To get a fresh perspective on your circumstances, change your location!
If you live in the city, try getting out to the country. If this isn’t possible, go to a neighborhood park that you’ve never been to. If your only option is to go to your usual park, then go to a different part of it–not your usual walking path and not the usual place where you sit. Change it up! The slower pace may be just what you need to let go and open to your inventiveness.
If you live in the country or a town, go to a nearby city–or a town that’s bigger than yours. Is it busier than what you’re used to? Is it noisier, too?
Perhaps you feel discombobulated because the pace and the noise are jarring. Change your thoughts about this. Instead of thinking of this experience as confusing and upsetting, think of it as stimulating and energizing you in a new way. How is this sparking your creativity–how can you think of this in a way that does spark your creativity?
What would I see if I would look at this situating from the top, from underneath, from the side, or at an oblique angle? To do this when you’re looking at problems–a difficult co-worker or trouble with your personal finances–it’s metaphorical to look at it up, down, backward, inside out, and you can also do this literally.
For instance, if you live in an urban area, is there a tall building with an observation deck or a restaurant that overlooks the city? If you live in a town or out in the country, is there a scenic overlook where you’re viewing the town from a higher elevation. Is there a place where the view gives you a wide open perspective of endless open space?
Also, is there a place where you can go low? Perhaps there’s a small valley or low spot in your town. Do you have a basement you can sit in quietly for a time, or maybe there’s a restaurant or other public place that’s in a basement-like area.
The point of this is to shake it up, change the way you’re looking at your situation. This is all exploratory so you aren’t committing to anything. You’re trying to jar loose some ideas that are different from the ones you usually get from your habitual ways of thinking.
This week we’ll be talking about having a fresh perspective on where you are right now. You’ve heard the saying that there are two sides of the coin. There are also two ways–and more–to look at your current situation.
Here are a few quotes to get us thinking about changing our viewpoint:
The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it. Chris Pine
It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities. Kristin Armstrong
I think it’s healthy to gain a perspective on who you are deep down, question yourself, and challenge yourself; it’s important to do that. Selena Gomez
There are seasons in life. Don’t ever let anyone try to deny you the joy of one season because they believe you should stay in another season… Listen to yourself. Trust your instincts. Keep your perspective. Jane Clayson
It’s just so cool when you meet people who are different than you are. That can give you a different perspective, a viewpoint on life, or inspire you. I mean, what would the world be like if we were all the same? I think it would be very boring. Ciara
Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity. Robert Morgan
When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective. Harvey Mackay
When you’re in the muck you can only see muck. If you somehow manage to float above it, you still see the muck but you see it from a different perspective. And you see other things too. That’s the consolation of philosophy. David Cronenberg
When I’m grateful for all the blessings, it puts away all the stress about things not in my control. Things like long hours, aging, pollution, scandals… it helps me create perspective by just focusing on being grateful. Take that moment twice a day with yourself. Darby Stanchfield
Laughter can bring a new perspective. Christopher Durang
I hope these quotes, along with this week’s posts, remind and help you to take a different look at your life.
Perhaps you’re waiting for someone to complete their part of a project before you can move forward. Maybe you’re waiting for a specialized piece of equipment to become available. There may be another valid reason of why you’re in a holding pattern and can’t step toward your soul-prospering life just yet.
Perhaps you discover habits that no longer help you such as watching too much TV, letting your emotions rein over you, or gossiping. You may find that your environment isn’t serving you. For instance your home is cluttered or your work place is messy. Remember to take a close look at the people you hang around with and follow through on a plan to limit your contact with the Negative Nellies and the Downer Dougs in your life.
I’ve found it to be very helpful to have something tangible to remind me of happy events, important goals, and the things that I’m very thankful for.
For instance, while walking along a beach, I came across a heart-shaped rock. I keep it on my kitchen counter near the sink and I see it every day. When I see the rock, I recall the scent of the ocean, the call of the seagulls, and the swish of the waves on the sand. Also the heart shape of the rock is a note to me from the Universe that all is well, and that there is plenty of goodwill and caring for all.
Touchstones and reminders can be anything that’s meaningful to you. I’m sure you’ve heard–or maybe know–of people who have good luck charms such as a rabbits foot, a four leaf clover, and a horseshoe.
You’ve heard of professional athletes who have certain rituals before or during or after each game.
Your reminder or touchstone can be anything physical, not only something to touch or hold, but it can also be a scent or a taste or a sound. Here is a short video of two of my touchstones:
The hula girl, who I haven’t named yet (any suggestions?) reminds me of Girl Power! The turkey, who I’ve named Rodney (he looks like a Rodney to me!) reminds me that being goofy is a good thing!
What are your touchstones and reminders? Feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks!
Today, let’s do the same thing and build a Gratitude Album for ourselves. By doing this, we are aligning with the “good stuff” in our life and the more in tune with it that we are, the more of it we will notice and the more we will bring into our life.
Making a Gratitude Album and referring to it often reminds us that there are wonderful things in our lives even if everything around us looks hopeless. Looking at the album first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep helps us also remember why we’re pressing forward in spite of the odds and in spite of the naysayers. Taking peeks at the album throughout the day can give us that boost we need so that we don’t give up or knuckle under.
Just like your Vision Album, your Gratitude Album doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy or contain every little jot of every little thing you’re grateful for. You can add to and tweak the album as you go along–it isn’t something chiseled in stone, so you don’t have to “get it right” the first time!
It can also have symbols. For instance, you can include a picture of the gorgeous cherry tree in front of the public library and this can be your symbol of your gratitude for all of Mother Nature’s majestic beauty.
Above all, have fun with this! Make it a point to pull a few pictures together today–even one image from a recent event in your life will do. Regularly add a little bit here and there as you go along!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Crafting a deeply meaningful, soul-prospering life