ON SHIFTING PERSPECTIVES
I’ve been doing some work with shifting perspectives recently and have been truly stunned by how powerful it can be.
The concept is simple – that by altering our perspective on a topic, we can change our experience. At its crux is the notion that, even if we can’t choose our circumstances, we can choose how we respond to them.
The sceptics dismiss this work as artificial. I know how they feel because that is how I once felt when being coached on shifting one of my own perspectives. I felt like I was trying to convince myself to take on board a different opinion when I knew the truth lay elsewhere. I also know this because I recently assisted on a course coaching these tools to trainee life coaches and they also struggled at first.
In a way it is similar to the criticism laid at the door of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Some dismiss CBT work as superficial, feeling that it talks them out of their emotions by focusing on the positives.
It was when a coach that I respect, Jonelle Naude, told me that this work can stop wars that I realised I had some more work to do on myself.
Jonelle is South African and that got me to thinking about Nelson Mandela. 27 years in prison and he came out seeking reconciliation and not revenge. Imagine for a minute the anger that could have built up over 27 years and the course that South African history might have taken had he chosen that reaction instead to his unjust circumstances.
It was then I realised that a different viewpoint was truly and powerfully available to me. This stuff has indeed got the potential to stop or create wars.
And so on to a further example related to women receiving abuse for sticking their necks out in the name of feminism. Liza Campbell is campaigning to end male primogeniture , so that girls born in to the aristocracy can inherit. Across the country, as I’ve referenced before, “female bloggers are being hounded off the internet. Teenage girls are being hounded off the earth” (Jezebel.com). Instead, Liza says that it was when they started getting abuse (in this instance from the ‘dinosaur peers’) they knew they were getting somewhere. It told her that their opponents had no rational counter-argument. What a powerful perspective to step in to (and one I wish I’d come across before writing my ‘How to survive blogging’ guest post for The Dexterous Diva).
All of this, along with the arrival of the Positive Birth Movement in Hackney, inspired my next HackneyMums session. We are going to share our birth stories from the most positive and powerful perspective available to us. Often our birth stories are not shared. Sometimes women, myself included, find themselves stuck in a difficult or disappointing perspective. I want to challenge Mums to find the grain of truth in the positive and powerful perspective and see what is possible from there.
This HackneyMums session is on the 6th February. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve your place. If you are interested in joining a remote group, meeting via Skype / Google Hangouts, and discussing similar subjects then please get in touch. Topics covered so far – How to let go of Guilt, Setting resonant resolutions for 2014.