Saturday, April 13, 2013

Health and Expression: Be Like the Potato

What can you do with a potato? You can mash it, you can bake it, or you can fry it. There are tater tots, hash browns, potato pancakes, french fries, potato chips, potatoes au gratin, and so on as far as the delicious potato dishes available. We too can be like the potato. How do I mean?

The potato has one personality--of being a potato. But within that form, there are a variety of expressions possible from a potato. There are tons of different angles depending on how it's served. Humans are more complex than a potato, but we can sometimes forget that in each individual the personality has different colors and varieties to it. We can be tempted to jump into one setting or mode of being because we are used to it and we are under the impression that others are used to it too.

Imagine what happens if you spend an extended amount of time in a new country. Say France. No one knows you at first. You are "?" as far as they, and in some ways you, are concerned. This is a freshly new territory to you and you don't have habits tailored to this new environment yet. So you try a few new things out here and there. It's slow at first. You learn the language. You use it and find that there are new ways of expressing yourself with this language.

You try out some new styles of the land, eat some foods you've never eaten, hear some music that's quite foreign to you. You learn that you're funny in a new way, maybe touched by different feelings, maybe dreaming new dreams.

You're still like a potato--as in, you're still you. But now you've seen new sides of your personality come out because you weren't fixed to being just one way. You couldn't do the same stuff anyway--everything was too new and unfamiliar.

Even though we can't always travel to new places and have this experience, this example shows you how it's possible to bring out different sides of the personality by stretching your horizons out a bit. This can be a physical stretching like what happens in new environments and new situations, but it can also be an internal stretching brought on by you to step out of your comfort zone.

It's like traveling to a new territory within your personality. You'll never know what you'll find there, what adventures lie in store, and what treasures you'll uncover until you go. It takes some courage, and some curiosity. And maybe afterward you'll see that you're facing challenges in a new way that is enhanced by your traveling. Go ahead and try it--be like the potato and mash it up a bit...

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