Friday, March 14, 2008

WHO knew.

Before embarking on this entry, I wanted to let you know that the show I referred to in the last post needed to be rescheduled. In a way, I would say that was good, as it might give you more of an opportunity to catch it live. When I get more information, I will share.

In the meantime, I just saw a video teaser from the new movie Horton Hears a Who - Living on a Speck. I didn't remember if I ever read the story, so I went looking for a summary. If you're interested, here is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

I mention it because I think the clip/story is a perfect example of perspective. Have you ever seen a show at a planetarium? I have gone to several shows, and have sat there, amazed by what they show. They essentially show earth - even our solar system - as a speck in the scheme of things. If the solar system is a speck, what the heck are we? Smile.

I am looking forward to seeing that movie. Who knows what the author may have known when he wrote the story. Apparently, there is a piece that shows how when the "whole" pulls together, it can make all the difference in the world.

Since I can't really speak fully to the movie/story at the moment, what I will speak to is what the clip pointed to for me: with a limited perspective, we are likely to discount the things outside of our realm of experience.

Have you ever heard that there are
things we know
things we think we know
things we know we don't know
things we don't know we don't know.

In each of those ideas there is a perspective that propels us forward.

The things we know can be a building block for other things, or it can be a stumbling block to learning new things.

The things we think we know come from the interpretations we have made about a given circumstance or conversation. Ever come to the "wrong" conclusion about something? Then you know what I am referring to. The result can end relationships, create arguments, and create problems. On the positive side, sometimes when we act on what we think we know, we uncover something amazing - by "accident."

The things we know we don't know are the things we may go learn more about, or may potentially stay away from - knowing that our lack of knowledge could get us into trouble. Perhaps there are things we don't even care to know, preferring, instead to leave it up to others to learn. Without an awareness, there may be some cases that perspective could leave us at the mercy of another's conclusions.

The things we don't know we don't know could be the most interesting of the bunch. If you don't know what you don't know, how do you know what questions to ask? How do you even know there is a question to ask? For me, this category is the most challenging. However, when something that I didn't know that I didn't know surfaces, it is like a beautiful gem. Some of the greatest insights I have ever had about myself have come from this category.

I would suppose the beauty of life is to wake up to the possibilities excited, rather than thinking we just entered a nightmare. I know that sounds extreme, but I'd say that many people are uncomfortable without being able to predict what's next. A step in a different direction, is a step out their comfort zone.

I would guess that comfort zones are never meant to last very long. Maybe they're just a rest stop along the way. However, it would seem some people would try to take up residence there, because they like the scenery, and lose what could be coming next, as they'll never want to go there, being so focused on maintaining the moment.

I recently heard that a shopping center that I used to work at in Columbus, Ohio has been mostly vacated. I couldn't believe it. Of course, when I was there was several years ago, and things do change, but I found it kind of sad. I guess no one ever likes to think that things can and do change, to the point of going away, or changing beyond recognition.

However, I am not the same person as I was then, so why would I think that other things would stay the same? It seems to be a reminder to me that things are always changing, and sometimes we just need some perspective to recognize it. Had I still lived in Columbus all of these years, I may never have thought about it the way that I am thinking about it now. It may have happened with a lot less thought on my part, as I, like many others likely did, acted within the framework of the awareness of a Columbus resident, and found a different place to work, to eat, to shop...

I suspect that is why being aware is so powerful. It gives you opportunities to create along the way. And, yet, there is a different type of awareness that one has at a distance. I can see what happened, and yet never had the opportunity to interact with it.

Is one more powerful than the other? I would think not. I would think what is key is more likely how I interact with whatever my awareness presents to me at any given time, rather than what actually happened.

Your feedback and thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Thanks for listening.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Take a Deep Breath and...

Improve blood circulation and relieve congestion.
Relieve tension, including anxiety and depression.
Balance your nervous system.
Help combat insomnia.
Promote weight loss.
Enhance your intuition.

And of course,

Ever think about how something so automatic and taken for granted can make such a significant impact on you and you physical and emotional well being?

If not, if breathing can do all of the above, and more, maybe it's worth taking the time to assess the perspective for yourself, and a place to start is with the following radio show with Mimi Bazan as a guest this Sunday, March 9, at 10:00 am EST (you can call in with your own questions if you listen live, or listen afterwards via podcast):

Sunday, March 2, 2008

An Artful Perspective

Oblinski. Have you ever heard of him?

I saw some of his art several months ago, and loved it. There was one piece in particular that stood out to me. It must have been what I was going through at the time. There was a man and a woman in the picture. There were to two mountains(?) separating the man and the woman. There was also a high wire stretched between the two. The man, blindfolded, was making his way across to the side the woman was on.

I thought about it, and considered what it could mean:

Love is blind
Love sometimes means taking chances
You don't know what is coming up next, but you gotta take a chance
You can step into something, not knowing how it will turn out

There may have been a few others, but that gives you an idea. I was looking to find that image to share, but since I never figured out what it was called, I have had difficulty finding it again. If you know what I am referring to, please let me know. I would love to find a print of it.

As always, I am sharing because of the perspective that this artist provides. If you are unfamiliar with him, he has the most unique - and yet "real" - perspective of any artist I have ever seen.

