I treat life as one giant experiment with lots of little parts, one where if I try to hard too force and control the outcome, it rarely turns out as I imagined. On the other hand, if I remain curious, have fun setting up the experiment and the conditions in which I am running it, and remain open to the results more often than not I am thrilled with the outcome because it is beyond what my linear brain could even imagine, and a "failed" experiment often provides me with the data needed to run an even better experiment.
Experiments are often run to either prove, but also often to disprove a theory. Certain conditions and even controls are set up and then we witness the outcomes. If things aren't working out as planned, then either release the reigns on the controls, change the conditions, or let the experiment go, because maybe the timing wasn't right, or maybe it was just the wrong experiment for us, maybe some other scientist should be running that experiment. That is how I try to view everything in my life. Sometimes experiments just don't work out, but more often than not our experiments don't work out because we refuse to change the conditions, and yet expect a different outcome. Or we are so caught up in how things "should" look, and that it needs to look a certain way, that we miss entirely the beauty in how it actually "does" look. Or we are running an experiment that is not ours to run. But mostly we do not trust the experiment.
As young children everything we do is an experiment, from the first sounds coming out of our mouth, to the first step we take, to picking up the first crayon to make a mark on paper. And we trust in the outcome, we don't even think about it. If the first step results in falling down, we try again, and do something a little differently, each and every time until we are walking. Picking up the first crayon and drawing a house, when looking at it through a conditioned adults eyes looks like scribbles and not a house at all, but through the child's eyes it is a house, and she is damned proud of drawing that house. Who says what a house is supposed to look like anyway?
Our minds are programmed to run our experiments, set our conditions, and decide our outcomes based on past experiences and often failed outcomes. This is where running an experiment to disprove a theory can be important. This is where if you have a deep desire for something but have not been able to achieve you open your mind and your heart to first looking deeply as to whether or not it is something you desire or if it is not your experiment to run, and then if you decide it truly is what you want, then you change the conditions, and the controls, and you decide you are going to disprove all of the past outcomes, by releasing the expectations of the outcome and just be curious and have fun running the experiment.
One of my biggest experiments to date is the one where I thought I could never draw or paint, at least not with the conditions I was doing it under. I gave up on that experiment very early in life, and then in 2013 I decided that was something I truly did desire so I changed the conditions. The biggest condition I changed was seeking out the teachers and the support I needed to LEARN. Sometimes we think we can do things on our own, teach ourselves things, when in reality we don't know everything, and finding those that can teach us can be life changing. Just because we don't do something completely on our own, and we seek help does not mean the experiment is a failure. In fact when we add the support into our conditions for success we succeed beyond our wildest dreams. We also have to step into the discomfort sometimes, the discomfort of not knowing what we are doing, the discomfort of letting go of some stories we are holding on to for dear life, so that we can write new ones, and be brave enough to try new experiments.
Every single time I step to a blank canvas with brush and paint in hand, I have no idea the outcome, I am not even sure I always know the experiment, and there is generally a little twinge of fear. What I do know is the conditions are limitless possibilities, open mind and heart, a hefty imagination, a whole lot of humor and fun, and yes even tears, and a connection to the Divine. The rest is a mystery, but 99% of the time I am happy with the results of my experiment, and for the other 1% I know there is always another canvas and more paint.
So invite you to choose and share one place in your life where you can run an experiment, maybe for a week or a month, do things a little differently than you have been doing, and witness the outcomes with the mind of a scientific observer. Please share it with me.