I sit at the lovely collaged table in my dining nook to write. I have habitually sat on the end of the table. There I look straight out through my sliding glass door into beauty. I see the trees that arch above our backyard. In the winter I have an empty branched peek into the mountains above.
Then one day I put my sewing machine in that spot. So the next time I sat to write, to express my thoughts, I sat at the side of that same lovely table. (It really is beautiful...filled with quotes, pictures, colors, textures, and inspiration for my writing!)
Suddenly I realized that my view of everything exterior was completely changed. Now I could see out of THREE large, lovely windows. Each window is fluid artwork. In the window straight ahead lies a portion of the silvery Salt Lake. Beyond that are mountains that often seemed to float in space, lying squarely on top of wispy wondrous clouds.
To my right there are acres of blue sky. This view changes from minute to minute as clouds fingerpaint the sky. The window is six feet long, and about five feet wide. It is very much like living art. The window lets me view the artwork that changes. BEAUTIFUL!
There was certainly nothing wrong with looking straight ahead to that majestic view. Yet simply moving around to the side strengthened and lengthened my view of our planet.
Can we change our reality? I would shout from the highest point of these awe inspiring mountains...YES! YES...it is up to us to move around the table and change our perspective.
I have had the privilege of traveling throughout Europe, Mexico, and Canada. I have learned so much from just watching people live their lives.
In Mexico my husband and I were on a cruise ship. We rubbed shoulders on that ship with wonderful people. Most lived lives of financial privilege. We would dress in formal evening wear to eat dinner at night. (My sweetie sure made that tuxedo look good!)
Then by day we would choose excursions that would take us into different cities. One such excursion took us by bus to a teeny, tiny, town. There were no stoplights, no paved roads.
We walked through a garden that rivaled the biblical Garden of Eden. A woman smiled sweetly at all of us, strangers, trooping through her garden and over to her covered patio. Her husband sat inside his open doorway. You could look in to the house and see that it was pretty much just two rooms, and not very big rooms at that.
The woman had a tortilla iron. She had grown and blended the mixture that she would put on the iron. It was like a waffle iron only with flat plates. She would press down with the iron. In short minutes you had a completely fresh, delicious tortilla. Then she would ladle a mixture of beans onto that fresh tortilla. A dollop of home made salsa completed the meal.
Later I learned that one of the tour guides had arranged for this older couple to be paid to create this meal for their tours. The couple was too old and infirm to work at a regular job. Now they earned a tiny pittance serving food to people who had probably never experienced the grinding power of want.
As we drove away our bus created a plume of dust. Soon that dust was filled with bare-foot children laughing and chasing the bus. It was probably a high light in their lives. There was no television in their village. There were certainly no computers, or smartphones. Chasing a bus was a smiling way to be entertained!
My perception was that these people were poor, living lives of want and need. I felt great sorrow watching those children running behind us into the dust spilled by the lumbering bus.
Then I noticed. The children were smiling! They were laughing! These weren't desperately miserable human beings. They were living their perspective with joy! What they did have they were grateful for. Their lives were simple. Hard defined their existence. They worked with their families much of each day. This was true for adults AND children. In that simple dynamic of their lives they found joy, and laughter! Hard to them did not mean BAD!
I returned home with new eyes of gratitude. My humble home kept the elements from my family. We never went without food, or clothing. Our support network, faith, family, and friends was firm and strong.
Did I see sorrow and pain? YES, of course, as we traveled to different areas of Mexico. Children greeted us at each location, begging, or selling small obscure tourist items. I never got used to seeing children beg. I was well aware that in THEIR reality there was pain and struggle.
Sometimes there was also great joy in living. One woman that I sat next to spoke only Spanish. I speak Un Poquito (very little). Somehow we managed to communicate. She joyously showed me pictures of her hijos (children). I joyously shared pictures of mine. We were sisters in that moment joined by the commonality of family.
The heart of what I'm trying to communicate is that we can learn and be changed by simply changing our position. It CAN be simple. It MAY be hard. Hard is not always bad. Sometimes it's the catalyst of great change and growth.
So today, what perspective are you working to change? Stand up and move to a new view, and you will be surprised at how that tiny change can open your mind, your heart, to new ideas and growth.