There is one image in which a woman is pulling aside half of her face, as if a curtain (I promise it's not as morbid as it may sound) and behind the curtain you see a woman in a cage. When I look at that piece it makes me think of the many people who are "imprisoned" in their world, or in the thoughts in their mind. There is always something going on behind the scenes, and in my experience many people are different inside their heads than they are with others. Sadly, often, the "behind the scenes" version is sad, lonely, depressed, maybe even feeling guilt.

I wonder what it would take for us to have a world in which who we were inside could be freely expressed on the outside. I think it would have a lot to do with being able to accept ourselves, as oftentimes I think it is the judgement of another that may prevent us from being who we truly are. If we love and accept ourselves, does it really matter what another person thinks?

Probably there also has to be the reality that a person that we interact with really does care about us/what is going on with us. How often has someone asked you how you were today, and you knew all they wanted was the cursory, "I am fine." He or she probably didn't really want to know, and you knew it. Of course, the reverse likely holds true. How did you feel when you asked the question, and got a list of things that were wrong for the person? Did you really want to know? Did you really care?

A few years ago, I started to realize that I was "intuitive." I would practically whisper it to people, if I mentioned it all. What would people think? I was already considered unusual by most who knew me. After a while, I loosened up, in part, because I noticed that when I spoke with people about this, many times they were open to what I was saying. Open AND interested. It helped to give me the freedom to be able to express this part of myself.

Now not everyone would be open and/or interested, however now I accept that and move on, instead of allowing what they think to become a judgement of who I am. I also find that occasionally there are people who WANT to be interested, and maybe just don't know how to express interest, because they have been told that they shouldn't be interested. In those case, I have found if I approach it in a different way, in a way that relates to how they are intuitive (and I believe everyone is), there is a whole different conversation to be had.

One of my biggest sayings these days is "Be True to Yourself." There is no greater freedom and joy than when you are true to who you are in the face of (seeming) opposition. You are unique. Embrace it. Cherish it. Nurture it. I think we are all meant to be different, and yet we spend so much time and energy trying to be the SAME. It takes a lot of energy to conform to something that doesn't fit, don'tja think?

If you agree, consider what it would take to start to be who you truly are. Consider what it would be like to be the same outside as you are inside. When there is alignment between the two oftentimes people find peace. As always, do a test drive for yourself and see what happens. You might just be amazed.

For your reference, here are several links that show Oblinski's art. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.
(2-14 oblinski - but other interesting designs/perspective)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Perspective of Peace

I just read a short tale of a king who offers a prize for the best picture of peace.To see it click here. It is a great little diddy on perspective, and I thought it worth sharing.

It says a lot about what "should" be obvious. I really believe that there should be no shoulds (smile), because they often lead to pain, confusion, and guilt. I find that shoulds often come from the mind of someone else, or something else (like "society"). However, in a case where a should can be empowering, I make an exception.

How can anyone acknowledge strength, if he did not have weakness to compare it to? Or acknowledge peace without knowing what turbulence was like? How do we often know something? Usually it's in the absence of its counterpart.

What is really fascinating to consider, though, is that within everything is everything else. Within strength, there IS a point of weakness. Within peace, there IS some turbulence. The parts of the weakness and turbulence may be tiny, but they are there. The only reason we don't see it or acknowledge it in that moment is because we focused on the more positive attributes, but those parts are there.

I say this because the same thing applies in reverse. The times that we are our most upset, our most frustrated, there is a seed of peace within. In order to find it, it may take everything we have, and maybe sometimes it's a battle that seems unable to be won - or a battle you are unwilling to fight.

I know how it can be. I have my moments. As much as I "know better" at this point in the game of my life, I still go to places that aren't productively creating outcomes that I want. However, the times that I can redirect my energies, it is almost magical.

The next time you are stressed, if you want to get out of it, take a couple of moments to do the following, and you may be surprised.

Take a deep breath in to the count of 3. Then exhale to the count of 6.

Take another deep breath in to the count of 3, and exhale to the count of 6.

Do it one more time. Breath in to the count of 3, and exhale to the count of 6.

You will likely notice that your body has relaxed. It couldn't help itself. And it took a minute, or two, to do. The key is to CONSCIOUSLY change your focus. Before I was aware of the things that I am now, I would feel like anything that I felt was being true to myself, and any attempt to alter it would be potentially seen as a deception.

While there are reasons to be willing to allow myself to feel what I am feeling, there is a point that it can become counterproductive, and feed the very energy that is uncomfortable (the energy that I am holding onto to be "true to myself"). In my work as a coach, I tell people that even if you are fooling yourself - so what? If the focus you have is not getting you anywhere but depressed, why not fool yourself?

There are people that believe that whatever you focus on you get more of. If that is true, then changing the focus if it's something you'd rather be without would make sense, don'tja think? If it isn't true, then what do you have to lose, really?

The next time you go looking for some quality, consider that you already have it and that you just need to awaken your awareness to it. The amazing thing is that a little "water" (thought power) can go a long way.

But don't take my word for it. Try it for yourself, and see what happens. One word of warning though. The first times you do this, you may find that you go back where you were fairly easily. It's the comfortable and familiar after all. If that happens, it just means you'll have to do some considerable redirection. After awhile, though, you'll be surprised. You'll do less, and what you do do will get easier.

For this reason, you won't want to abandon ship quickly, and say it doesn't work. In my opinion, you will be doing yourself, and your life, an injustice.

Have a great weekend!