Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tools for the Journey #7 - Point of View vs. Viewing Point

As we head off down the path of a new year I find myself curious to see what 2010 holds in store for me. As I ponder possibilities and plans I am reminded of one of the great tools I was given by my mentor and friend, Tom Crum. This particular tool I keep close at hand and use often. I cannot begin to tell you how much it has helped me over the years to find lost perspective. Tom's distinction between a "point of view" and a "viewing point" is simple, yet profound. Allow me to share this tool with you as a New Year's gift.

“When I am hiking in the mountains, I often find myself on densely wooded trails, not quite sure where I am or where I am going. It expands my perception and perspective dramatically to climb a tree or a ridge to take a look not only at my point on the path, but also at my point’s relation to other places along the path. In a conflict, being willing to change allows you to move from a point of view to a viewing point – a higher, more expansive place, from which you can see both sides. A point of view is often something we need to defend. A viewing point is a place of increased perspective and greater possibilities. Rising up to a viewing point takes only one person. It doesn’t require movement on the other person’s part. Rising up to a viewing point does not mean totally forsaking your point of view. It puts your point of view in perspective in relation to the whole.”

From: The Magic of Conflict by Thomas F. Crum

January 1st always feels fresh and bursting with potential. However, as weeks and months pass and life begins dishing up her various challenges I often get temporarily lost in the "forest" of things. Remembering Tom's tool I step back, climb up and from this elevated viewing point I can more easily see my place on the path in relation to the world around me...and this increased perspective makes all the difference...enabling me to begin anew.

This year if you find yourself in the thick of things; if you can't see the forest for the trees...remember you can stop at any time, climb up and get a higher view of things. The perspective afforded from this more "expansive place" can be transformational on many levels. When we can put our point of view in perspective in relation to the whole, then anything is possible.

"What would it be like if you lived each day, each breath, as a work of art in progress? Imagine that you are a Masterpiece unfolding, every second of every day, a work of art taking form with every breath." -Thomas Crum

Blessings on your journey!

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