Fresh perspectives

When was the last time you did something that gave you a new perspective on the world around you? What was it that you did, and what effect did it have on you?

I’m asking because I’m kind of looking for new ways to get fresh perspectives on the things, ideas, situations in which I swim daily.

Maybe you’re in need of fresh-perspective-generating activities to try too? Here’s one I’ve experienced that was pretty cool.

Climbing on the roof

A little while ago, I needed to climb on the roof of my house. My house isn’t tall, it’s only one story high, and it’s deeper in the ground than it should be – so from the groud, it looks pretty low, really. Given this, I wasn’t expecting the view to be very different from up there.

Of course, I was wrong.

It wasn’t all that different, sure, but it still felt different enough to surprise me. It was as if I was seeing everything, even the familiar neighbouring houses, in a new light. The fact that I wasn’t expecting to be surprised only made the experience more surprising.

However, the most interesting part of the experience happened before I even set foot on the roof.

As I was reaching the last few rungs at the top of the ladder, I had a moment of hesitation. It was a tiny one, but still obvious enough that even my gentleman friend, who was on the ground, noticed it.

I wondered: what’s that about? I’m not afraid of heights, our roof is fairly flat, the whole thing feels safe. So, what was that about?

I had to think about it a little, and then it hit me.

I was near the top of the ladder and I was already seeing my surroundings from a different perspective. I was not even on the roof yet, and things already felt different – so my brain had kicked into “imagination” mode.

Not quite being there yet, my brain was imagining what it would be like, considering that it was already feeling different – and more different than I was expecting at that. It wasn’t different in a bad way, there was nothing threatening at all. However, human imagination being what it is, my brain was kind of thinking that once I’d be on the roof for real, it could only be worse. Of course.

Back on the ground

How is that relevant to my day to day life on the ground? Well, it became obvious to me that my brain does this very same thing in many areas of my life. Just when I’m about to reach an important point in a project, whether it’s the finish line or an intermediate milestone, I often find myself recoiling. It’s as if my brain was saying: it’s not so bad where I am now, but what if everything blows up as soon as I make another step?

More often than not, nothing blows up. It’s actually my brain blowing its fearful projections of the future out of proportion…

Getting back into now

What’s useful in those moments is to bring myself back in present time. Get back into my body, breathe, release anything that’s from the past or a projection into the future, and find my way back to what is the truth of what I’m feeling now. Then, I can reassure my brain that making the very next step is most probably not going to take me to a place that is all that far from where I am at the moment.

Isn’t it fun how climbing on the roof of my house gave me a way to recognise what’s going on with my brain in so many areas of my life?* It has become a good metaphor, a quick and handy way to remember what’s happening when my brain plays that kind of trick on me.
*That totally feels like a Shiva Nata moment, and I didn’t even dance on the roof! Ooooh, now, that’s an idea… ;)

Your turn!

Here’s where I’m going back to the beginning of this post:
When was the last time you did something that gave you a new perspective on the world around you? What was it that you did, and what effect did it have on you?
Thank you for sharing your fresh-perspective-generating ideas so that we can try them too!

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6 Responses to Fresh perspectives

  1. Jane says:

    Things always do look so different from higher up – despite being really afraid of heights I also always want to go up to viewing points and take in the view. When I’m up there I’m fine – it’s the getting there that scares me. A pattern that I feel may repeat itself elsewhere! ;)

    My favourite new perspective creator, and something I did this morning, is photography. The most mundane objects can be transformed with my camera – or rather, my camera lets me stop thinking of the wonderful world about me as mundane! When I’m out with my camera I’ll seek out and appreciate details and persepctives that I’d be utterly oblivious too otherwise.

    • Josiane says:

      Jane, when I read this: “my camera lets me stop thinking of the wonderful world about me as mundane”, my mind went “bing!” – it’s so true! The world around us is extraordinary, and yet we tend to forget… It’s great that photography is what helps you get back to seeing it as the wonderful thing it is. Hmm, lovely…

  2. Raven says:

    I know that feeling of hesitation. For me it’s always an odd mix of excitement and fear that I’ll loose that feeling of anticipation. Like opening Christmas presents, if you open them, then you can no longer enjoy waiting to open them.

    Haven’t done anything to really change my perspective lately, although the yurt thing is coming up.

    • Josiane says:

      Oh, Raven, the week you’ve spent living in a yurt was a huge change in perspective in so many ways! Thank you for blogging about it, it was awesome to be able to follow along.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I like this! I want to muse on it later.

    p.s. I hope your Shiva Nata support sessions are finding their right people! It sounds like they are very much enjoyed and appreciated, by you and by your clients. xo

    • Josiane says:

      Elizabeth, my dear, I hope you’ll share your musings on your lovely, gorgeous new website – I’d love to read what it’ll have inspired in you!
      As for the Shiva Nata support sessions, they are indeed very much enjoyed and appreciated by everyone involved! I need to do a little more to let people know about them, though: I suspect there are more right people for those amazing sessions out there, and I’d be delighted to play with them.

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