Between the lines

As the Buddhists say, “We don’t see things the way they are, we see things the way we are.”*
(Hugh Macleod)

Life is one big adventure in seeing – and not only physically.

When our seeing goes wrong, life can go wrong.

Take this morning. I began with a visual migraine which usually passes after twenty minutes if I lie down in the dark. What I hadn’t seen was that I’d set the timer for twenty five hours not twenty five minutes!

Here are two things to help us see better.

I beginning a journaling experiment today with my journaling by using a printed book rather than blank notebook. I’m using Keri Smith’s Wreck this Journal, which I’d begun to use over two years ago, though hadn’t really managed together through – now it’s become something quite different.

A book with a lot of white space is obviously best. I’m intrigued, though, to see what I will notice as I use what is on each page of Smith’s book alongside my journaling between the lines.

The second thing to try out involves six steps for improving an idea, proffered by Bernadette Jiwa** and which I use now as six ways to improve my seeing:

Focus: This involves finding a place of attention, free from distraction, perhaps involving solitude and silence.

Notice: Look around, see what there is to see, look slowly and closely, deepen your gaze; you certainly have far more materials and resources than you first believed.

Question: Use humble inquiry to go beneath the surface, to ask how this connects with this, or doesn’t; holding two or more thoughts side-by-side allows them to ask questions of each other.

Discern: What emerges from these steps, signals of some possibility?

Predict: Is there something new, a new thought, a new piece of work that you begin to imagine and can shape and form that you now see, though couldn’t before?

Try and test: Make this new thought happen in some small way, allowing you to see if this is something that can leave a small dent in the world.)

(*From gapingvoid’s blog: Why you watch everyone making the same mistakes … over and over again.)
(**See Bernadette Jiwa’s Hunch.)

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