Inspired Guest Post - Caiti from Life is a Canvas

New Eyes

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. (Marcel Proust)

First of all, I want to thank Kaileen for the opportunity to guest post for her! I am so excited to be here today. My name is Caiti, and I blog at Life is a Canvas.

On the Life is a Canvas blog, I explore all the ways that we can celebrate creativity in our daily lives -- not only through artistic pursuits like art, graphic design, crafting and writing, but also by infusing creativity into everyday activities like cooking, interacting with friends, our jobs, where we choose to shop, and the way we present ourselves to the world. I am committed to the notion that we are the artists for our lives, and I know that I want to create a life full of color, vibrancy, passion, exploration, and authenticity.

When Kaileen shared that she was facing a number of amazing life changes including a new apartment with her mister in a new city, I was so excited for her! It's such an wonderful time full of new possibilities and experiences. Kaileen's big move made me realize that after three years in my current residence, my longest time in one location since high school, I'm feeling a bit wanderlust-y and itchy to move onto the next chapter in my life.

Maybe you've felt something like this, too-- just a little too comfortable with your surroundings, finding yourself pining away for somewhere else or longing for something outside your life to bring back the spark.

But, as Marcel Proust so astutely articulated, it doesn't always take a physical move to freshen our perspective. It can be as simple as looking at your life with new eyes and seeking out what have may previously been hidden by familiarity.

Here are a few ideas for how you can freshen up your routine and fall in love with your home and your town all over again--no new landscapes required:

1. Venture off course. How often do we fall into the same routines-- driving the same route to work, going to the same restaurants? You never know what will happen if you chart into new territory. Sometimes something as simple as going to a new grocery store has the potential to inspire you with new ingredients, and a different route to work could lead you past a restaurant your never even knew was there.

2. Rearrange what you have. In the most literal sense, simply give your furniture a shuffle to bring new life to a room. Some people may call this feng shui, but I just think it's refreshing. In a broader sense, you can also rearrange the way you move through your week. Try going to the gym at a different time of the day, or stop in to the cafe for a nightcap instead of your morning joe. Places take on totally different vibes at different times of the day, and you're likely to cross paths with neighbors, employees and patrons that you might not have otherwise.

3. Simplify. It's really amazing that getting rid of the "stuff" actually makes your life feel fuller because you are left with only the things that truly matter. Plus, it's just plain nice to free up some extra space. Ridding yourself of those extra belongings that have gathered in corners can make a room feel new again.

4. Be a tourist. Visit the places that you may take for granted as a resident-- sites like museums, local theaters, sightseeing tours or gift shops. There are likely a handful of things to do in your town that you might not even be aware they exist. Visiting these establishments can add that special charm to a place that you know so well, and you could even learn something new. Plus, it can sometimes trick you into thinking that you're on vacation for a few hours!

5. Slow down. Practice the art of being in the moment. Slow walks through your town, chats that linger with your neighbors, and restaurant meals that stretch well into the evening are the kinds of moments that infuse your heart with gratitude and lodge themselves in your memory. Life will seem infinitely sweeter if you're able to slow down enough to recognize the beauty that surrounds you.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to look at your life and surroundings in a new way. Do any of you have suggestions for how to "develop new eyes" for your life?

I'd love to hear them!

Image Credit: Take One Last Breath via WeHeartIt