What do you see?

I recently heard a podcast where the invitation was this: Look around and see all the red items in your view. Try this with me. Take a moment and look around you for things that are the color red. When you see one, pause and pay attention to it. Acknowledge it. “There is a red truck.” “There is a red scarf.” Seriously. Stop reading and look around. What do you see that is red? After a few minutes of looking, come back. Ok, ready? Did you see a few things that are red? Take a moment, close your eyes and list everything you saw that was blue.

Yep, I want you to recall all the things you saw that were blue. Ack! Reality is you might not be able to remember one blue item. Why? Because you were busy looking for things that were red! You have probably had this exact sort of experience in life. You might remember purchasing your last vehicle and “all of a sudden” you noticed many of the exact make, model and color on the road. Or you went to an event and now it seems like everyone is talking about it too! What we focus on becomes our experience.

Think about what word you chose for this year. Have you observed a difference in what you notice? As I mentioned last month, my 2020 word is JOY. I have noticed SO MUCH MORE joy than I have in the past. Not only do I see more joy in life, I actually have allowed myself to embrace the joy I find. An interesting side benefit I wasn’t expecting is this: In looking for joy, the elements that do not bring me joy have become much more clear. As I observe a “joy-void,” I now can choose if or how I want those elements in my life.

I now notice JOY because I am intentionally looking for it. It is the equivalent to my “red” item. Before January 1st I often (and quite unconsciously) focused on what or whom brought me discomfort, pain or anger and how to move those feelings out from my life. Now, I can still see those things, but they feel much less powerful, because they are not blocking my view of the good. They are no longer my focus.

We have discomfort, pain and anger in life. It is easy to see all the meanness, pain and darkness around us. If we focus on the dark, we experience darkness. Looking for the light, does not erase darkness, but rather compels us to see the inherent goodness in situations and in each other, rather than the things with which we do not agree. This may seem like a minor technicality, but it isn’t. Focusing on what is wrong can drop us into feeling hopeless, despairing and out of control. It becomes overwhelming. Observing goodness and light offers us hope, cheer and comfort. It doesn’t ignore the dark, instead it allows us step back and see those black holes, and not get absorbed by them. When we focus on the light, we will see darkness, but from a place of light. This empowers us to chose our response to darkness without being swallowed by it.

This week, consider what you want to experience in life. On what do you want to focus? Find light. Stand in it. From this place of light, you will be able to see life with more clarity. You will be see the dark spots of life, without getting swallowed by them and from there, you can determine how you want to respond. Set your intention to experience the life you want.

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