I don’t know about you, but it seems like our minds focus a lot on small views. They focus on reading words. They focus on performing the next task. They focus on objects throughout the day.
The dog, the cat, the book, the skillet, the computer, the mail, the song, the furnace hum.
Sometimes we can maneuver through an entire day of our precious life focusing on limited projects, ideas and scenes. Many times we’re focused on the stream of thoughts running in our head. So focused that it feels like we’re missing some larger insight.
I’m not saying this is wrong. Heavens, where would we be without our ability to focus? It’s a necessary skill. It teaches us so much. It enriches our lives.
Many years ago a desire arose in me to learn how to see the widest largest possible view. If an idea is true, can another idea also shine with truth? If this person is right, can another person with an opposing viewpoint also be right? What boxes do we shut ourselves within? And how, darn it, can we escape those boxes?
If anything sums up this lifetime of Kathy thus far it’s been this desire. Of course, I mostly went about it all wrong. I actively tried, tried, tried (and tried six million ways) to keep seeing the larger view. Sometimes I even knocked off my friends’ opinions in an effort to show them–hey, wait a minute, here’s another opinion that shows a wider view! Sometimes I knocked off my own opinions without due respect, creating inner suffering.
Lately it’s become clearer that it’s much easier to see the wider encompassing view by relaxing. The opposite of trying. I truly believe that within each human being is the innate capacity to relax our focus and see the larger picture. The less wedded we are to our opinions and “right” thoughts and tumultuous emotions, the more we can see. The mountains and valleys and trees and snow all come into an effortless whole of oneness that soothes our inner strife, that includes apparent opposites, that says yes, yes, oh yes. (And it’s very tender toward no.)
When a person relaxes, and then relaxes more, and then takes an even deeper breath of relaxation (and sees the mind’s endless roller coaster for what it mostly is) then the more encompassing viewpoint just naturally arises. No struggle. No effort. Just this.
Of course, if someone tried to tell me this a few years ago my mind would have said–yes, sure, BUT…and perhaps spun off in a loop explaining why this is too simplistic, why it’s not really true, and what we need to DO to relax, because, darn it, you’re not seeing the largest possible picture!
An interesting discovery–when we’re relaxed and seeing the entire world with a softer heart (and this does not mean wearing blinders and refusing to focus on the world’s pain and misery) a strange thing can happen.
The little things–the smell of cinnamon, a round red apple, a friend’s smile, the computer screen, a random goose–the small things upon which we focus–can suddenly contain the entire Universe. When we focus, it’s sometimes possible to glimpse eternity. We can see the largest possible view in the smallest possible things.
Just some thoughts early Friday morning in January, 2018, still in my pajamas at 9:30.
Happy weekend, Love, Kathy