One of my favorite pieces of wisdom to live by is that our life is a reflection of the perspective we hold about it. When you look at the current state of your life, what does it reflect? What does it reflect about who you are and how you see yourself? Your relationships? Your work? Your hobbies? Your life purpose? Is your life a sequence of extraordinary moments strung together to make a richly diverse tapestry, or a mundane ordinary paint stroke on a bleak canvas day after day?
We do not need to be in any artificial state of bliss in every moment, but there is a difference between being alive and actually living life. So how are you living your life? Are the majority of your hours of each day joy-filled? Do you most often feel great, blissful and satisfied? Is there awe, wonder and excitement in how you live? Or is there a monotonous, frustrating, pessimistic, or lifeless and perhaps even angry or cynical pattern to your life?
If you can relate more to the second way of living, perhaps it is time to change the lens through which you are viewing the world. If you are content with the way your life painting looks like, then of course there is nothing to change. But if you are yearning for a richer experience, and more importantly know that you are worth more and life has so much more potential than you are tapping into, then I invite you to read on as we explore ways to bring some extraordinary into an ordinary life.
Rainbows, Butterfly Wings and Wild Things
I am not a proponent for TV watching, but the act of watching television illustrates well the idea of “changing the lens”. If you are watching something on TV that you are not particularly enjoying, what do you do? Simple, you change the channel. By changing the channel you are changing the experience and what you subject yourself to. Of course you could just turn off the TV as well. These two examples can be applied to our everyday life as well, which in and of itself is a show of sorts. If we do not like the experience, we can change it, or remove ourselves from it – at times these are one and the same.
But what if there was a third option, something even more powerful, especially when faced with those situations where we seem to feel we have no choice? All too often people will excuse their lack of happiness, joy, bliss and satisfaction by using the ever so famous – “you don’t understand, I have no choice”. Some common examples include:
I have no choice and have to do *this*, or cannot do *that* because… I don’t have the money, I have kids, I cannot leave my job, I cannot leave my spouse, etc…(you fill in the blank). I think you get the point.
So let’s just say that you are totally right. You are completely stuck and there is no way to change the current predicament you may be in. What now? This is where choice three comes into play. You can change how YOU view what you are watching, or experiencing.
Yes you heard it said many times in different ways, “change your perspective”, “change the way you look at things”, and so on. But there is no coincidence of why this message is starting to sound like a broken record. This simple, yet powerful ideology can be applied to everything in our lives. Whenever you do not like what you are seeing or experiencing, if removing yourself from the situation or changing the situation don’t seem like plausible options, then change the lens you use to view the situation. In this case, the lens being the filter you are using to process the information with.
Instead of seeing a particular situation through the lens of fear, change to the lens of love. This is perhaps the most powerful lens to change, and the two lenses that most of us use most of the time to view the world through. Love generates joy, bliss and happiness. Fear generates worry, anxiety, and disharmony. You will always easily know which lens you are using, based on how you are feeling.
Here are some more lenses to consider changing: instead of the lens of frustration, change to the lens of patience; instead of resistance, change to the lens of acceptance; instead of boredom, change to the lens of awe; instead of ordinary, change to the lens of extraordinary.
By changing the lenses you view life through, you literally change your life. You may not change what you have, but you will change how you feel, and that will change your view of what you have. Before you know it, you will be surrounded by rainbows and butterfly wings, and experiencing some wild things, making for one awesome life experience!
Living Through the Lens of Extraordinary
One way to create a marvellous work of art out of your life is to view life through the lens of extraordinary. When we choose to live life by seeing through the lens of extraordinary it is full of joy, bliss and excitement. Living life through the lens of extraordinary does not mean that you need to quit your job and go sky diving from the Himalayan mountains. Living life through the lens of extraordinary means that you see beauty, awe, or joy in the everyday, often little things that make up life. One of my most favorite examples to use is doing the dishes because for some reason so many people seem to “dread” or not like doing dishes, finding it a mundane chore. Sure, we all have our preferences, but is it possible to look at this task through a new lens? A lens of appreciation and gratitude for the ability to have food, create a meal, and nourish your body, and perhaps that of your loved ones?
What about your work? What areas of it can benefit by looking at them through a new lens – the lens of extraordinary? Is it how you view what you do, or who you have to do it with, or where?
What about when you are lying in bed, unable to do the things you wish because your body has lost its natural harmony and needs some rest or recuperation? Can you switch from the lens of victim or from the lens of resentment, to the lens of gratitude, healing and empowerment, embracing the extraordinary in that moment?
The examples are many. The point is that no matter what life example(s) we have, each one has something so profound in common. That being, the aspect of choice. No matter how your life may be this very moment, if you are unable to change the circumstances you still always have the option of choice. In this case the choice to look at it in a new way by changing the lens through which you view and experience it.
Therefore whether we see life, and all of the events in it from the smallest to the biggest as ordinary or extraordinary, all depends on the lens we are choosing to view them through. How rich you make your life experience is completely in your hands regardless of where you live or what you do for work, or the size of your home, or bank account, or whether you have a spouse, or kids, or a pet.
So how do you put on the lens of extraordinary, transforming the ordinary in your life, and living from a state of happiness, joy and bliss?
Bring back living with the innocence of a child through awe, marvel and wonder as you experience things in your life.
There is perhaps no faster way to live in an extraordinary way than when we bring in these aspects. No wonder the natural state of being for children is happiness, where smiles and laugher are their main expressions. Well, now they can be yours (again) too!
Think, speak and act with appreciation and gratitude in every situation – positive or negative.
Nothing happens that isn’t in some way for our highest good – nothing. Express gratitude and/or appreciation for EVERYTHING in your life and watch your life take on a completely new form. Before you know it, you will be painting on a canvas of bliss as you genuinely love all that you are, have and experience.
Embrace humility in all your interactions.
Whether you are with a family member, romantic partner, friend, co-worker, or any aspect of nature (animals, plants, elements), realize that we are all one and connected to a Universal source. No one is better or worse than another. Everyone is worthy of life, love and respect, and has free will to paint their life canvas however they choose. When we embrace living with humility, we grasp that we are but a piece of the whole. We then sit back and look in amazement at this extraordinary creation and everyone, and everything in it!
Of course as always you get to choose what is right for you, and which lens you wish to view the world with at any given time. However it is not a mystery that viewing life through the lens of fear, cynicism, pessimism, or boredom… will not only keep things ordinary, but all too often simply unpleasant.
So change the lens through which you view the world, and transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Your life can be as colorful as you choose to make it – enjoy and have fun with it!