Reality Checks and the Power of a Clearer Perspective

The past year has certainly been extraordinarily difficult for the vast majority of people. How did you cope with the pressures? How are you dealing with stresses and tensions today? Do you feel overwhelmed by the pressures and challenges of your daily life? Do the problems and difficulties ever mount up and threaten to sweep you away in a tidal wave of irritations and frustrations? It’s certainly easy to feel overwhelmed when life is so demanding so, in the midst of a difficult day, is there any way that we can learn to regain our balance and composure? In other words, what can we do to regain our inner peace and an essential degree of clarity?

It is good that a philosopher should remind himself now and then that he is little more than a tiny particle pontificating on infinity. – Ariel Durant

The main recurring problem about excessive pressure is that it so easily distorts our perspective. We become overly focused on our problems and that leads us to lose contact with the wider realm of identifying and understanding what’s really possible.

One of the simplest answers to this dilemma is to seek a broader view, a shift in our perception that can jolt us out of our myopic and narrow focus and open our hearts and minds to a much broader field of view.

And one of the best places to experience this radical shift – is in the night sky.

Artists, poets, writers and philosophers and a host of other great minds have always sought inspiration in the glittering orb of the star-studded heavens. When was the last time you took a minute to turn your attention to the vastness above you? A deeper breath and a moment of contemplation – and the merest hint of the enormity of the universe dwarfs all of our pretensions and worries. Our significance melts away. The vastness of the night sky tilts our attention away from the micro-view of our worries, concerns and anxieties and opens our senses to something so incomprehensibly vast that our perception has to expand to try and accommodate the infinite.

To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour. – William Blake

This is a very healthy alternative to the closed and cloistered views that characterise the conventional ways in which we usually contemplate our lives. People have described similar experiences from a deep appreciation of art, from a spectacular sunset, a walk in the forest, a breathtaking landscape or a view of our beautiful planet from the International Space Station.

The principle is simple enough: to broaden our view and learn to look at the bigger picture – and the bigger, the better! As a species, we react to the broader vista by placing our problems and potential threats and dangers into a much clearer context.

Perhaps we’re sometimes tempted to take ourselves a little too seriously. Perhaps the apparent proximity of all the challenges makes them seem far more significant than they really are. Reaching out to touch the infinite grandeur of space with some part of our minds helps to restore a sense of balance and perspective to our analytical faculties.

The indescribable beauty of the stars has enchanted humans and inspired myths and legends for thousands of years. We can touch that primeval sense of pure wonder and dispel the gloom and fear that hinders our creativity. When you smile at the vastness of the heavens, your heart soars, your imagination adjusts to try and accommodate the infinite and your creativity unfolds into new levels of expression.

Find a moment to take your mind away from the day’s challenges. Find images from space to fill your heart with wonder. Perhaps you’d like to choose a truly inspirational image as your screen saver for the day. Dwell for a few moments on the infinite and get a sense of your unfathomably small presence in the vastness of the universe. Smile. Feel the sense of freedom that flows from a simple recognition of where we are in the magnificence of the universe. Cherish this moment. And let it be the inspiration for you to live your life every day with joy and celebration in your heart.

Remember, in the vast infinity of life, all is perfect, whole and complete…and so are you. – Louise L. Hay