Unstuck Living logo

Archive for Perspective

Perspectives

Duff here. I was considering Perspectives. You already know I am a very Small Dog. My View Point of Humans is from the Ankle Down. Eight inches off the ground. I love Shoes (They have such interesting Scents) and ankles (Socks have Their own appeal.) Often The Individual will tell Me they have a Canine, which makes My day. They are a Dog Person. Or They may let Me know They have Cats. And that’s okay, for I’m a Friend to All. Living unstuck.

But My perspective goes far beyond what I see and Smell. I am a Dog of the Heart. I know When Someone is Ecstatic. Or Sad. Or when Something from The Past is intruding, as an anniversary of a Somber Event is hovering on the Horizon. I notice Folks get down even when Remembering a Happy Festivity, as a Birthday in the Past. (I’m not much on Birthdays, but I do get a Special Treat to celebrate.) But I savor It all, reveling in the Highs and understanding the Lows. Living unstuck.

How about You? What’s Your perspective? Are You aware of what You’re feeling? And Why? I say: Pay attention to Your inner Self. You will enjoy the Positives and acknowledge the Downs, knowing They are all part of This Grand Experience we call Life. That’s living unstuck. #unstuck-living#perspectives

When you start looking at people’s hearts instead of their face, life becomes clear.

—learning-mind.com

A Change of Perspective

I’m playing with taking some pictures on my cell phone. (And playing is the operative word.) If I see something that strikes my interest, I take a shot. Or two. Okay, quite a few, for I have heard professional photographers take thousands of shots to find that perfect picture.

I was at the local library the other day and saw the roses in front of the building. Breathtaking. At first, I took a close up shot. The yellow pistils were so clear, the petals so perfect. Then I wondered what would happen if I stepped back and took a different view. That shot showed more roses, but lost the intensity of the close up perspective. When I stepped back even further, I had the view of the entire bed of roses: vibrant, alive, bursting with color. And a very different point of view.

I found this to be similar to how I live my life. If I get frustrated about something, or angry about a situation, I lose my perspective. I can only feel the intensity of my emotions. My negative thoughts persist and block my progress to reach a solution. When this occurs, my breathing gets shallow, my thought process shuts down and I begin to ruminate about what’s happening.  Just as the close up of the single rose, my feelings ramp up and get more and more intense. And I lose perspective.

One remedy? Take a walk. I harness the Duff, put on his leash and out we go. Fresh air and a change of scenery can change my perspective. So can a phone call to a friend. Or some play time with the Duff. As I return to the issue, I have a fresh perspective. I have some mental distance on the situation and my emotions are calmer. Similar to taking that second shot of a few roses, other options begin to surface. I can sort them out and see what is more appropriate.

If I need to distance myself even further, I will turn the problem over to my subconscious mind as I drift off to sleep. That marvelous part of my mind sorts through strategies and other ways of doing, usually arriving at a solution by morning. Not taking this for granted, I thank that part of my awareness for solving what I thought to be a hopeless problem. (I found this part of me likes to be complimented.) A simple change of perspective can make a huge difference and save energy.On the go and need a quick reset? Here’s what I do. When an issue returns to my mind and I start on the hamster wheel of those “same old thoughts,” I picture myself sitting in a theater. The problem, with all its players, is on stage. I watch and listen, seeing what’s going on from a very different point of view. My emotions are not clouding what I perceive. Quite often, I often realize it’s not all about me; that other people have their own issues playing a part in this drama. A change in perspective is then quick and easy. I have some distance and am able to more clearly figure out what is going on. Living unstuck.

Those Five Little Words

While a man and his four children were riding on the train, his kids were running rampant. Pushing each other. Shouting. Whining. Pulling the little one’s hair. Stepping on other people. Irritating other passengers. Generally misbehaving to the extreme. But the man paid them no notice and just stared at his hands.

The conductor came by and told him they were disturbing others. He was thinking, “What’s wrong with this fellow? Doesn’t he see how much havoc the kids are creating?” The man looked up, sighed and said, “Oh yes. Their mother died an hour ago. I guess they don’t know what to do with themselves either.” A total shift in perception.

Another story: My mom consistently said, “I never win anything. I’m not good enough.” I would encourage and support. I would cajole her to see the positive. At first, it was annoying. Over the years, I ramped up and took it personally. After all, she was my mom. Many good qualities and skills. Well educated. Community oriented. A church-going lady. I finally thought to ask why she said that. She quietly replied, “I don’t want to be disappointed.” Immediate change in my understanding.

