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Today, we're going to talk about shifting your perspective as a way to deal with those challenging or problematic moments in any given day.
These tips work beautifully with the Emotion Movers I shared in a previous episode or you can try them on their own.
On days when your brain seems to be running the show making it hard to target your feelings, this can be a great way to find calm, open yourself up to new possibilities and lighten the mood.
Shifting your perspective
One of the greatest challenges to your Ego self is the fact that it really can only see things easily from one perspective – yours! This means in any given situation you only have ½ the story and that's on a good day. Training yourself to look at things from other angles opens up something referred to as your operating reality and teaches you to see so much more.
Here are 3 of my favorite tools for shifting perspectives:
1) Ask 'what if' questions – this is a simple game that can move you out of victim mentality, awaken empathy and put things in perspective.
As I already mentioned in most situation we have only ½ the story (often less) and that's what we base our reality on. How we feel, how we respond, what our attitude is, are all based on what we believe about a situation which is limited to what we've seen, heard or experienced.
This game, asks you to suspend judgment, ignore limiting beliefs and instead open your mind to the infinite possibilities about any given situation. It's best to practice this in times of calm because once a red alert is sounded, it's very difficult to get any new information in or out of the locked down area.
In my book, Standing in Your Power, this game is one of my Oh My Goddess moments, called, What if I were queen? The idea behind it is quite simple…rather than just accept what you already know as evidence, use your imagination to come up with some creative 'what if' questions to expand your mind. I always encourage people to get silly with it and to stay away from any guilt producing or hurtful 'what ifs'.
To practice this, start with some ready-made questions to get you thinking and looking beyond what you'd normally see. For example:
- What if the guy who just cut you off is on his way home from the hospital after getting bad news?
- What if your son got in that fight at school because he was protecting his sister?
- What if every time you smiled it decreased your chances of ever getting sick?
- What if you found out tomorrow you only had one week to live?
- What if your child's messy room ended up getting her on the Ellen Degeneres show?
- What if no matter what you did you knew you'd always be looked after?
- What if that irritating colleague at work has been asked to push you to see if you're management material?
- What if I don't have the whole story?
Those are examples of how these questions might look. Now it's your turn. To practice you might think about situations you've experienced in the last few days that were mildly emotional. Let's say you had seen a shirt on a mannequin last week, fell in love and had finally made it in to buy it. The shirt is sold out.
Using the 'what if' game you might think:
- What if the shirt was cheaply made/itchy material/way over priced?
- What if my nemesis bought the same shirt and we wore it on the same day?
- What if I bought it and never wore it because it gaped/sleeves were too tight?
- What if the shirt was doomed and the first time I wore it something bad was going to happen to it (stain/ colours ran in the wash/ shrunk)?
- What if next week I see an even nicer shirt on sale?
After practicing it with less emotional situation (if it works for you) you can move on to those with a higher charge. For example; having your child throw a temper tantrum when you drop him off at daycare. See if you can come up with some 'what ifs' for that. Hint…try to use these 'what ifs' to see the other person's behaviour in a more understanding light. What if my son's behaviour is training me for a reality show I'm going to be chosen for? What if these tantrums are meant to help me have thicker skin for my new job?
Remember – this is about using your imagination, lightening the situation by having some fun and recognizing that there is always more going on than meets the eye.
2) Channel Your Alien - This tool can be a bit difficult to apply the first time you try it if you're really feeling the emotions, so it's a good idea to practice it on good days as well. It is a way to tune back into your life and see it with fresh eyes. In this case you want to see it through the eyes of an alien because we all get how foreign everything would seem if you suddenly found yourself in a whole new world. Also, the alien is telepathic so you don't need to have any of these conversations aloud.
Scan your environment as if you've never seen it before. Look around the room and see the beauty – if you can't find it perhaps it's time to redecorate or at least clean (I was saying that as a joke, but in truth energy does get trapped in messes so cleaning up a space and releasing that trapped energy can also help lighten your mood).
Point out the beautiful things just like you might if you were visiting a friend's place for the first time. I remember having a friend come to my office once and as she walked in she stopped, looked all around and then said, "It's so Zen-like in here." Now, when I'm sitting in my office noticing only the dust bunnies or dog hair on the floor, I take a moment to see it through her eyes and am reminded to see the peaceful serenity of the room.
Back to the alien…
If your frustration has been caused by your child, notice their innocence. Explain the misbehaviour to the alien (he really just wants my attention right now so my job as a mom is to teach him better ways to get it). Talk about what your child has been learning and explain how kids can sometimes seem like they totally understand our words when in fact their vocabulary is way bigger than their comprehension.
