When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change – Wayne Dyer
Quantum physicists (or is it quantum mechanics?) back this up on a physical level. I am no expert on the subject of course, but it says that as we are all ultimately nothing but vibrating energy. There is no such thing as mass, nothing is solid. Objects therefore have a range of possibilities of position of where they could be and it is not until we look at something and our eyes lock onto it, that its position is defined. You might need to see the movie ‘What the bleep do we know‘ to have that one explained better. They explain all sorts of wondrous proven, scientific things that seem like magic, like how something can be in two places at the same time (they use light) and how if you talk to two bottles of pure water differently and look at them under a very powerful microscope the water will actually look different. One will look scary, for want of a better word and the other looks all beautiful (I would love to show you the images, once I learn how, maybe Google it). They then go on to explain that as we are 80% water ourselves, that negative talk and energy arranges our own water in such ways and can really affect us, so be careful what you allow yourself to be immersed in. This movie is linked to the secret which states the law of attraction, that what you think about most (with feeling and believing if you can manage it) will come to you, positive or negative. I can’t say for sure that it works but I know I would rather focus on the good and positive.
And of course I digress. For a more obvious example of why this quote is true for me, look at another person with love and then hate in your eyes and see how they react. They will change probably. Their body language will get defensive or welcoming or they will simply look confused. So simple, yet scary stuff. Similarly put on a pair of coloured sunglasses and see how things ‘change’. I always choose a certain colour brown lens when buying sunglasses because it makes the water look greener and I feel I am in Tahiti or somewhere more exotic.
One way to change the way you look at things is to focus on them and think about them, like actually listening to music in depth instead of using it for background music that barely registers. It’s the difference between hearing and listening, looking and seeing.
For example you could look at an inanimate object in a new way and think about its good qualities. You might decide that a simple piece of art that any child could have done or thought up, is actually a Picasso like work of art, brilliant on the deepest level. Then the thing you are looking at may change. You may want it, pay lots of money for it and convince others to do the same if you are a respected critic. It will become a valuable piece of work. The same object. Art galleries often leave me scratching my head but I think I get it. The art that gets you thinking and is the most original is sometimes worth the most. I think. Who looked at the works in such a way to deem them valuable enough to put in there?
I am always reminding myself that as thinking humans we have a huge filter on life, a unique paradigm that it is just as well to recognise right now, to avoid argument with others. Stephen Covey brought this to my attention 17 years ago with his story about the father and kids on the subway. The kids were playing up and onlookers saw it as bad parenting and were irritated until they learned that the mother had just died and the family were on their way home from the hospital, each acting out their grief in different ways. The onlookers then saw the same events differently.
For example my life’s experience has taught me to see a crumbly old building in Spain as a thing of great beauty and architecture, somewhere I would like to stay. However my kids, when shown the same image, deemed the building old, crumbling and therefore cheap. (I was amazed, we were playing a game called ‘Compatibility’ at the time and it brought this ‘filter’ to light. I thought we normally have such similar views).
How we look at things, this filter, changes gradually over the course of your life, hopefully to bring you peace and happiness. Remembering to make an effort to look for the good, rather than the bad will slowly change you. With Stephen Covey’s example the change was immediate. Snapping out of your critical thinking, realising it serves no one, especially yourself, and taking responsibility for your own filter is important. Examine it from time to time. Why do we cling on to beliefs that don’t serve us?
Have you ever had people to stay, maybe visit your country for the first time or your house and you start to look at your familiar surroundings with what you imagine to be their fresh eyes, to guess what they will think of it? I love doing that. When I go for my walk each morning (soon, now the sun is up) I try to remember that when I was growing up London, I would have given anything to come to this beautiful place and walk by the water to see the sun twinkling off it. When I change the way I am looking at my surroundings, the beauty then astounds me all over again. It is too easy to walk along, trapped in my thoughts and and miss the whole damn point of the walk. I can tell when I am off with the fairies because my iPod has shuffled to a song I don’t care for that much and I haven’t noticed until the end of it, let alone appreciated anything about it. I remind myself that if I were retired, I would truly enjoy these walks, that they would be a highlight of my day. So why aren’t they a highlight right now? So recently I have changed the way I look at my walk. It is no longer something to force myself into in the hope of getting thinner or fitter. It is something I want to do now. The walk has actually changed. It is so pleasurable. I hate to miss it now, in fact I even walked in the rain this week. Before I would have gone ‘Whoopee, good excuse not to go’.
Talking of which, I must go soon. This quote has reminded me once again to look at things with fresh eyes, to change the way I look at things that will serve me and my happiness levels. I don’t think I am naive or unrealistic or some kind of Pollyanna looking my hardest for the good. I see the crap and the injustice, the nonsense the hypocrisy etc in this world also. But it doesn’t have to be a source of huge immediate worry if you look at it in the right way. It serves no one if I watch all the sad stuff on the news and cry all day (as well I might). I would love to say I am the kind of person that goes on protest marches and has changed the course of history, but it is not going to happen just yet anyway. I won’t beat myself up about it and go around with a long face. That serves no one. I like to think that just as valuable a contribution, if on a very small level, is bringing fun, silliness and energy to the people around me. Get them smiling or thinking or even laughing. I will have to be content with that. Mother Theresa said ‘If you can’t feed all the poor, feed just one’ (or something similar).