The five little words that can change your world? What else could this mean? You can be an observer and not have to wade into the fray. If you step into a neutral space, you can breathe . . . and the world opens up. Minor dust-ups and misunderstandings can be worked out. Hotly contested arguments can be put aside. Exercise your creative mind and develop other options, knowing the truth lies somewhere in between.

But how to slow down and check out the situation?

  • Be mindful of when your button is pushed. Someone in your family consistently pushes your button, and you explode before you know it. Take some time to gently tease apart the reasons for this immediate reaction. Resolve each issue as it comes up, knowing your experiences resemble an onion. Watch as each layer unfolds.
  • It’s a challenge to hear opposing points of view. A friend has a different opinion from yours. You feel yourself getting steamed up. Do you shut her off? Or listen to what she has to say? Be curious as to your reaction rather than quickly getting stuck.
  • “My dog isn’t in this fight.” Hot and bothered about something where you’re not directly impacted? Ask yourself, ‘Is my dog in this fight?” If yes, listen intently and ask questions to help you understand. If not, let it go and watch from the sidelines. Your body and mind will thank you. (And insomnia will not plague you.)
  • Slow down the dialog. Listen to the words you are saying to yourself, and slooow dooown the wooorrrrddddss. Instead of “I’m fed up with my job,” try I’mmmm feeedddd uuuppp wwwwittthh my jjjjoooobbb.” Feel the difference inside. Get unstuck and grow lighter.
  • Put your words to music. The other day I came across a problem of my own. Instead of the nasty downward spiral I was creating, I sang the words describing the issue to the melody “Morning Has Broken.” My fussing disappeared. And I was laughing. How ridiculous. I was unstuck.

Want a happier (and less stressful) life? Ask yourself: “What else could this mean?” and change your perspective of your world. Live unstuck!

Those Scary Dark Roads

Duff photoHello! Duff here. It’s That Time of Year. When Whoever is in Charge decides to Slow Down the Sun and Delay the Break of Dawn. This makes the Outside Areas Dark. That’s right. Pitch Black. Now, Mom and I have a particular Route We take every Morning. Some might call this Circuit a Rut, but I refer to It as a Routine. I’m okay in the beginning of Our Jaunt. I move right along, for My Bladder is full and I am Ready and Willing to Relieve Myself. And as You already know, I need to check out My territory, for Night Time Intruders do roam about. I live unstuck.

Recently, however, I have come to a Certain Point in this Customary Activity. And Stop in My Tracks. It is then that I peer down the Road, looking into the Darkness. My ears are perked, for I need to discern Any and All Sounds of Importance. My Nose Wiggles, for Problems can often be Scented Out. (Mom is of No Help here. She is oblivious and stands patiently, waiting for Me to protect the Both of Us.) It is then I become acutely aware that I am a Very Small Dog. So as of a few Days Ago, I have decided to Turn Around and head for Home. Sometimes, I need To Retreat to process The Input I’m receiving to make The Appropriate Decision. I’m living unstuck.

How about You? Do You conjure negative Fantasies when You take a Look into Your Future? Do You wait for a Better Opportunity? Or do You turn around and Develop a New Strategy for Future Success? I recommend: Either Way is Acceptable, depending on Your Needs and Goals. My Goals in this Story were met long Before I Ventured to that Edge of Darkness. In Your case, You can Forge ahead. Or Come back when there’s More Light on Your Options. Either way is good, as long as You don’t get stuck in the Blackness of Indecision. Make some light. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#light-and-darkness

Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell Gregory a story. Make some light.”

—Kate Di Camillo, The Tale of Despereaux

My Embarrassing Moments

Duff photoDuff here. Actually, I should have Titled This: Embarrassing Moments I have created for Mom. But no matter. As You have noticed by Now, I am a Dog. While I am a Very Small Canine, I still have powerful Attributes. One of Them is the Ability to Release Digestive Gas. (Otherwise known as Cutting Cheese. Or Passing Gas.) To me, it’s a natural way to Live. And Little Children love it!

But I am a Dog. And Mom is Not. She is embarrassed to No End when I perform this Feat, especially when We are in Public. I quickly gather Myself into a particular Pose and There It is. At the Conclusion of This Behavior, I Smile my Doggy Smile. And live unstuck.