You can do the same 'deep dive' into the behaviour and words of your partner, boss, colleague…as you objectively explain things to an alien you can often see things from a new light and realize that a huge part of our regular communication are based on assumptions, bias and how we are feeling at the moment. It can also point out where you are creating a mountain out of a mole hill (i.e. getting upset about something that doesn't actually warrant it).
You might also start to point out the things you are grateful for to the alien – with or without further explanation. Gratitude is a great way to lift your vibrational energy and can remind you of how blessed you really are.
When you are really feeling the weight of the cloud you might feel a strong desire to complain, blame or whine about your life…this will not help you lighten your mood and could make the alien angry ensuring your name gets put on the list for future alien abductions.
3) Shift into the moment
Busy, busy, busy seems to be the reality for so many people. In order to be successful at most things and busy at the same time, you have to always be at the top of your game even when you're feeling down. Always being at your best often means, planning ahead, multi-tasking, prioritizing…not to mention crisis management and self sacrifice. This is not okay – it's not healthy and it does not make you super mom.
I've mentioned before that one of the reasons a down day may appear in your life is to let you know you need to slow down and take stock.
So, this is another tool I'd love to have you implement now and not save for those days when it takes effort just to lift your head off the pillow. The trick is to recognize that even in a very full day, there are still opportunities to really be in the moment and soak up the beauty. Anytime you tune into your senses and really notice what's around you – the sights, sounds, smells, etc – you put yourself into that moment and raise your vibrational energy.
An easier way to start doing this is to allow those powerful moments that naturally grab your attention to guide you.
For example, the other morning when I got up the sun was rising and the eastern sky was a beautiful kaleidoscope of red, orange and yellow. In a normal day a person might notice the colours, think 'nice' and move on with their list of things to do.
Instead, I slipped on my shoes, moved out on my deck and tuned into the moment. I breathed in the cool autumn air tasting it and smelling the damp trees and grass. I felt the breeze touch my skin and a small shiver shoot down my spine. As I continued to gaze at the breathtaking colours I tuned into the stark contrast of the trees in front of it. I heard the crackle of leaves as they fell to the ground and a dog barking off in the distance. My neighbour's rooster crowed and the golden sun became sharper. I felt the joy expand in my belly and basked in the comfort of that feeling. I gave a silent message of gratitude to the universe for sharing this moment with me and went back in the house.
This whole process took a minute – but it made a positive difference to the rest of my day.
So watch for these kinds of moments… It could be the sunshine hitting your face while you're eating your lunch; laughing a deep belly laugh with a friend – you know the kind that flows naturally; sitting down with a fresh hot cup of your favorite beverage; the smell of a meal cooking… even hitting a string of green lights in a row while driving somewhere.
The point is that life is filled with these little miraculous moments we just have to tune in and notice that they are happening. When you use them to remind you to awaken all your senses you raise your vibrational energy and may even anchor in the memory.
For those of you who are thinking, "I barely have time to go to the bathroom in any given day!" never mind stop to awaken all my senses... here are some ideas of where you can shift into the moment without stealing any of your precious time:
When you're in the shower – rather than thinking about the 5 million things you need to do when you get out, shift your focus to the feel of the water on your skin, smell the soaps, tune in to your body and immerse yourself in that space only.
When you're walking down the hallway at work headed to an important meeting, let your brain go quiet for a moment and just feel yourself walking. Hear the happy click of your shoes, notice the sway of your hips, breathe deeply and ground yourself into the moment. Wearing a beautiful essential oil (I like to have one on a tissue in my pocket) can add to this experience. This brings your personal power back into you and sets you up for a better meeting than you would have had if you just barreled on in.
While making supper – as simple or as complex as it might be – forget all about the challenges of your day that are replaying in your mind and tune into what you are doing right there. Hear the sound of cutting vegetables; smell the aroma of the different foods; enjoy the colours; infuse the food with love.
Finally – remember to make pleasurable moments fun – for example, while playing with your kids – let go of your lists (the laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping) and just fully immerse yourself in the joy of the moment. Really hear your child's laughter, see the joy in their eyes, feel the playfulness or creativity seeping into your body.
If your child is older (like mine) and don't really play anymore, you can still become really present in the conversation. Notice their voice, the passion behind their words, the love you feel for them…
Shifting into the moment sounds like such a simple thing and it is, but it's also hugely challenging for most of us to do. So take baby steps and pat yourself on the back for even the tiniest of successes. Even though one minute might not seem like much, when you add 60 of them together you get a whole hour and that can really make a difference.
You can never have too many tools to help you raise your vibration, shift your perspective or lighten your mood. Even if you only choose one and try it for the next couple of days, you'll be making a difference in your life. The more aware you are, the easier it will be to create the vibrant and powerful life you're here to enjoy.
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