Yesterday I woke up with a strong urge to get out of town.
I really wanted to go to the beach, but I'd stayed out late the night before and I was feeling the weight of it. Driving for two hours over and down through the Santa Cruz mountains did not seem like the most sound idea. But I could not ignore this urge to just throw a sweater in a bag and go. I could stop for coffee along the way if I needed, and naps at the beach are the best.
As the sun continued to come up more and the day warmed I knew I had to go. We have had some glorious and much needed rain here, but it has left me missing the sun and spending time outside. So I threw my stuff into a tote, filled my travel mug with coffee and motivated myself right into the car.
Once I was at the beach I was so glad. I couldn't imagine having spent the day at home, lounging inside. This felt right. And the fact that I hadn't planned it, and I had just gone also felt right. I often forget how important it is to let a day unfold without plans or expectations, living in the moment and letting myself be surprised along the way. It always makes me feel so open, and I can feel how that openness is an attraction point for other new things.
There are times when I feel like my life is on a bit of a loop. I do my work, I go for a run, I go to yoga, and it isn't always on a set schedule, but I'm most certainly circling around the same locations and events week in and week out. Once I got to Santa Cruz I picked a burger place near the beach. I'd never been to this one before, and it was refreshing to step into a totally new place, know nothing about it, expect nothing, and enjoy the feeling of the unknown.
After I hung around the beach for awhile (and took that much needed nap) I decided to head over to the boardwalk. I wanted to grab some of their food, which is never healthy but always reminds me of fun times and happy memories. Once there I was surprised to see the boardwalk flooded with thousands of people, which is unusual for this time of year. It was then that I realized they were doing a clam chowder cook off.
For only $10 I got a testing set, which includes the cup, spoon, six tickets and a people's choice ballot. You could choose any six booths you want to sample and then vote on which ever one you felt was the best. I love clam chowder, and I was thrilled to have stumbled upon this event. I found out later this is the largest and longest running clam chowder cook off in the country - what a lucky find!
Going from booth to booth, tasting the delicious soup, feeling the excitement of competition and mingling with the other happy patrons was the best part of the day. Had I not made the spontaneous decision to go to the beach, I would have missed out on this fantastic event.
And this is why it's important to be spontaneous - you have no idea what or who is going to show up when you deviate from your normal loop. You never know what magic you will come across. And that feeling of being happy and receptive is the best place you can get into in order to welcome all kinds of other things into your life. If your energy is like an antenna, receiving things on the channel you are set to, feeling happy, open and free is going to bring in other things that make you feel happy, open and free.
If you are feeling stuck in a rut, like nothing good or interesting ever shows up, then find a way to break your routine. Driving for two hours to the beach isn't always possible, but changing course in small ways can work just as well. Cook something you normally wouldn't. Say hello to a stranger. Change your hair. And remember, there are infinite possibilities happening at all times, and the more you engage in the free flow of life, the more you will see how true this is.