“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are an entire ocean in a drop.”
—Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet & Sufi mystic
Image from Unsplash by Greg Rakozy
How often do you see yourself as small and insignificant? Depending on your perspective, you may see yourself as:
- one vote among millions
- one person among seven+ billion
- one creature living on a tiny planet in a small solar system in one galaxy among trillions
If you are a fan of physics, you may also note that we live in one universe in a multiverse of infinite numbers.
Perhaps with those descriptions, you think I proved that we are even less than a drop in the ocean. But I suggest that instead you consider this:
Your body is composed of more cells than there are grains of sand on all the beaches in the world, and all the stars in our Milky Way galaxy, combined.
We are all made from star dust from super novas, and we possess the consciousness of knowing that is so.
How can you more fully embrace the miracle of you?
With this far bigger and more powerful perspective, how can and will you relate to your place in the world and from the world within you?
“Every silver lining has a cloud.”
—Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
Image from Unsplash by Jacob Mejicanos
Living in Michigan for over 30 years, I have come to fully appreciate all four seasons. For many who live here, the joke goes that there are only two: Winter, and Construction.
I also see the down side of this perspective, yet most Michiganders are a pretty hearty, upbeat bunch.
Folks around here seem to find a good number of silver linings on a day-to-day basis despite those cloudy days and episodes in life. We are pretty good at making lemonade and of course experience gratitude for all the good things around us.
How can you more fully notice and appreciate the silver lining moments in your life? Looking for clouds may be a good place to start.
“It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out.”
—Carl Sagan, 20th Century American Astronomer
Image from medium.com
Who in your personal or professional life do you consider the most closed minded and stubborn? If you are like many of us, you might say, “Where do I start?” and be able to create a reasonably long list in mere minutes. What are the benefits and down sides of having such a closed-minded view of things?
On the other hand, who are the most open and receptive folks you know? Who are those who will try on the views and perspective of others, easily and fully? What are the benefits, and in the case of today’s quote, the downside of seeing the world primarily through the lens of those around you?
Imagine your mind is a screen door or window. How would the flow of air on a summer day be similar to the healthy flow of new ideas with a wider perspective foster more quality relationships and life success?
“Not enough people in the world, I think, carry a cosmic perspective with them. It could be life-changing.”
—Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Astrophysicist
Image from mountainx.com
Perhaps no single person since Carl Sagan has excited the public more about the wonders of science than Neil deGrasse Tyson. His recent work as host of Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey goes steps beyond Sagan’s 1980 version, Cosmos: a Personal Voyage.
Learning about how our universe works and taking a cosmic perspective has me appreciate equally my smallness and my connection to the whole of everything. This perspective has given me a passion for learning and self-development. That, in turn, has provided me much joy and satisfaction, and permits me to embrace the impermanence and the miracle of being alive.
How would taking a far more cosmic perspective of your life provide you access to living an even more extraordinary one?
“At the end of the game, pawns and kings go back into the same box.”
Image from Unsplash by raw pixel
We live in a world of comparisons. Over the millennia, there have been kings and slaves, the wealthy and the poor, the elite and the untouchables.
Examine your own professional and personal worlds for comparisons such as executives versus clerical staff, movie stars, professional athletes, and attractive individuals versus the plain and less talented.
In chess and in life, kings and queens have far more advantages and opportunities to come out on top versus the pawns of our world.
What is the cost we and society pay each day because of this superior/inferior perspective?
How would viewing one another as equals with our shared humanness help us all realize a more wonderful life before we go back in the box?
“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”
Image from Unsplash by Jon Tyson
The human heart is an extraordinary organ. Weighing about ten ounces, this fist-sized miracle pumps life-giving oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout our bodies, without missing a beat.
The heart, like our brain, generates a powerful electromagnetic field. The electrocardiogram (ECG) has a field more than 60 times greater (based on amplitude) than brain waves generate in an electroencephalogram (EEG).
Some researchers believe that this electromagnetic field can code and connect individuals beyond our five senses, potentially transmitting and exchanging both positive and negative energies.
How would viewing life from a more heartfelt perspective help you see more of the invisible wonders of life?
You may wish to explore the work of the Heart Math Institute to see what they have been working on for over 25 years.
“There’s a bigger picture. Just step back from the canvas.”
—attributed to Ilona Simone
One of my favorite Netflix Original Series is called Tales by Light.
Each episode highlights a specific masterful photographer, examining their world in great detail. The techniques they use to capture our world include a wide variety of lenses, and viewing their subjects from multiple levels.
From ground level to the top of a ladder, or a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon or drone, their images reveal more of their canvas, and a far more interesting and beautiful perspective on their subject.
Where in either your personal or professional world are you simply too close to a particular subject? Where would stepping back to gain greater objectivity and perspective shed more and better light on your view of your world?
“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.”
—George Carlin, Late American stand-up comedian and social critic
Image from content.time
George Carlin, who passed away in 2008, was noted for his black comedy. No subject escaped his probing and ingenious mind. He had a surprising and penetrating way of making aspects of human nature hilarious to millions of people.
Today’s quote points out that we are constantly talking to ourselves and find our own opinions, perspective, and general views on all subjects of greatest appeal and value. Carlin knew that our favorite subject was ourselves. He was clever enough to poke fun at it, making him one of the most popular comedians of all time.
Where and how can the understanding that each of us talks to ourselves and prefers our owns answers help you improve your relationships and the results you desire, personally or professionally?
“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”
—George Bernard Shaw, 20th Century Irish playwright
Image from Flickr by Jason Bain
It is early spring here in Michigan. With increased daylight, warmer days, and a few more birds chirping, many of us are embarking on some spring cleaning.
Two activities that are often on the list are cleaning or replacing the furnace filter, and washing the windows, to clean our air and brighten our views.
How can and will you clean your own perceptual filters and brighten your windows on the world to lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life?
Consider doing this exercise with your family or work community so that you can engage additional social support and increase the likelihood of success.
“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”
Image from Flickr by Hayley Mechelle
What current personal or professional issue has you upset, frustrated, and perhaps at a breaking point? Where are you ready to throw in the towel and give up on a matter of great importance?
You may even feel that you have tried everything possible and don’t have it in you to go on.
Beyond the RAH-RAH of the If at first you don’t succeed… stuff, how can you remain patient and persist in new and different actions to open the locks of opportunities you seek?
Seek out the support of a friend, mentor, family member, or coach to tackle this matter. They will likely help you find the inner strength to go on, and the added perspective to achieve what you desire.