It is the season for roaming. The days are long, there is abundant sunshine; school is out and vacation time is taken from work; snowmelt fills the mountain streams and beaches are sizzling. This time of year always calls to mind one of our most-loved mantras: roam free.
Though it’s the season for physical wanderings, there is another realm to wander in: your mind.
When we think about roaming, we usually consider our bodies moving though the world, but our minds roam as well. What thoughts, ideas or opinions run through your head during the day? Have you ever stopped to pay attention to what your mind is ‘telling’ you? Have you pushed your mind to explore new concepts?
The gang at the Jenni Earle Ranch chatted about mental wandering months ago while we discussed what we wanted to bring to our journal audience (you!). Never did we imagine what mental (and emotional) wilderness we would experience this summer with the controversial political decisions of last month. Roaming implies a mystery to the destination: you are not sure where exactly you are going, but you know you will go far and deep into the landscape.
But not having a destination does not mean that you are not intentional. Roaming is about the journey and ultimately purpose is found in the destinations that reveal themselves along the way.
Roaming inherently holds the word ‘expanse’ within it: you must explore the great expanse of your mind, you must allow your thoughts to be expansive, big, and free.
This can manifest in many ways: expand your mind to learn a new skill like finally taking that accounting class for your entrepreneurial dreams. Or maybe roaming free in your mind means letting yourself dream about new possibilities like changing your job, buying a house, or making that first appointment with a therapist.
The kind of mental roaming that seems to be in the air right now is a wandering that confronts opposing perspectives. Households, businesses, friends, families—heck this entire country—is divided on many intense issues right now. We are all wanderers, in some form or fashion, and we can’t pretend that we won’t bump into each other now and then. Letting your mind wander into the world of people you don’t understand can be expansive: you might expand your opinions, you might deepen your beliefs and still disagree with those people, you might end up increasing your knowledge of a topic which will empower you to make a change, or take action.
Perhaps we ought to roam into the territory of those that we disagree with, and see what our minds discover. You are free to roam, and within your mind, the possibilities are endless.