The Voice Within
A blog by Mary McDowall
I'm literally seeing with new eyes thanks to my new eye glasses. About a month ago I was really struggling with my eyesight. Prone to worrying, I thought I might be getting age related cataracts. An eye exam revealed that my eyes are in great health but that somehow I had missed an eye exam and my prescription was four years old. New lens were required and why not get new purple frames too.
Seeing with new eyes though is an old concept. Sometimes referred to as beginners' eyes, it is the ability that we all have to look at something familiar as if for the first time. To see it with wonder and curiosity, delight and discernment. This is a great skill to practice. Not only can it be fun and add freshness to your day, it helps to crank up your awareness level. When you are dialled into awareness ... that's when the magic begins.
Several weeks ago, I took a look at the topic of awareness in the context of some serious social issues—sexism and racism.
This led me to thinking about awareness in my everyday life.
About 15 years ago, my husband and I were thinking of moving. We spent a lot of Saturdays and Sundays visiting realtors’ open houses. (This was before the days of expansive virtual tours; what we knew in advance consisted of square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and a photo or two in a newspaper ad.)
These homes were ‘staged’ to show off each house to its best advantage. Surfaces were clean and clear, walls were freshly painted, faucets and fittings were brightly polished, and accessories and paintings were artfully scattered about. We’d grab an information sheet, stroll through the rooms, and try to imagine ourselves living in that space.
After these open house visits, it was always a faint surprise to come home. We would look at our own surfaces, walls, faucets, fittings, and accessories. And our own kitchen, floors, and artwork.
It was a time of both appreciation and mild horror. In all of our open house visits, I never found a kitchen, coved ceilings, or hardwood floors—indeed, a house in general—that I liked better than my own. However, I also saw, with newly critical eyes, the shortcomings in our home—chipped paint, smudges on the cabinets, and cluttered drawers and countertops. After looking with dispassionate eyes at all of those houses for sale, I wondered what someone walking through my house would think.
It can be a challenge for me to back up and look at my own home with objectivity, especially when it comes to my possessions. To address that issue, this spring, my business colleague, Mary McDowall, and I created and facilitated a clutter clearing mastermind. It’s based on the unique KMI model, which combines personalized attention with the Kaizen philosophy of small steps to big changes.
That mastermind experience has gradually shifted the way I deal with my stuff. The tools, resources, and group interaction the mastermind provided gave me the push I needed. It was a gentle nudge towards creating an environment that suits me. And as a co-facilitator, my issues weren’t even directly addressed! Such is the power (and collective benefit) of this process.
If clutter is an issue for you, I invite you to explore our KMI Mastermind, Creative Clutter Clearing: 10 C’s to Move You from Chaos to Calm.
Donna is a, IIHA-Certified Hand Analyst, Certified FranklinCovey, ARTbundance and Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, KMI Master Mind Facilitator and Creative Clutter Clearer. You can learn more about Donna on her website www.printsonpurpose.com.
I share how I see the world through everyday topics that connect me to my creativity - my challenge with clutter, master minds, ideas, strategies and process - mostly though the lens of my kaizen training.