Life’s beauty can arrive by surprise. ?
We can plan and try to predict things all we want (quick shout out to the Type As and planners out there), but things happen all the time that are completely out of our control. Sometimes these things are what we’d call good. Sometimes they’re not. At least not in the moment. But it’s good to be open to surprises in any case, I think.
For instance, I wasn’t expecting to wander upon these magnolia trees this spring. Cherry blossoms get lots of love here in DC—and the thousands of trees donated by Japan decades ago do deserve their own attention. (Trust me, I wrote about those beauties, too.) But these magnolia blooms in the Smithsonian Castle’s garden were gorgeous. I live here, and I had no idea how amazing this would be. I was just planning a quick pass-through, but ended up marveling at these for several long moments.
Need more encouragement? One older study from Emory University Health Sciences Center found that the brain finds unexpected pleasures more rewarding than expected ones. You’ll understand this yourself if you’ve ever gotten a surprise flower delivery (yes, I’m still talking about plants!) or if you’ve ever won an unexpected prize or other reward.
So, here’s to not planning everything. And to being open to the unexpected. You never know what you might find.
See more about this garden visit on Instagram–or follow me there @lesliequander so we can keep up!
2 thoughts on “Are You Open to Surprises?”
Reminds me of my recent trip to Shenendoah National Park. It was spur of the moment and such a surprise. The views were great but never in all my years have I experienced that level of solitude. It was so quiet I could hear my thoughts. I am definitely going back, soak that up as much as possible.
Thank you for sharing! It’s amazing what we can find and feel when we are open to these kinds of experiences.