Coming and Going – A Shift in Perspectives

I had the pleasure of working in Duluth recently. I stay at a place on Park Point, close to the beach of Lake Superior. I walked down the beach as the sound of the waves soothed my Soul and spoke into the very cells of my body. I looked at the water, the stones under my feet, and the ice forming up on shore. The sun was warm, hung in the sky and the clouds danced around it letting the sun peek through, hide behind, and come out to warm my cheeks again. It was magical. I love the water and this water in particular. I watched a woman walking towards me, her dog’s leash in one hand, a plastic bag in the other clutching the collar of her coat tight to block the wind. As she passed I smiled and said to her, “I’ve got a sneaking suspicion this walk is going to be harder going the other way”.  She laughed and stated matter of factly, “Yes!”.

Finally, I turned around to head back to my VRBO and in that moment of changing direction, the wind smacked me in the face. Yes, it was windy; fortunately, it wasn’t cold, so it was tolerable. As I settled into the effort to move into the wind, I began to notice other things. I started to notice how differently the light touched the ice, the water, and the beach. I noticed rocks I didn’t see on my way down. I saw the beauty of the city skyline and the hills rolling towards it in the distance and up the shoreline. There was beauty everywhere just waiting to be noticed. Everything in this direction looked different, and yet, here I was, simply going back from the way I had come. It occurred to me how often in life this is so true.

Heading into something new, we notice what we notice from our vantage point. We see things in a particular way believing that is the way it is. We believe our view is the infinite truth of the situation, and none other exists. Going into something new, we proceed with an awareness that makes us hyper-focused on the details and often slows us down a bit until we begin to feel comfortable in our surroundings. Shortly thereafter, our mind takes on a perception of how we see it, is all there is to see. From the point of our unconscious mind, these are what I call “mind hacks”.  Our unconscious mind loves repetition, so it creates shortcuts in our awareness and perceptions in order to keep things flowing fast and efficiently. The glory is, we can challenge this by simply turning around.

When I turned to head back to my VRBO, everything looked different. I saw the crazy surfers out on the lake in their wetsuits. The water, ice formations, and the shadows that the sun tossed across everything in sight, all appeared like a totally different world. My mind had to change to adapt to this new world. Again, I got to slow down, to see everything like the unique gift in the world that it is. It, again, was beautiful, just in different ways.

Take a new way to work, try a new restaurant, or boutique. Literally, take the road less traveled; a new route, a road trip to somewhere you drive through but don’t stop. Shake it up. Every time we enter a new direction we expand our mind, activate more neurons in our brain, and maintain brain elasticity.  Yeah, it’s healthcare!

Allow yourself time and attention to see what is really in front of you. Notice what you notice, and then stop and notice more; more color, more people, more detail…just notice.

Life is full of opportunities to literally and figuratively change our minds. To see things in a new way, a new light, and in doing so, allow ourselves to expand into spaces, ideas, and perspectives we couldn’t even consider before.

Forever the journey, Anne

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