4 Ways to help you gain perspective


4 ways to help you gain perspective….

How a move to new office space created better perspective in everything.

Have you ever been stuck in a particular way of thinking or seeing the world around you? Have you ever wished for clarity or for a way to approach a situation differently?

“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”—Marianne Williamson

This happens to me all the time. I get that heavy feeling inside of my chest when I know I am stuck in my head and in my own perspective. It’s hard sometimes to ask for someone else’s point of view because you know for sure it will be counter to your own. It’s also hard when you know that changing perspective will mean letting go of what is familiar, that right or wrong your way of thinking is the only way you know and are comfortable handling.

Is it such a bad thing to take a different approach, to look with a new point of view?

For a while now I have been contemplating changing where my office is located in my home. I have been sharing office space with my husband for well over 8 years now and for a while we had also set up a small area in this small office so that the kids could have their own “office” space for school work. You can imagine how crowded our space felt on school nights with the gang all working together.

As I have been making my career transition I knew the day would come that I would need to have more office space to allow for me to have my clients meet with me in person, to sit and feel welcome and safe and comfortable.

Recently that day came. I got a call to meet with a client in person and I suddenly really needed to separate our offices and so I finally put my idea of MY office space into reality and made the move. Let me just say right now that I will never share office space again. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I love being in their space 24/7 but honestly, I love my new space. I love the entire room I am in. We call it the fireplace room because, yep, you guessed it, the fireplace is the main focal point of the room. It is a bright area due to the room having the most windows, and it is cheerful and roomy and I am slowly creating the space to be cozy for my clients as well as my family. I love the new perspective I have now with the view from my windows of the front of the house and now also the back of the house.

I feel more creative all of a sudden. I find that I want to be in my new office all the time. I get more respect from my family because I have this established space. I decorated the space to accommodate my clients and I feel more professional toward my new career and it just seems like my family treats me with more professionalism.

Today I was working on my latest blog post and heard a noise at the back window. I turned and saw a bird hanging on to the window screen. I would have missed that sight completely if I was still in my old office space and I suddenly felt so grateful for the chance to see something I never would have seen before. My new space not only changed my feelings inside of myself but it changed my physical perspective on the small world around me. The sight of the bird on the window made me take a deep breath and just stop, for one minute and be grateful for the little things.

It may not seem like much to change furniture around in a room or to change the sheets on the bed or to just look out a window you have looked out of a million times before but what is amazing about all those “routine” things is that TODAY your perspective is different. Today you get to smell the freshly washed sheet smell, today you get to sit in a new position in the same old room, today you get to look out of that window and realize that yesterday you didn’t get to see that Cardinal bird sit on the tree branch and how amazing the red Cardinal bird looks against the deep green on the leaves of the tree. In a few short weeks those leaves will start to change and that deep green won’t be back again for another year.

Maybe you can’t change a room around but you can still change your perspective. All it takes is a bit of practice. Ask yourself a few questions:

1)      What do I want to get clear on?

2)      How can I look at this situation from a different angle?

3)      What are the possibilities if I just let go of this way of thinking or seeing?

Here are 4 ways that might help you gain perspective:

1)      Visualize. Take a piece of paper and crayons or markers or a pen and draw what you see in your mind. Taking your thoughts out of your head and making them come to life on paper or through a design program in your computer help to get your juices flowing toward deeper understanding of your need, your excitement, and your objective. Perhaps creating a scrapbook from old magazine cutouts that allow you to actually choose the pieces of the design or idea you are visualizing would help make it more real. Perhaps saying it out loud or writing it in a journal would help you get clear on what exactly you want to accomplish.

2)      Ask for another point of view. Maybe you would benefit from talking to someone about your perspective? Are you really stuck in an old way of seeing or thinking about a situation? Perhaps a partner, friend, coach, or parent might be able to help you get clear on what perspective to take.

3)      Physically walk around the situation. Getting physical is a great way to help your perspective get more laser focused. Go for a walk either through the space or the idea. Lay out your drawing and walk around the drawing. When I was thinking about which room would be best for my own office space I had to establish what my goal was, why I needed the new space and then where and how to make it happen. I walked through the room I was thinking of using many times before I settled on just where to put my desk, my computer printer/copier, my sitting area, etc. Taking my visualization ideas and mapping out my space physically helped not only in creating excitement but also in the eventual move into the new space. It took no time at all to get the room ready because I had done the preliminary work through visualizing and mapping.

4)      Don’t wait too long. The longer you wait to change your perspective the more you risk feeling like the change in perspective is out of reach. I knew eventually I would move my office and I also knew it would happen when the time was right but waiting so long left me feeling a bit hopeless that maybe I was being silly or selfish to want to change. Don’t wait. If your insides are ready for a fresh point of view then make the change. Had I changed my office perspective sooner who knows what would have happened to my creativity? Now that I am in my new space I feel so relaxed and open to possibilities. I am now visualizing new perspectives to give this space and what that will do for my clients. I am looking at how much more this new space can say about me.

After this amazing new office move I knew I needed to tackle one more room change. My husband and I had wanted to change the furniture around in our bedroom for many years but we had been putting it off because the room design we had in mind would force us to lose the headboard of our bed by moving the bed under the large double window. My old way of thinking was that we paid good money for that headboard it should not be put away in a closet, and besides, which closet had the most room to house the headboard? That one stuck perspective prevented us from doing anything new in that room for a very long time.

I was so changed and charged from creating my office space that I decided one Sunday morning to take my son and my husband upstairs and change the bedroom furniture around. For too long I knew exactly what I wanted to do with a new room design and so we did it. We took off the headboard.

