As mentioned in “Letting Go of the Way It’s Supposed To Be,” my first experience with a fortune teller was when I was seven years old at a Halloween carnival at my church. Since then, on occasion, I’ve visited other fortune-tellers, astrologers, psychics, and palm readers while on vacation or living in different countries. 

I actually find these interactions completely enjoyable because they represent a break from my incredibly rational, logical, linear life and force me to consider things from different angles. For the record, I don’t actually think that astrologers or palm readers or psychics or fortune-tellers actually know anything about me or that they can predict my future or see the unseen. But I like interacting with them on occasion nonetheless. 

Here’s why.

Sometimes I get so stuck in my rut of getting up, going to work, coming home, and crashing on the couch that I need a bit of a jolt out of my complacency and routine. These are moments when I plan trips to new places or try new workout classes. And sometimes I’m so stuck that I go to a fortune-teller or astrologer or palm reader or psychic—depending on whichever one is most convenient and accessible at the time.

I’ll wander in, they’ll get a quick read on me, ask me some questions, and I’ll answer. Based on my questions, they’ll continue going deeper asking other questions and trying to intuit what is going on and what I want to hear, they’ll tell me some things, and then time will be up and I’ll walk out the door. Usually, I’ll do this with a girlfriend and we’ll go have coffee afterward to discuss the questions asked, the nonverbals that took place, the facial expressions and eyebrow twitches, which of my answers led down which path, and what next steps should be. (That’s actually the most fun part—the “after” chat with a friend just like we used to have chats after a big night out dissecting all of the “he said, she said.”) 

One time, I went to an astrologer who, based on what I’d told her, intuited that I needed more creativity and expression in my life. She said, “Perhaps you should try dancing, learning to play an instrument, writing, painting, photography, acting, singing, performing, sculpture, drawing, sewing, designing…” and she went on and on saying a whole bunch of other creative pursuits that I don’t remember. But when she was rattling off this list and said “photography,” something in me jumped. I thought, “Oh I used to do a lot of photography and I really liked it! Maybe I should start doing it again!” Now do I think she was psychic or that somehow in the stars I was divined to take up photography again? No. But do I think the process of going somewhere where someone who doesn’t know me lists off a bunch of random things was valuable? Well, yes actually. Not because of what she listed off but because of how I reacted to what she listed off. I noticed my own reaction when she said, “photography,” and I started taking photos again. Note that I completely ignored sewing, singing, acting, and the other things on the list and just focused on the one that clicked with me internally.

You see, it’s not about what they say. It’s about how you react to it.

And my experience is that if I rely on people I already know, they won’t expose me to a broad list of potential activities to get me out of my rut. They already know that I won’t sing or sew, so they won’t bring it up. But just the act of having it brought up is valuable to me because in all the mishmash that the astrologer mentioned, I clicked with something that made sense to me and that has brought me joy.

Now … I’m not necessarily suggesting that you start visiting fortune tellers or psychics or palm readers or astrologers. But I am suggesting that when you get into a rut about your life or when your routine has got you stuck, go do something completely different and off the wall for you—something that will get you exposed to ideas and perspectives that are really different from your own. Interact with people who are living on different wavelengths from you—whether they’re comedians or actresses or musicians or astrologers or graphic designers or artists or furniture designers or tennis coaches or pastry chefs or marine biologists or architects or fishermen or tattoo artists or roller derby players or whatever or whoever is really different from you—go interact with them and see what makes then tick and see if any of it clicks with you. It doesn’t mean you have to start doing any of that stuff, but just exposing yourself to new perspectives and ideas can help your brain grow and expand (aka neuroplasticity), get you out of your rut, and lead to some new and interesting activities and friends.

So start exposing yourself to things out of the blue. See how you can grow and change and incorporate new things into your life as a result—the things that click with YOU! And take a friend along for the ride….