Which lens are you currently viewing your life through?
I just practiced mindfulness meditation in my backyard the other day and opened my eyes to two beautiful perspectives. When I zoomed out, I was surrounded by lush greenery – the grass was neatly cut and the palm trees swayed from side to side. The air kissed my cheeks and I was met with the sun and the blue sky, inviting me to see beyond the four corners of my mind. Meditation always has a beautiful way of expanding our perspectives, because the truth is that when we remain for too long in the confines of our mind and thoughts alone, we tend to get stuck, believing so little of a life which is vaster than we could EVER comprehend.
That’s when I realised something truly profound – just as I was using the more expansive lens to view my surroundings, I could rotate between this and then ‘zooming in’ to the specific details of each blade of grass, flower and all the shapes of plants around me. When I zoomed in, I realised how there was an entire world of life in a single patch of grass alone. There were hundreds of insects scurrying around between each blade of grass, carrying out their daily duties. If I zoomed in just a bit closer, I noticed the soil underneath the grass and how densely, yet perfectly packed it was – each grain holding up the lush greenery with such grace and tenderness.
It helped me refocus and I gained an important perspective – sometimes when we’re faced with grief, a period of anxiety or sadness, we can consciously rotate between these two important lenses. This helps us gain a clearer perspective of both our internal landscapes and our external worlds, from differing angles. Sometimes it’s useful to view our pain with a more ‘expansive lens’ – when we do this, we see beyond just the immediate pain, hurt and ‘texture of the grass which surrounds us.’ Suddenly, we open our eyes and hearts to the many people who love us from both near and afar, the many blessings such as circumstances, jobs and colleagues who surround us everyday and the simple, yet taken for granted gifts of stepping outside and feeling the sun on our faces and the winds caressing our cheeks. We are only afforded this opportunity when we zoom out.
At other times, we benefit from using the other lens – the one which helps us particularly zoom in to what is happening within us and how we feel. Take anger for example – I believe that it can be one of our greatest teachers if we allow it in. When we choose to focus too far outwards during a state of anger, we may bypass the emotion and rationalize it too much. In such a way, we miss the gift of processing it in a healthy way. We miss the opportunity of listening to the deeper voice beneath our anger, offering the specific kind of compassion we may need at that point & growing through it. This is something which only ‘zooming in’ allows us.
We can apply this to absolutely any situation in our lives – from our pain, to our relationships, to learning to set healthier boundaries and even in the practice of mindfulness and meditation.
How magnificent is it that we are afforded different perspectives and can switch between them in a matter of a second or two? We often take for granted the many intricate gifts our body affords us in helping us switch perspectives and process both the world around us and within us much
better. When we learn to pay closer attention, we come to realise how equipped we actually are – for coping with life’s challenges and for learning how to thrive!


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