internal shift that happens when we consciously decide to allow life to surprise us, that allows us to receive the gifts and opportunities put in our path that we so often miss because we’re not paying attention.
But there is a physical aspect of this as well –
putting yourself out there, stepping out into the world, either literally or figuratively. It could be as simple as taking walks in the neighbourhood, or saying hello to someone new; or it could look like applying for your dream job, volunteering, starting a business or sharing your art with the world.
Of course we aren’t necessarily going to find something profound every time. Sometimes there will be little or nothing; we apply for the job and never hear back, or we share a piece of our hearts on the internet and nobody responds.
But, most times, staying open is not about the big things.
It’s about finding the threads of joy and hope that connect us as humans – dazzling sunsets, the laughter of children, a new favourite song, a conversation about life and God with a friend.
It’s making eye contact with strangers and being given the subtle reminder that I, too, exist in this time and space; that for this brief moment, we are a part of each other’s worlds
The reminder that living, and feeling alive, and wanting more for life, comes true not in hiding ourselves away in our rooms, but in stepping out into the world, and being open to what we might find
That, at the very core – it comes down to our willingness to participate in life, to follow our dreams and curiosities and desires, no matter how small.
It comes down to courage. There are no two ways about it.
“Life expands in proportion to your courage” — Anais Nin.
I’ve seen the truth of this in my own life. When I have the courage to take action and move forward, life feels so much more expansive. The possibilities open up and life becomes so much bigger than my worries and anxieties. It reminds me too, that when life starts to feel small again, maybe it’s time to do something brave, to take a step out of my comfort zone.
Maybe sometimes all life requires is that we stay open. Maybe things pass us by because we don’t believe they exist or because they don’t look the way we envisioned in our minds. Life is uncertain, but that also just means it’s full of possibility.
I admit that staying open is not the easy choice.
In fact, for a lot of us it’s easier to stay closed off most of the time. But it’s something I strive to remind myself of often: stay open.
Because you never know.
You never know where joy is hiding.
You never know where you’ll find it next.