Tag Archives: box

This is what I found when I opened up the box

Child Astronaut thinking out of the box @changethisweek
Child Astronaut thinking out of the box @changethisweek

Hello friends, I want to introduce you to a new guest blogger this week.  Meet Bentley Richards, a father, businessman, adventurer  and friend that distinctly came to mind when this week became about thinking and living outside of the box.  Take it away Bentley….

I don’t like boxes very much unless they are being shipped to my house from my amazon prime account. When I was 7 years old I would imagine myself traveling through earth’s atmosphere past our solar system beyond our galaxy and universe until I reached the end. The end of what? Problem is I couldn’t imagine a place beyond so I would wrap my travels into a shoe box and call it a day. The outer limits of my imagination was a shoe box which contained everything. The only limits I could envision were self imposed. This seemed an appropriate analogy for this discussion on thinking outside the box.

I have a degree in art which has helped contribute to my creative energy and attitude in the work place. I rarely think “NO” when approaching a new opportunity or situation. My creative mind says “HOW” instead. Once I’m in this state of mind the answers start to flow in and opportunities present themselves. Its not magical new-age hocus pocus. Thinking differently then opens my eyes to all the alternative solutions that lie just outside the box.

Boxes serve purposes in business, government and life. They help to maintain order and allow people to function efficiently and effectively. Corporations build procedures and manuals to reproduce proven results. The good news is these forces make our lives much easier in ways that have become invisible. The fact that most of us obey they yellow lines separating us when travelling at high speeds is to me a suggestion that we appreciate and rely heavily upon these guidelines. A box is a way of thinking that is so highly specialized and efficient that we forget about it. It becomes invisible to us and before we know it we are trapped inside.

Opening the box must be done in front of a mirror. Look at your life. Is there an area where you find yourself settling for mediocrity? Have you accepted a situation, relationship or career path where you are uninspired, lack motivation or harbor resentment? If so you are probably stuck in some box/idea of how life is and you’ve stopped questioning if there is a better alternative out there. I opened my box up and threw the contents against the wall when I turned 40 years old. I had trapped myself in conventional ways of thinking that were so diametrically opposed to my Soul’s life purpose that only a drastic redecorating of my life could cure me of my limited self image through the process of a reimagined lifestyle.

I started listening to music again and engaging in the creative arts. I went to the burning man festival and spent a week in the desert living more unconventionally than I could ever have imagined. During that week I slept during the day, danced all night and camped with 50,000 other burners. I rode on a boat through the desert and wrote my fears, worries and prayers on a two story wooden temple that would be burnt at the end of my stay. I wore a skirt during the day and a fur vest at night. We exchanged no currency, bought nothing and shared in it all. It took about a week after my trip to transition back to all the standardized conventions we encounter on a daily basis. Just walking into a Starbucks was a shocking surreal experience. Since then I have spent a lot of time in places where the general rules and attitudes in life have been flipped on their head. Through this process I have re-connected with my inner passions and interests, found a new love for my children and opened myself to friendships with interesting people where I delight in our different viewpoints on the world. I’m not sure what the future holds for me but I guarantee it’s going to be interesting and different. My fear of death is diminishing and my zest for life is just beginning. My box now has windows! See you all at Outside Lands in August.  🙂

Guest blogger Bentley Richards @thelabbrewingco
Guest blogger Bentley Richards @thelabbrewingco

Bentley Richards is the proprietor of the Lab Brewing Company in Agoura Hills, California.  You can often find Bentley live at the Brewery or on Instagram @thelabbrewingco or www.labbrewingco.com

What’s in the box?

Stuck in the box @changethisweek
Stuck in the box @changethisweek

Last week I talked about gratitude and about better expressing that gratitude for life and love to those in my life.  This was a great week and I know a big part of this week’s greatness was due to this commitment I made.

Now it’s a new week and I am on a plane writing this blog feeling quite confined, like I’m in a giant metallic and cylindrical box, lol here comes the segue.  The thoughts of being on this plane, and after being in a tight hotel room begged the question, What box can I break out of this week?  Of course I’m not talking about a plane or a hotel room, I’m referring to the mental boxes we find ourselves in. In order to break out of a box, I first have to step back and realize what is the box that I am in and how did I get there?

I’m asking this question of myself to start and wonder how much you can relate to this issue as well. I have lived in the box for many years. The biggest box I have lived in was self created in my ill fated quest to please others. I was more often that not trying to strive for what I thought was “right” at the time or in the eyes and standards of others. My internal thought was that If I just did what was “right” then I would succeed and be accepted and rewarded by others, especially those with the keys to power. Sometimes this worked because I did achieve successes in this box. That was great except that it only encouraged me to further entrench myself in the box. A bit of a conundrum was formed and I just kept rolling along unaware and blissfully unhappy.

Through major transitions in my life, I have been made aware of this success in the box fallacy and have been working hard to get out of the box the past few years. It has taken a lot of time, making new moves but always keeping focused on making personal changes and forward momentum.  There have also been a lot of mistakes in the past few years on my new mission, but the biggest outcome I have achieved includes a lot more clarity on what I want in my life, who I want in my life and what my priorities are. This has been such a fun and rewarding experience to be living and loving in this new space.

It’s fascinating to look back at when I was so unclear but also so unaware of what limitations I was putting on myself. Now I am so much more open to new ideas and experiences that my life is really new again.  When there is a new opportunity or adventure, I really try my best to just say Yes!  If I am capable, I try it, I go with it.  I don’t need to default to my old ways and overthink it, over control it, or talk myself out of it.  I love this new space that I have created and I am committed to staying in this space. The work I am doing for myself is by no means complete but just to be aware, clearer and committed to making this change for myself is soooo powerful.

So this is my commitment for my change this week. Creating more opportunities to live out of the box. All this week I am going to challenge myself to implement ways to live out of the box in my thoughts, my actions and in my love for others.  Follow along in the blogs and on my social media for what this actually looks like. For someone like myself that lived in the box for so long, this commitment originally would have been scary to undertake. Now though it is a thrill to be here. Being rid of this fear of change creates a new peace and happiness that I cannot always pinpoint when describing to friends and family, but they see it in my smile and how much lighter I am in my presence. I am so much happier and smiling much more often that this change strikes the others around me.

Well my friends, there is my commitment to change this week, if you have another change to make his week you’ve been thinking of, go for it! Let me know how I can love and support you in this move. If you want to join me in the same commitment of getting out of the box, let’s do it! The blogs and content on www.changethisweek.org are going to be aimed in this direction so feel free to read along and participate. That’s it for now, thanks for reading and I’ll see you here again soon. Please follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter @changethisweek

Snorkeling in Maui @jayryla
Snorkeling in Maui @jayryla

Jay Ry is the founder of ChangeThisWeek and lives and loves life with his two daughters in Los Angeles.