Like us all, my life experience has impacted how I decipher meaning in the world, how I see things: my perspective.
And like us all, my perspective shifts and changes with continued experiences, good, bad and everything in between.
How perspective impacts life really hit home when at 22 years of age I broke my back.
I’d climbed a stunning tree - just for the fun of it - and fell from a high branch resulting in a compression fracture.
In shock and pain, my world became very small.
All I could focus on was my pain. I was in a back brace that literally held me up, and I soon started my search for anything that would heal me.
It took literally years of recovery. I experienced all kinds of Western and Eastern based therapies and still had levels of constant pain.
Luckily with kindness and help from many professionals, family and friends, I was able to heal and return to my studies and working life.
The experience made me think a lot about how the outlook and perspective aided in my healing. When I could focus beyond my pain on the bigger picture, I realised how lucky I was to simply be alive. I also focused on the benefits of slowing down and it eventually has become a valuable life-skill!
This change of perspective gave me the strength to endure rehab and treatments and to commit to self-care and well-being.
Now, in my 40’s, I have many more experiences under my belt, many positive and some very challenging.
Since I broke my back and, more accurately, because of it, I’ve developed skills in yoga and mindfulness/meditation which aid me in keeping alignment physically, mentally and emotionally.
My practice supports me to ‘see’ or get a viewpoint of what matters and what I can let go!
I have a daily ritual that helps me check in and make sure my perspective is serving me, that I am in balance and that it is conveying compassion and self-acceptance.
The sea is one of these places to “check my head”, where I have the space to contemplate the areas of gratitude and challenge in my life. I often look out to sea to be reminded that I’m a small part of a greater picture. Within moments, I commonly feel a mental shift, and my perspective positively changes.
Where do you tend to go to “check in” or shift your perspective? What do you do?
Based on my personal and professional experiences, here are some tips on influencing perspective:
Remember that there is not only one way to view the circumstance we are in;
Go out in nature, and if possible, to the nearest body of water and remember that there is a wide expanse in front of us and to remember that we are part of a broader existence;
Ground ourselves and shift our awareness to the present by mindful breathing in and out through the nose to a count of 4 in and 5 out (as this offers a deeper and more complete breath);
Exercise for a period of time until we feel even a slight shift
Remember that we are not alone in the world and that there are individuals, groups and professionals that can assist us during challenging times;
Slow down even just a little by watching the sun rise or set;
Reassure ourselves that the present is all we really have in life and we can take small steps for positive change.
Until next time, warmly,