What was I so afraid of?

Our bedroom looks like a hotel room now. We have a lot more walking space, we have a room that is not dominated by the bed and we have been sleeping better. The room makes sense now and I wish we had not waited so long to change our perspective.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” –Anais Nin

If we can change our perspective, even just a little bit, if we can be open to possibilities just a touch, what will our new perspective bring to our lives, ourselves? Journey On…..

Lisa is a career and life coach. She has been featured in Parent Magazine and in the book, A Stay-At-Home Mom’s Guide to Making Money by Liz Folger. If you would like to explore how coaching can help you please write to lisa@journeyoncoaching.com to set up a free 30 minute coaching consultation


7 Strategies to Help You Be Here


“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.”
George Harrison

I would bet that for most of us Monday morning feels much like walking through ocean water, uphill, backwards, while it is raining and your eyes are closed. For even more of us life itself feels like this on a daily basis. UGH!!

Each week we hope that this Monday will be the day that will make all the difference for our hard work and sacrifice. We hope and/or wish deep down inside that this will be the week that everything changes for the better. The question is, what have you actually been doing to make that hope/wish a reality? Have you actually been here?

There is nowhere for you to get to; you are already here. What does it mean to plan for the future, to better your circumstances, to live in the notion of doing what you should and put off what you want? Every day is always now. Comedian/actress Lily Tomlin once said, “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat.” I for one don’t want to be a rat. I want to win in increments and eventually feel like I don’t have to scurry and forage and bite.

As you know I am building my life coaching business. Building anything whether it is physical or metaphorical is hard work and as in the overall life equation nothing is for sure except death and taxes, as my father would say. This is not the first time that I am taking on the role of entrepreneur. In one of my previous apparitions I was a wedding photographer so creating a business is not new to me. What is new each time is the “how” and the “what”. I always like to start with the “why”. Why do I want to be a wedding photographer? Why do I want to be a life coach? Why do I want to start my own business? My “why” is always very important to discover. Suddenly, out comes my special paper that I reserve just for list making. I love making lists. Once I firmly and wholeheartedly find my “why” I am then able to work on my “what” and my “how”. I even created a template that helps me narrow down my  “why” questions to help get me to my specific “how” and “what”  of each  business category.  Some of the questions look like this:

1)      What is the outcome I am hoping to achieve?

2)      What benefit will my product/service have for someone?

3)      What are my priorities and action steps I need to engage in to make this idea come to life?

4)      What do I need to decide right now?

5)      How will I use my strengths and values toward my product/service?

6)      How will I implement each step I take?

The biggest question of all for me is how will I know I am HERE? I have created a list of 7 thoughts that help me know and help me stay focused on my here and now. I would like to share this list with you and invite you to think of anything more to add to the list.

You know you are HERE if…..

1) You remain present and mindful. This means that you are attentive and aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it. You stay focused on your current task, thought, objective.

2) You are fully engaged in your life moments. According to the father of the engaged life moments, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote a book entitled, FLOW, The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Flow occurs when our thoughts and actions are deeply consumed by our projected outcome. Every part of our body is engaged in our creation process. We lose track of time and space and when we emerge on the other side of all of that creative energy we are changed and charged and feeling purposeful.

3) You are walking the talk. This means that you are completely believing and living your actions and that which you are creating and accomplishing. You talk about your purpose, you read about your purpose, you breathe your purpose, and you recruit believers to your purpose. People actually start to believe and see you as the winner of your intentions.

4) You are in touch with your energy. You know when you are feeling low and unmotivated but at that very moment you know what you need to do to re-energize your intention. This leads to the next idea….

5) You drink plenty of water. Water is a life sustaining element. We need it to flush our systems whether it is for digestion purposes or mental acuity purposes. In order to be in touch with our energy when we need to be we have to nourish our bodies to help them perform when we need them to perform.

6) You are feeling wide eyed. This is a bit deeper than energy. This speaks to our curiosity. In order to be HERE our curiosity must be peaked as much as possible. What more can I learn to help move my objective forward?

7) You constantly work your “to-do” list. Like I said, I love lists, especially “to-do” lists. These lists help me define my present moments, help create energy and objectives for each hour, day, week, and month. One of the greatest feelings I ever have is when I can cross an item off my “to-do” list. I instantly feel the amazing accomplishment the act of crossing off brings. Sure there will be items to add to another “to-do” list but that’s good. That means that I am moving ahead and have created new thought processes and new reasons to keep walking my talk, working my objective, staying on top of my purpose; my game.

Without going into definitions of each of the following, here is my list of 7 ways you know you are NOT here but you are actually way over there, somewhere, out in space…….

1) You are distracted and allow for distractions

2) You are unmotivated

3) You create excuses instead of meeting challenges

4) You feel like you are hiding away; not facing what needs to get done

5) You are projecting too far into the future; letting the work get too overwhelming

6) Your thoughts are on repeat or replay. You just can’t get out of the “song”, the excuses, the road blocks constantly playing and appearing in your head

7) You keep putting off the necessary and sometimes the unnecessary tasks

I know how hard it is to get up on Monday morning and face the prospect of another long week ahead. Setting small attainable goals each day, each hour or each 30 minutes helps break down the insurmountable mountain of a new week and a Monday morning. What I also know is that you can do this. If you are feeling more like your Monday mornings are created in excuses rather than challenges to be met then perhaps it is time to rethink your HERE?

“Don’t wait until everything is just right…There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. SO WHAT….Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger….”—Mark Victor Hansen

Call to Action

What is one thing you can do right now to help you be in the now?

How can you start to prevent procrastination?

How can you begin to get from here to there?