Month II: A New Perspective
When you begin to experience seeing the world through fresh eyes, you become more engaged with your surroundings as well as your relationships. Your work will become inspired through a new lens of possibility and your days will be full of surprise discoveries, rather than expectations. This topic is absolutely one of my favorites based on the clarity and inspiration it has brought to my work. Remember to pace yourself weekly and enjoy the process of opening your eyes to a new way of seeing your world!
Week I: Seeing Things Differently
I have a distinct memory of not too long ago, when I was sitting on my meditation pillow, having and internal argument. My body was saying “Relax. Let Go. You can take a break.” My brain was saying “See? There is another distracting thought! You can’t even meditate correctly. Things will never change. You’ve gone as far as you can go. You’re just not good at this.” Back and forth they went until in a moment of desperation, I thought “What if it could all just be easy.”
I didn’t quite believe that it could, in fact, be easy, but I decided to try it on or “Fake it till you feel it” as I had said so many times to my clients. I released the commitment to a perfect practice and embraced the simplicity of attempting to see the situation through a different lens. Little by little, my practice began to calm and the lesson I was teaching myself began to spill over into my daily activities. Traffic became an exercise in empathy (for the most part!) Clients who were formerly “unchangeable” began to respond to the alternative perspectives I took regarding their movement. The work situation that seemed so heavy and permanent began to show signs of possibility for change. As I changed the way I looked at things, the things I looked at changed.
It’s this concept that is at the heart of our lessons this month. The consistent effort to see things differently is challenging, but yields the beautiful benefit of an expanded perspective. Listen to the podcast below and be sure to use your journal to complete the writing exercise for this week. All it takes is a little willingness and a fresh pair of eyes.
Week II: See The Possibilities
Perspective = Choice. When you resign to see the world through only one lens, you run the risk of missing out on some beautiful discoveries. The act of observing your actions and reactions in the world can offer you valuable information about the scenarios that you have a hand in creating. In this week’s visualization exercise, you’ll consider the stories that your brain has formulated about your work and your life. You’ll practice shifting perspectives and noticing what comes into view when you allow the space for a shift to happen. Finally, you’ll embrace the willingness to see everything differently, thus, affording you the gift of choice.
This practice is deep and meaningful. It helps me each day through interpersonal interactions, online interactions, client relationships and especially the way that I feel about myself and my place in this world. I wish for the same gifts to be passed on to you. Be sure to spend 5 – 10 minutes free-writing after this visualization. A useful exercise is to write down a list of your “Greatest Hits” in terms stories you tell yourself. In the column beside it, write down another perspective. How will you choose to see things differently?
Recommended Practice: 2 – 3 times this week.
Week III: Perspective Changing Mat Class
It’s time to move! Many times when we explore alternate perspectives, there is an element of simply “trying something on for size.”Sometimes the exploration is a perfect fit, and other times, we go back to what was working for us before. This week’s class explores the traditional Pilates Mat Work, with a twist – reversed order! We’ll begin at the end and see where the journey back to the beginning takes us. Maybe it will be a perfect fit, maybe not. The mystery lies in the experience itself!
After you move through the class, answer the following questions in your journal:
- How did it feel to approach this familiar body of work from the end?
- What judgments, fears, and uncertainties came up for you while moving through this class?
- What discoveries did you make along the way? What would you keep? What would you throw out?
- Were you able to fully engage into the theme of being led? If no, what thoughts held you back?
- What other elements (teaching/apparatus/concepts) can you apply a theme of shifting perspectives to?
Week IV: Roots and Wings
The final module for this series explores connecting with historical figures from who to garner inspiration. Heart work can at times, be strangely isolating. Your head is spinning with thoughts about movement but you might feel like you’re the only person who thinks this way. Is what you have to say about movement important? Will anyone really “get” it? Does it matter? Should I just sell real estate? (That last one is mine 😉
Considering that you are connected to other teachers, leaders and innovators that went through similar struggles can be comforting and provide inspiration for your work. I often times ask myself “If Ron Fletcher walked into the studio right now, would he be excited to find out what I was working on?” It’s less about seeking approval and more about viewing yourself as part of a larger historical cycle of teachers who came before you and those who will come after you.
Listen to the visualization below to consider what historical figure you would like to connect with. This person can be well-known, a movement or non-movement teacher or even a family descendent. The intention is to choose someone who you find inspiring. After you choose your figure, you’ll do a little online research about them to find out something new. Then, you’ll complete the final part of the visualization to engage into a conversation with that person and gain some wisdom from a generation past that you can use to fuel your heart-centered work.