Do you ever feel that your world is small? Or let me rephrase…have you ever felt like you know there’s an answer to a challenge or problem you are facing, but you aren’t able to see it? That’s what I mean about a small world. Our view is limited in some particular area or even in life in general. Let’s see if we can support you in widening that view…
One of my favorite words that became a staple in my vocabulary last year was Kaleidoscopic. It was about time, really. As a kid, I always loved kaleidoscopes. I remember having those little paper ones – you know, the ones where you hold on to one part while twisting the other? I remember the wonder & delight that each twist/turn brought. It was definitely a favorite thing of mine. My love of these little miraculous things has not waned. In college, 2 people who knew me well (and still do!) bought me a beautiful kaleidoscope that I have to this day. It’s quite a step up from those of my early days. With this one you barely have to twist or turn. You can actually just move it to different places and you are provided with instant glorious entertainment – unique amazing changes with each turn or move of the scope. Talk about wonder & delight!
In addition to simply giving us an enjoyable visual experience, Kaleidoscopes have more much to teach us. We can use this lens in our lives on a daily basis to not just experience more wonder & awe, but also to give us a new perspective, to see the world in a new way. Here are a few concrete examples of how you can begin to play and use this lens in your own life.
What are you seeing?
Often times when we are feeling stuck in a particular area or situation, we are here because our view is quite limited. What happens next is that we often get frustrated and try to force things to happen. We make a decision before we are ready, we force someone else to make a decision before they are ready or before things have settled.
Recently, a client, let’s call her Chloe, came to see me who was at a distinct crossroads in her life. She was trying valiantly to figure out her next step about what career path to pursue. She was feeling very stuck and confused and I could see and hear how uncomfortable she was here. She desperately wanted an answer and a plan. As we talked, she told me about music and the role singing had played in her life. She also reported that she hadn’t been singing in the last few months.
Chloe’s first assignment was to re-connect with her singing/musical self in any way she could. I sensed a little resistance until I told her the sole goal of this exercise was to re-connect with music in some way – not to perform or produce anything. I knew that any decision she made here would not be one that honored who she TRULY is. A decision made without at least consulting her musician self would be one that I knew would need to be re-evaluated at some point. So what I was asking her to do was widen her lens so she could see the bigger picture – the bigger picture of who she is and what she really wants.
When Chloe returned the following week, the difference was evident. She was so much more grounded and calm and although she didn’t have a plan for the rest of her life (which was clearly not the goal), she had complete clarity about her next step. She was excited to move forward with this wider, more complete view of herself and where she is going.
What are you hearing?
We can use the kaleidoscopic lens for more than just what we see. We can use this lens for what we hear as well (figuratively of course) – for what we’re listening to and believing. Recently, I participated in a beautiful Chiron gong sound bath facilitated by the amazing Katie Briggs. This is the 4th time I’ve experienced this amazing ritual. This time, though, as I sat and basked in the sound of the powerful gong, something very different happened. Each time the gong vibration waned, I heard something I never heard before. At first I thought it was some sound coming from outside the room and then I realized….I was hearing an orchestra. I heard flutes first and then other woodwinds and then violins chimed in. It was the reverberation of the gong spreading more messages, but only if I was open to hearing them.
This experience is an excellent illustration of how we often hear only what is presented to us. Using the kaleidoscopic lens, we can open our ears. Perhaps you do this when you’re in nature, or when you’re having a conversation with someone. Or maybe someone says something critical, something you don’t agree with. What if you use your lens & be curious about what they are REALLY saying? Or perhaps you use this lens when listening to an inner voice who might be telling you limiting or critical things. What might this voice like you to know? What lies underneath those words? Or maybe you use this lens when listening to what society says – about what you ‘should’ believe about life, death, money, work, marriage. Just pick a topic. Widen that kaleidoscopic lens, give it a turn and see what new images, sounds, words, messages might find you.
What are you feeling?
Recently, a dear friend said goodbye to her beautiful 12 year old dog, Luna. A couple days afterward, she was talking about how she was feeling and she said a most powerful thing. She said, “Janette, I know this sounds weird, but it’s not that sad. There’s the missing and that makes me sad, but otherwise, it’s not a sad thing.” I heard wonder, surprise & tears in her voice.
I understood perfectly. I could see her kaleidoscopic lens at work broadening her view – bringing in shapes & colors & images she never knew were there. Yes, there is the missing of her beautiful companion. But Luna leaving us and the decision to ensure that the end of her life was full of love – along with all the love she filled up the last 12 years with – is not sad. There was so much beauty and love in Luna’s life and in all the decisions that were made at its end. Just feeling the sadness would be a missing such a huge opportunity to see, feel and experience all that beautiful richness. With her lens in place, my friend was able to tap into all of that richness. Well done, my friend.
Using Your lens
So now it’s your turn. Where would you like to experience more possibility, more wonder, more awe, more limitless options? What could you do to see, hear and/or feel/experience something differently that might then open you up to more shapes, colors, options, ideas in your life? You’re invited to explore Your Kaleidoscopic lens in the weeks ahead and see what you discover. Twist, turn, move your lens and be ready for possibility, awe, delight & richness.