Mom does Not see the Humor in This. Occasionally, she is not able to Gather Me up fast enough to Secure the Area. She is left to Apologize and Run for the Air Freshener. Every so often, She has considered Striking a Match, which is useful to Clear the Air. But then, My Mom thinks the Power of What Is might be Too much. That the Combustion might cause an explosion. Can you Imagine? Not unstuck at all.

I won’t even ask if You have found Yourself In this Situation, for this is a Delicate Matter. But alternatively, has An Embarrassing Moment come upon You, and You wished you could be Whisked Away? Or do You tough it out, Laugh it off and live unstuck? I recommend the latter, for Life’s Calendar flies by too Quickly. You can Follow My lead, and Live Unstuck. #unstuckliving#embarrassingmoments

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

—Charles Swindoll

The Pebble in Your Shoe

Often it is not the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.

—Muhammed Ali

Duff photoDuff here. As I considered this concept, its implications were astounding. I was remembering Past Relationships with Other Puppies and Special Friends. Often, time spent with Them was peaceful. We had fun. We Ran and Played Games. We even Dozed and Napped together. We lived unstuck.

But there were occasions where we had a Dust Up. Disagreements can come to the Best of Friends. But we worked away on our differences and came up with Viable Solutions. Perhaps one of us backed off to further ponder the Situation. Or Both of us would go to Different parts of the Play Yard to cool down our tempers. Or even to have Our Owners gather us up for a Breather. And we always came back together to Gambol and Romp some more. Get that pebble out of Your Shoe, I say. Live unstuck.

Do you get caught up in the Minor Dramas of Life? Do you spend major Time Fretting and Fussing over a Minor Issue? I say: Take a Break. Have a Friend move you into a new Mind Set. Back off and work out: Is this a Battle? Or the War? When I do, I live unstuck. And you will too. #unstuckliving#perspectives

Doing Some Spring Cleaning?

Spring is here. Buds have formed and are beginning to unfold. The peach trees, the daffodils and other small bushes have unfurled their colors. The sun rises earlier and earlier to bring those longer and warmer days. Birds have returned and are splashing around in the pond. Others chirp sleepily in the trees as I take my early morning walk with MacDuff. The sun is shining, but not overbearing. The mornings are still brisk, with a crisp edge to the breeze. The promise of a warmer tomorrow is already there.

As spring moves in, the forsythia with its branches with bright yellow star-like blossoms wave in the breeze. The tiny pink buds of the flowering plum and the white blossoms of the apple and pear trees are all showing their colors. The sun shines through the greening branches, making it hard to concentrate on anything indoors. I yearn to be outside.

Springtime inspires me to clean and declutter my home and yard. Those dust bunnies and cobwebs that have gathered over the winter months are exposed. It’s also a good time to clean out my thoughts and feelings. When I do a mental spring-clean, my life is easier. With ongoing rebirth going on around me in nature, I find it hard not to weed out the old that is no longer useful in my mind, the parts that are keeping me stuck.

At a slow start for the season? Don’t miss out. Here are a few ideas to help you find your way:

  • Get outdoors. Take a walk, begin to clean up the yard or go for a bike ride. Have a picnic, either on the porch or a few miles away after hiking in from the trailhead. Let the soft, bright sunshine lift any heavy, dark thoughts and feel them drift away.
  • Cultivate quiet time. Set some time aside and take a mental inventory. Check out what has been cluttering your heart and mind. Take a planned break from technology and your “electronic leash.” Spend some time to visualize how you want to feel in your life and your friendships. Then take a move to fulfill those dreams.
  • Develop a new skill or learn a new hobby. Perhaps your mind has grown stale over the winter. But how to expand your horizons? Go back in time: always wanted to learn to develop a skill? Weld? Shoot? Or play a harmonica? Go for it. What was your favorite hobby as a child? Pick it up again. It’s spring, the time of renewal. The creative abilities of your mind are endless.
  • Learn to “row your boat more gently down the stream.” At times life seems to come all at once, bringing a compelling need to take care of business right away. But we can move at our individual pace for it will all get done in due time. Make life easier and enjoy more both within and around you.
  • Think more optimistically. Want to boost your immune system? Be happier in general? Look at the bright side of life and find that silver lining in life. Weed out “always” and “never” from what you’re saying; you’ll find the world to be a better place.

I’m curious: what are you doing to welcome spring? How are you spring cleaning, either inside yourself or outside in your home or garden? I’d love to hear. Enter your comments below.