How do you “see” problems, issues, challenges, conflicts, enigmas and the like – at work, at home, at play and in your relationships?
How do you approach dealing with various areas in your life – career and livelihood, spiritual and personal growth, friends and family, intimacy, and partnership, play and recreation, abundance and finances, health and wellness, personal environment and organization?
Do you forge ahead, like a locomotive, laser-like-driven, nailing down the issue or conflict, quick to diagnose, process and come up with a solution?
For example, how do you “see” reality? (Note: the images below are on my website and are virus-free) Take a very quick look (just a second or two) at this image. And this one. Finally, this one and tell yourself what you see. We’ll return to these in a moment.
The idea underneath “soft eyes” is twofold: (1) LITERAL – taking a few deep breaths, closing your eyes and actually giving your eyes permission to relax, let go and fall back on tiny soft cushions, or pillows, and then open your eyes and explore your environment; and (2) FIGURATIVE – seeing what you “see” about a person, place, event, object or circumstance from this “relaxed” perspective – which allows your “ego-mind” with its preconceived ideas, perceptions, premises, stories and beliefs to “take a short vacation.”
Often, viewing your environment with soft eyes can change the way you see it. And, when your view changes, so does the way you relate to it. When you change the way you relate to it, the way you respond to it also changes.
Let’s return to our images – this time with “soft eyes.”
Before looking at these images once more, take a few deep, deep breaths into your belly. Relax your shoulders. This time, when you look at the image, just gaze at it, noting nothing in particular, see the “totality” of it, and allow it to appear before you. Take a minute or two to gaze, softly, at it with “soft eyes: at this image, this one and this one, and allow each to unfold before you; allow each to show you, tell you what’s there and when you’re done, come back here.
Did you notice anything different? Notice I said “different,” not “new” – as it was there all along. You just perhaps didn’t see it the first time.
Often the sources of our conflicts and challenges and the most effective solutions with which we can approach them are “unseen.”
Too, it all too often happens that the way we approach issues and challenges can take a completely new direction, a new perspective when we explore the “real reality” underneath.
How do we identify this “real reality?” When we take the time to view situations, events, circumstances, people and their positions with “soft eyes,” we can often change our perspective of them – and the approaches we take when dealing with them – very often leading to mutually deeper understanding and win-win experiences and relationships. As Wayne Dyer, said, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”
When we view people, places, circumstances and events with “soft eyes,” we move through a kind of transformation where we discover a reality that was always there, but which we missed. We discover a reality that can shift the way we relate to people, solve problems, face challenges and live life – at work, at home, at play and in our relationships.
When we step back, when we jettison our old, programmed, habitual ways of “seeing,” we open ourselves to possibilities, we come to situations with a new energy. We can more readily, if we choose to, engage from new perspectives, we shift our frame of reference, we become newly empowered, we redefine issues and discover new solutions. In essence, we respond differently – we can even see ourselves and our experiences differently.
So, what is reality? Actually, no one knows for certain – although we each think we do. In fact, we usually get into trouble when we secretly believe that our interpretation of reality is the one, true accurate interpretation. Hmmm.
Each of us is committed to our own paradigm and, as such, sees things that way. The world we share is quite different depending on who’s viewing it. It is perhaps for this sole reason that our planet is rife with so much conflict.
So, when you’re facing a challenge, obstacle, or conflict or looking for solutions, or when you’re simply listening to someone else – or even yourself – consider the “soft eyes” approach….and remember:
“The chicken is the egg’s way of reproducing itself.” Peter Koestenbaum
Some questions for self-reflection:
- Are you usually the first one to say you know the source of a problem – any problem?
- Are you usually able and willing to change your perspective when considering a problem/solution?
- Do you ever seek to operate as an individual even though you’re a member of a team/group/family?
- Do you engage in creative play?
- Are you obsessed with “getting it (or being) right?”
- Do you ever think about what you’re thinking about?
- Do you ever attempt to fix problems when you don’t know the complete context?
- Do you ever use “soft eyes” when encountering challenges, or when listening to others?
- When someone offers an interpretation (for example, of an event or circumstance) that differs from yours, how do you feel? Honestly?
- When did you discover that you’re not always right? How so? What was that like? Who led you to that discovery?
- Would other consider you to be a humble individual?
- Would you rather be right than happy?
(c) 2019, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful. Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.
What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”
I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.
I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.