"Don't it always seem to go
that you you don't know what you've got
'til it's gone."
I set an intention this month to expand my awareness. My objective was to be more creative, solve problems easier and, frankly, to be more joyful. I sought to take time to nurture the moment, pay attention to the details, and listen more while talking less. As what often happens when you set an intention, unexpected opportunities arise in response to it.
One of those opportunities came in the form of Dialoq in the Dark, a world-wide exhibition that just ended after a four-year run in Atlanta. My teenage daughter Allyson and I decided to experience it last weekend.
The purpose of Dialog in the Dark is to increase our appreciation of those with limited or no sight, while enhancing all our senses. It's also about trusting ourselves and others. After a lesson on how to use our walking canes (always touching the floor in front of us and moving it from side to side), our group of eight entered a room where we sat on lighted cubes that slowly dimmed and left us in total darkness. A wave of anxiety rushed over me as I imagined all the things that could go wrong. Would I be left behind or keep bumping into other people? That didn't happen.
Our blind guide entered the room and proceeded to lead us from one room to another ("Come to the sound of my voice," he would say) where we experienced a variety of environments. We visited a park with grass under our feet and a soft breeze, a supermarket, and a busy sidewalk with cars "whizzing" by. Our final destination was a cafe where we ordered soft drinks and paid with our own money.
As we sat in a cafe booth in the dark, our 56-year-old guide shared with us that he lost his sight to a shotgun blast when he was 41. "Do you remember colors?" a young boy in our group asked. He was also blind. "Yes, I do," the guide replied. "What's your favorite?" the boy quizzed him. "Sky blue," he said, without hesitation. I couldn't wait to emerge from the exhibition and look at the sky.
Since that experience of walking in the shoes of a blind person, I feel a strong sense of compassion and gratitude. I'm noticing things more, like the office clutter that I'm clearing, the color of the sky (it's a slate gray today) and the body language of my prospective client at lunch.
At work and at home, what are you seeing and what are you missing? Are you focusing on what's most important or have you become distracted by what doesn't matter?
Here are a few ideas to give you a fresh perspective.
1) Change your routine. Take a new route to work. Sit in a different seat for your weekly department meeting. Moving slightly outside of your comfort zone often prompts more significant, and beneficial, risk taking.
2) Look around. We tend to walk and drive with virtual blinders on, looking straight ahead and missing so much. When you enter a new room, do a slow 360-degree turn to take it all in. While waiting for the green light at an intersection, notice the rows of stores on both sides and the splash of brilliant spring flowers.
3) Keep a journal. One of the best ways to support your awareness is to write about your observations and allow one "aha!" to lead to another and another.
May these simple eye-opening exercises lead you to what you've been seeking. Take a moment to share your wisdom on my Facebook Page or reply back to me. I love hearing from you!
To Your Wisdom,
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