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Perspective

07 Aug

On a popular in town hike on Mount Sentinel overlooking Missoula, Montana

It’s easy to get stuck in ourselves.  To internally ruminate and spin and worry and spin some more – and then worry some more.  One of the fruits of developing a daily mindfulness practice is the widening of perspective.  Chances are if we’re unable to move through a particular challenge or situation our perspective has become very small.

In my experience it can be helpful to physically change one’s vantage point in order to help gain perspective and unstick ourselves from being caught in our own unharmonious cycles of thought.  It can be something as simple as looking up.  It may seem trivial but think about how often you look up during the day.  How often do we notice ceilings, the roofs of houses and buildings, tree tops, the sky?  Our field of vision is oftentimes directed straight ahead or down.  The practice of looking up throughout the day helps us to get out of our own head space and expand our viewpoint.

We can also put in a little leg work and go for a walk around the neighborhood or on a hike.  Spending time outside, in nature, or around bodies of water also works great to open up perspective.  Oftentimes we need to cultivate the art of getting out of our own way in order to begin a transformation process.  The use of physical movement and/or nature involves this process inherently.

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Looking out from a small cave on Mount Sentinel in Missoula

When we’re weighted down with regrets about the past, fear and worries about the future, or are caught in wanting the present moment to be something other than what it is we are wasting precious time and energy.  Whatever it takes to get us out of our own way and expand our perspective, whether by looking up, going for a walk, run or ride, crawling in a cave and looking out (see pic above :), doing volunteer work, traveling, trying something new, or working in the garden, we have to take that time and do it.  Most of us are not lacking in time spent needlessly in thoughts that don’t take us anywhere productive.  What we’re lacking in are the actions we can take to get out of our own way.

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