My son graduated this weekend. I am so proud of him. Proud of who he is.
At moments like this I can’t help having flashbacks to his childhood.
We went to Tompkins Square Park in the East Village just about every day.
And each day as we strolled through the park Zane would point out new things he was seeing in the park. A squirrel climbing backwards up a tree with a pizza crust, bubble gum on the park bench, someone laying on the ground staring into space, a new flower blooming, a piece of the NY Times dancing in the wind.
He taught me how to see.
I realized that I had started to walk into a park and just categorized it as a “PARK.”
I saw how my mind wants to categorize every experience so that I experienced very little. Since then I have explored, at the risk of being pretentious, the art of seeing. I am no master, but I am better at it. And really seeing what is in front of us is key to presence. And presence is the essential ingredient to creating anything significant.
Here’s a little exercise I’ve come up that we sometimes explore for a few minutes here and there in Committed Impulse classes.
HERE WE GO
- Take a breath. (No, really do it)
- Let your eyes land on whatever’s in front of ya.
- Notice that your mind may start identifying what’s there…
“That’s a wall, that’s my door, I need to fix that doorknob, that’s a plate, I love grilled cheese, I should eat more vegetables, that’s my printer…” And so on.
- Now, here’s the experiment…
- Explore seeing in terms of color, texture, shape, lightness, and darkness. In other words, see what is actually there without identifying what it is. See the space it holds in the world. Likewise, notice where there’s space between objects. Explore seeing the way an animal might see.
- Give this a shot
Who knows – it may change your life. Or maybe it’ll just be a lil trippy. Either way – DO IT. See what’s in front of you in terms of color, shape, texture, light, and space.
For me – this exercise pulls me into my body into my immediate environment, gently increases my breath, and I AM what-they-say BACK!
If ya do this – let me know what YOUR experience is.
You can write it below because I’m not a big fan of email.
But I think you’re pretty darn great!
Keep on seeing!