The View

Remember this?

For most of us, this common optical illusion was our first lesson in shifting viewpoint. Did you see a vase, or did you see two profiles? Lots of fun in elementary school–or intro psych class–to try to see both, and explore which friends saw things the way that you did.

I’ve been enjoying this series over at LiveScience called “What The Heck Is This?” It’s good brain-stretching to view their photos, playing the same little guessing game. I particularly like this recent one:

Simple: clouds, right? As to not steal any thunder from LiveScience, you’ll have to click over to their site to get the answer.

Here’s another one:

Others in our world are often the best source of valuable perspective, and this fountain reminds me of that lesson learned from my two year old, years ago. In my best mom-teaching voice, I called out to my daughter in her car seat to “look at the pretty fountain, with the water shooting up!” To which she replied, rather disdainfully, “and falling down again.” I simply hadn’t focused on both aspects. Silly me, in her eyes.

I’m reading a book called Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill

Imagine you are in a small boat in the midst of this:

Your experience? Likely to be tossed around, sick to your stomach, maybe even crash and hurt yourself?

But what happens if you back off?

Kind of pretty, I think. Certainly not threatening. Incredible shift in perspective.

Next time an emotional storm threatens to sweep you crashing into the rocks, remove yourself from it. Tap your fingers. Breathe deeply. Count to ten. Drink a glass of water. Meditate. Take a walk. Talk to a friend. Write. Pound up and down the steps. And find yourself rising above it, able to react in a much less damaging way.

Want to develop the skill to shift your perspective? Join me and a host of like-minded souls in my upcoming meditation training.

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