The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you; don’t go back to sleep.
– Jalaluddin Rumi
We were packing up to leave our campsite at 3am and I was exhausted, cursing the 3-day-ago-Leah who thought it was a good idea to go camping with a baby and a toddler. As I carried Oakley out of the tent and into the carseat, he stopped me, and we looked up at the (brillianty clear) night sky and he said, “Mama, me love the moon super much.”
I was in a fight or flight state, feeling the craziest crazy pulsing through my veins after all the previous sleepless hours with Jo in my arms as she alternated between terror-stricken tears and squiggle sleep sessions. Oak, on the other hand, was in his element. He went on to tell me about taking the truck to the stars, and that he and Jo could bring us too. Then he did the countdown, just like we’ve read in all the books about Apollo landing on the moon.
On our drive home, both kids fell asleep, Phil and I shared a few pretzel chips, and I settled in to think about the last 12 hours, and what my options were.
The few-years-ago Leah might have been hijacked for the rest of the day/week, but I’ve done some work and gained some tools.
So, as we drove through the dark, I recalled the feeling of panic as I told Phil we needed to leave (NOW!). Then I thought about Oakley, and how he saw this trek to the big rocks and mountains as such a great adventure. The midnight return wasn’t a hitch in his plan, it was part of the plan. The facts of the evening are the same in both storylines, but the perspective on what the events mean is different.
I had a choice to make.
Oftentimes, clients come to me with a situation they feel stuck in; one in which they feel trapped with only one lens to see it through. And so, we try on new perspectives.
For example, in addition to my current perspective, or Oakley’s, I decided to try on a few new ones. I simply name the perspective, and ask myself, if I were this person/thing, how would they look at this scenario?
- the 92yr old self – Oh Leah, this is hard sometimes, but man is your bed comfortable. Let’s try it again next year. I’m so proud of you for attempting to camp with your friends, and share the outdoors with your family. You sure do love your community. Rest easy, there will be more times that will be fun and restful.
- Oakley’s favorite stuffed animal Lamby – All I need is arms to be held in, and I’m happy. Are there arms to be held in at the campsite? Awesome! Are there arms to be held in at home? Sweet! Let’s cuddle.
- 25 yr old Leah – I can’t believe you didn’t stick it out, Leah. You are a Miller, you do hard things, and you stick it out. Get back in there and try again next weekend.
Then, the empowering part is that I get to choose which perspective, or combination best sets me up to move through it.
I get to choose.
It was a bummer to not wake up smelling like campfire and making breakfast over the camp stove. And, it was also a treat to wake up in my bed after a couple hours of much-needed rest. I’m taking on a mix of the 92yr old self perspective mixed with Oakley’s little lamb.
What situation could you use a fresh perspective? Experiment with a different perspective for a few minutes, and see what bubbles up for you.
Experiment with this practice and let me know what you think!