Let’s Try Something New!

People say you learn something new every day. Sure. You may learn some new information about a current event. You may learn that someone you know got covid. You may learn that those jeans you thought were comfortable now fit a little too tightly. It’s hard to argue with the idea that you learn something new every day.

However, when was the last time, you decided to learn something new. A new language perhaps? How to use a new software application? How about a new skill? Unfortunately, I think we often fall into a rut and think to ourselves…you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Perhaps the way out of that rut is to learn a new trick.

A performer using aerial silks
Photo by Robin Battison on Unsplash

Recently, I started taking an aerial circus class. I am learning how to use the aerial silks, the trapeze, and the lyra — which is a hanging hoop. Oh the joy! No seriously.

From the moment, I first pulled myself up on to that hanging hoop, I had a big grin on my face! I was the kid who would swing around upside down on the monkey bars during recess, and swinging myself up into the hoop totally tapped into that childhood joy! I was no longer a middle-aged mom, I was a carefree kid…and it was spectacular!

On my first day of class, I learned to pull myself up into the hoop and sit inside it. Then, we added on more tricks. I learned how to move in and around through the hoop using strength and balance. I even learned how to lay on my side and use the hoop to support my hips so that my legs could go straight. I felt like superman! Or supermom as the case may be…

For the next few days, I was incredibly sore. Wow! Performing circus tricks takes a lot of muscular strength. I discovered muscles I forgot I had. I discovered bruises I didn’t know I had gotten. But honestly, none of that bothered me. In fact, it was a constant reminder of my joyful learning experience.

You see the real reason learning circus tricks felt so good is that the brain responds well to novelty. Novelty grabs your attention. It’s that jolt out of the normal. It engages and excites you. It can peak your interest. It can make you feel good. Overall, novelty can jumpstart your brain.

On that note, I’m ready for my next circus class.

Originally published at https://denisebressler.com.

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Denise Bressler

Denise Bressler

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Author of Unlearning the Ropes: The Benefits of Rethinking What School Teaches You — Helping everyone rediscover the excitement of learning — denisebressler.com