Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A New Perspective

by Judy

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
-Wayne Dyer-

There is an exercise for art students where the artist views a photo and draws a picture of what they see.  They then turn the photo upside down and draw a second picture of what they see.  Without fail, it's found that the second drawing more accurately represents the image in the photo.  Why is this?  Apparently, looking at the photo upside down keeps us from focusing on our preconceived notions of what something looks like.  When the photo is viewed upside down, the artist focuses on the smaller details, the shapes and lines, the little pieces, instead of the image as a whole.

A recent major event has made me feel as if my life has been turned upside down. Without really talking about 'it', we all know what I'm talking about. I'm flooded with many feelings - devastation, despair, worry.  And I know I'm not alone. (Alert...This is not a political post. This is not a post about 'sides.')

Looking at the big picture has been extremely frightening.  I just see this "big thing."  It feels overwhelming, intimidating and frustrating. But in a moment of clarity I thought of the art exercise, and I wondered if I could use that same idea to look at this "big thing" from a different perspective.  

By turning things upside down can this overwhelming thing be broken down into more manageable pieces?  Are there things there that I can work on?  According to author and creative expert Michael Michalko, "perception is an active rather than a passive process, it constructs rather than records 'reality.'  You construct how you choose to see the world."

By changing my perspective can I construct a more positive reality - at least a more positive path to follow? I can see myself walking this positive path, and just as the artist does, I imagine focusing on the smaller pieces, the shapes, the lines. As I walk this path I imagine being joined by others, who like me, are trying to find the positive amid all of the negative. With time, I imagine finding clarity, and with that clarity, I imagine this positive path branching off into many other positive paths.  

It's early in this thought process, so I really don't know if this is something I can do, but I do know that a new perspective is worth a try.  It is definitely worth a try.  

Do you ever feel the need to just turn things upside down? A new perspective can help all of us in every aspect of our lives.  Some time alone to be with your thoughts is usually helpful. Quiet time seems to bring about some lucidity and awakens our mind to look at things differently.



AFishGirl said...

A thoughtful post, Judy. Perspective is something I think about often. How does one view things, the little things, the bigger pictures, etc. Yes, it is something I think about all the time. Lack of a good night's sleep drastically alters my own perception. Small acts of kindness have equal impact in the opposite direction. Humans. We are an interesting species. If you've not read "The Humans," this is a good time for that book, about love and hope and kindness and our species. Fiction.

Dotti said...

The elephant in the room. Yes, a new perspective is definitely what I need. It may be time to read "Humans". Pam has been urging me for months to read it. Timing is everything . . .

Very insightful and thought provoking post, Judy. Thank you.

heyjudephotography said...

Pam, thank you. The Humans...wondering if the Broadway play of the same name is based on that book. I will read it Pam. Love and hope and kindness is just what is needed right now.

terriporter said...

Oh, yes, I think we are all in need of a new perspective right now! I am reminded of my dad saying that we shouldn't waste time worrying about the things we can't control and my mom's words, "People are about as happy as they make up their mind to be." Those words have helped me many times and continue to help in times like these. Yes, I worry, but I'm a whole lot happier focusing on the love and beauty in the world which continues in spite of recent events. I think I may have to get a copy of that book!

Sandra said...

A new perspective is always helpful. I often use this when I'm perplexed about something. Yes, sometimes we need to concentrate on the little pieces and seek out the positive and not just stand back and see the (imaginary) bigger picture.
A thoughtful article!

kelly said...

thank you judy for these wise, beautiful, calming words today. just another example of how art can help us heal. xoxo

Ellen D. said...

I have been filled with such sadness over the hate in our country. I am trying hard to focus on the love instead. Thank you for sharing these kind and thoughtful words.

Sarah Huizenga said...

All the time!

Cathy H. said...

Such good advice! This is definitely a good time to practice looking at things from a different perspective!

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