“When viewing a person through a lens of expectation, we close ourselves off from being in the moment without judgment – viewing through a lens of appreciation for what is here now will change the whole experience – the lens we put on determines how we see the world – if each one of us changed our lens from expectation to appreciation, we can change the world.”
New Years Tradition
Each January, I ask you to choose one word, just for you. Rather than make a list of “shoulds” for the New Year, decide on one word that has meaning for you in some way. A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be a catalyst for enriching your life and becoming more of who you truly are. For a better understanding of this tradition, here is the word I chose last year, and here is the word I chose the year before.
This year, I am choosing the word “perspective” and here’s why. I was having dinner with a friend, when I noticed I was feeling annoyed with her negativity and critical manner. The conversation became more and more uncomfortable as she related a story about her interaction with others during a workshop planning meeting. Her narrative was steeped in judgement and blame.
My initial reaction was one of irritation and displeasure. My appetite rapidly fading I wanted the dinner to be over with. Knowing I couldn’t escape anytime soon, I paused and took a few calming breaths. Feeling more centered, I realized I had a choice: what if I looked at my friend with appreciation rather than judgment?
In that moment, I felt something shift inside of me. My heart softened, my racing thoughts slowed down as I asked myself: what do I appreciate in what’s she’s offering? What do I appreciate in her as a person?
I began to notice how strongly she felt about what she was sharing and her commitment toward the workshop’s success. This shifting of my perspective allowed me to view my friend with more respect, appreciation, and compassion. Rather than judging her for her negative portrayal of events, I was able to listen between the lines and gain a better understanding of her work ethic and level of dedication.
By changing my lens of expectation and judgement, I felt my body relax, my mood lifted, and I became more engaged, asking thoughtful questions that encouraged a more positive dialogue. The evening ended on a much better note.
For 2018, my one word is “perspective”. Throughout the year, I will view other people and my interactions with them from a perspective of appreciation rather than judgment. When I notice judgment, I will change my ‘perspectacles.’
Feel free to share your ‘one word’ for 2018 in the comments and what it means to you.
Happy New Year!