Monday, January 28, 2013

Change Your Perspective

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." The art of self-observation shows us that nothing outside of ourselves needs to change in order for us to feel differently.A simple shift of my perception generates a different response and my course changes.

My way of looking at things is colored by my history and my large emotional life. The very same circumstance can happen today that happened yesterday, but depending upon my mood or state of mind, it can either feel like a burden or a complete delight. This tells me that my perceptions can be distorted by my mood. With a little bit of detachment, I am able to remind myself of this, and not make decisions in the heat of the moment.

Since the way I think and feel about my circumstance has a direct influence on the outcome, then making decisions from an emotional place can set me on a path of self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, a pause and a flip of my mind can often be a wise decision.

In the tarot card, the Hanged Man, a man hangs upside down from a tree by one foot. He is completely calm and detached, and sees things in a whole new way. In the myth, the Fool sits under a tree looking to find himself, and on the ninth day, he climbs the tree and hangs upside down for no reason, like a child. For a moment, he surrenders all that he is, wants, cares about, and  knows. Coins fall from his pocket, and he sees them not as money, but as round bits of metal. His inverted position allows him to hang between the mundane world and the spiritual, and when he comes down, he is forever changed.

This applies to so many areas of my life. The most simple has been my physical body. Having been very caught up in the game of trying to be perfect (when I was younger, this meant skinny), I was in a constant emotional cycle. Five pounds up, five pounds down. The fluctuation would get larger—ten pounds and even twenty pounds. The swings were vast. At a certain point (over twenty years ago!), I had actually gained fifty pounds, and I decided to hang out, suspended where I was, and experience it from a different perspective. I decided to be in my body, in a detached way and love myself at this new weight. That was a perspective shift.

A year later, I did the same. I looked at my body, and I saw that underneath a layer or two, my smaller frame was still there in the room; it was just beneath the surface. I kept that vision in my mind as I went through my days, making healthy choices, and soon my body was falling into place quite naturally.

I started teaching spinning about five years after that, and I shared my new perspective and positive self-talk. Before I knew it, the reverberation of this shift vibrating through my body brought me to a new level of fitness and and new career path. My body, indeed, was changing and so was my life. It wasn't because of what I was doing, but the way I was doing it. My perspective shift completely shifted my body and set me on an entirely new path of empowerment.

Today, I see my body in a new way still. I try to listen to its cues, without forcing it. When I do, that is okay too. This lesson has moved past my physical body and deeper into my work life and my relationships. What if nothing else changes and no one does anything differently? What if the circumstances appear to be the same and my emotions stay large? All I need to do is shift my attitude, and everything seemingly falls right into place.

Maybe everything is fine as it is. All that needs to change is my perspective.

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