How to See More Clearly and Make Way for Better Possibilities
Monday, October 8, 2018 at 7:00AM
Linda Samuels in Mindfulness, Possibility Thinking, awareness, calm, friends, gratitude, home, hope, mindfulness, opportunities, possibilities, stress, transition

It’s one of life’s facts that our view gets obstructed from time to time. What’s funny about that is we don’t always realize when it has happened. Maybe we don’t notice because it happened slowly. Other times we are consumed by the cloudiness and find it challenging to see solutions or possibilities. Our thinking enters the black and white or extreme zone where we feel as though things will always remain fuzzy. One thing know is that life isn’t black and white, but a lovely mix of extremes with grays stretching towards both ends of the spectrum. With autumn in full swing, this season perhaps more than any other emphasizes this idea. Days go from bright, sunny, colorful and crisp to gray, rainy, foggy, and damp. When it’s foggy, how can we break through to see more clearly or just appreciate the mist? How do we make room for possibilities?

The first step is awareness. I’ve identified seven ordinary opportunities for identifying cloudy situations. It is from this awareness that you can forge a path for different possibilities.

 

7 Ordinary Awareness Opportunities . . .


Waking from Sleep

There is that beautiful moment in the morning when you first awaken. You’re still sleepy and snuggled in your cozy bed. Your alarm just rang or maybe you’ve woken naturally. You lie there and then slowly open your eyes. Things are blurry at first as your eyes adjust to the morning light. Instead of jumping out of bed immediately, allow a few moments so that you can transition to wakefulness. Let your eyes acclimate to the sun. Take a few, deep breaths. Slowly elongate your body by stretching your arms and legs. Set a positive intention for the day. Notice the sounds, smells, and sensations around you. In this gentle way, you are preparing yourself for the possibilities of the day.

 

Cleansing the Face

In the morning and again at night I have my face washing routine. I’ve come to realize that this pattern is not just about having a clean face. It’s a self-care ritual that brings me calm and clarity. In the morning when I’m still sleepy, there’s something about scrubbing, toning, and moisturizing that helps me slowly wake up. It’s my cue that the day has begun and that opportunities are before me. At night, the same routine helps me wipe off the day’s make-up and grime. Cleaning my face in the evening promotes a calm, gentle end to the day. The dirt gets cleansed along with any challenges or stresses from the day. The ritual creates an opening for a restful night. 

 

Wiping Your Lenses

Do you wear eyeglasses? I do. I need glasses for reading and computer work. While I try to be careful about only touching the frames and not the lenses, inevitably, I forget. I’ll pick up the glasses by the lenses, which makes them dirty. What’s funny about this is that I don’t realize when I’ve done it. I don’t notice that I’ve touched the lenses or that they’re smudged. I could use more mindfulness practice on this one, right? Instead, what will happen is that after some time, I’ll realize that I can’t see so well. My first thought is, “Oh, no! My eyes are getting worse.” Then I realize that the lenses are dirty, so I clean them. When I put my glasses back on, it’s astonishing how well I can see. How often is our judgment clouded by a belief or assumption? By cleaning our lenses, we can see other possibilities.

 

Cleaning the Windows

Two of my favorite times of year are when our windows get cleaned. This fall, in particular, the windows had gotten especially dirty. We had the house power washed, and the residue dripped onto the windows. Since our house has a lot of windows, the darkened glass was noticeable. The obstructed view agitated me and negatively colored my day. Similar to my eyeglasses, I just couldn’t see out as well. Then like magic, the window-cleaning day arrived. One by one, each window was restored to a bright, clear view. As the layer of dust lifted, my attitude became more open and positive.

 

Returning Home After Being Away

I like traveling, but what I really enjoy is returning home after being away. There are things we stop noticing when we’re around them all of the time. We take them for granted. Leaving and returning allows us to see again what has been hidden from our view. They include things like the comfort of sleeping in your own bed, enjoying your favorite foods, having your supplies at the ready, or being able to navigate in the dark. When we travel, new environments open us to possibilities. When we return home, we can bring some of those discoveries with us. We can also return a renewed appreciation of home.

 

Opening Eyes After Mindfulness Meditation

It’s not a requirement to close your eyes when meditating. I prefer to because it helps me be more fully present with my experience. I meditate in the morning. Some mornings the sun shines brightly and other times the day is gray with diffuse shadows. The natural light varies depending upon the weather and time of year. The experience, however, of having my eyes closed while awake for 10-30 minutes and opening them at the end of the meditation, remains the same. There is that first-moment post-meditation when I open my eyes. Calm floods my being. My physical sight is sharp. Internally I feel more open and accepting of what is before me. I am content in just being, and also ready for what the day will bring.

 

Appreciating Cloudy Skies

You might have figured this out by now, but I prefer sunny to cloudy days. I like bright colors over dull ones. I love sparkly instead of plain things. I know that all days can’t be glittery, sunny and pleasant. If they were, we wouldn’t fully appreciate them. Recently I was sitting by the river on an overcast morning. I saw a couple taking a walk when they bumped into their friends. They asked them, “Will the sun ever come out?” Without hesitation, their friends said in a sing-song-from-the-musical-Annie-way,“Tomorrow.” And then they all laughed. It made me smile too. I thought about a few things. Life isn’t always cloudy. There’s always hope. There are still possibilities. The sun will come out eventually. When the clouds are here, they provide an opportunity for contrast, for gratitude, and for finding your way to clearer days.

 

I’m curious about your cloudy experiences. What resonates with you? What helps you to see more clearly and prepare for possibilities? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come and join the conversation!

 

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels (http://theothersideoforganized.com/).
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