I was reading the other day about the concept of taking a reflective stance on experience. Backing up, seeing things from a different perspective, a new light – separating from the content of experience to view more clearly the process. All of these are important and helpful to prevent us from feeling stuck. There is a difference between being in an experience and observing it. With experiences that are particularly charged, this can be the difference between feeling caught up or consumed, and simply allowing it to unfold while watching it go by.
This kind of flexibility of mind that allows shifts in perspective from one to another to another without getting too fixed on any one point of view reminded me of a kaleidoscope. With each turn, a new image and a new reality are created, even though the raw materials are the same. The particularly nimble mind can slide from vantage point to vantage point, knowing that each new perspective can be beautiful in its own right, but also impermanent. Therapists (myself included) often foster and encourage this process of stepping back and reflecting, and also offer ideas for new ways of seeing.
If you’re feeling particularly stuck, imagine turning the kaleidoscope in your mind – shake things up a little, even – and allow yourself to be curious about what happens. What do you see?