DAY 15: A Shift In Perspective

Cloud Mist, Blue Ridge Mountains, Western N. Carolina

Opening my closet today I happened to glance at one of the book titles in my bookcase and pulled it out – The Book of Joy. How perfect for this mid-way journey of 31-Days of Joy and Laughter Project.

Having danced with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Bali, Indonesia many years ago now where he was the keynote speaker for a Global Healing Conference, and having always loved the playfulness and wisdom of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Getting those two together is quite something – joyful moments to be certain….and very, very playful!

“Deeply moving and laugh-out-loud funny, Mission: JOY is a documentary with
unprecedented access to the unlikely friendship of two international icons who
transcend religion: His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu. In their
final joint mission, these self-described mischievous brothers give a master
class in how to create joy in a world that was never easy for them. They offer
neuroscience-backed wisdom to help each of us live with more joy, despite

One of the “8 Pillars of Joy” spoken about in this book is a quality of the mind – perspective. The way we see the world, and our life within it, is how we are in the world. This viewpoint impacts the experiences and challenges we may have and in turn has the power to change the world we live in.

Our perspective toward life can be our final and ultimate freedom – a way of looking at life in a more operational way versus a defining way. This perspective is often based on limited self-interest and self- awareness – but when we open up our lens to a wide angle view more possibilities reveal themselves.

“For every event in life there are many different angles. When you look at the same event (challenge or situation) from a wider perspective, your sense of worry and anxiety reduces, and you have greater joy.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I often feel that what the world needs right now in these crucial times is a shift in perspective. A shift away from focusing on the symptoms and a rewire to address the core causes of disruption and imbalance. This also can have great impact in our daily personal lives.

It has taken some time for me to “get out of my own way”, let go, and open to unfolding possibilities and synchronicity. Perhaps it has for you as well.

As a small example, when I relocated from Austin, TX back to California (Relocation #6 of 7) several years ago now, I thought I needed to save money and be more prepared to set up a home base before I could set a date for leaving. My mind told me this was sensible and safe. 

However, when I tried on the flip side of that thinking this possibility appeared – “I trust that there will be more resources that will appear when I simply set a date to pack up and start the move” – I felt freedom in that moment.

Within that letting go an opportunity came in to work with a friends company remotely that funded my relocation and meant I did not have to “hit the ground running” to build up my energy medicine/yoga therapy practice right away. A wider perspective.

Because I was willing to see beyond the, what seemed like, more secure and safe decision (inner conversation) to save money and wait to move, an opportunity emerged from willingness to let go into a larger area of possibilities.

Even when we may be constantly bothered by something in our daily life, a different perspective can make a world of difference. Several months ago now I moved from an extremely quiet and peaceful environment to a space on a busy road leading to a small downtown area.

This road is not only traveled frequently by cars and trucks but also fire engines and police cars with sirens blaring. Mind you it is only a small one lane both ways winding road, but the siren noise dramatically disturbed my peace of mind and being. Or so I let it.

One day while standing out on the front porch a fire truck went by with sirens blaring. My landlord, who lives right next door to me, came out on the porch with his hand on his heart and a smile on his face. Curiosity drove me to ask what meaning these noisy trucks had for him. He proceeded to tell me that he was a volunteer fireman for 19 years and simply loved watching them go by bringing back all of his memories.

From that point on every time I hear the sirens I only have to envision a man standing on his porch with his hand on his heart and a smile breaks out on my face. Incredulously I no longer have an adverse reaction to the noise.

Allowing time for the mists to clear, as in the image at the top of this post, a different perspective and a vast array of possibilities will reveal themselves.

Hand on my heart… and freedom is nestled in perspective.

Add THIS BOOK to your “Joy & Laughter” Library

About 31 Days of Joy & Laughter Project:

As elders with a long life behind us and not as much embodied life before us, and as humans on the planet Earth at this time, we are being faced with incredible challenges that compete to take our attention.

A couple of days ago I realized I no longer choose to have my attention taken by the fear, doom and gloom broadcast daily, whether on our smart phones news feed or while talking to others. I am weary of it all and need a higher vibration energy bath!.

It is not that I don’t want to know what is happening in the world, but instead the question I am posing to myself, and to you, every day is – where do we want to place our attention? We most always have a choice.

For the month of December I am placing attention on joy, laughter, creativity and acts of kindness as a experiment to see what unfolds. Seeking out and being aware of moments of joy sometimes hidden in the deep pockets and lining of each and every day that seem to get passed over without even looking back. They are always there.

Each day in December you will find a small nugget of joy, humor, creativity or small act of kindness that found me and pulled my attention which will be posted here. I invite you to join me and share your experiences and what you noticed so that we may spread it around! (Please use the “Comment” section below).

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You can also find all of the posts in the archives here:

Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 12/15/21. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder

Considering a move? Finding Home: Conscious Relocation Services by Gaye Abbott
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