Riding Into Perspective

Birds were chirping and a light breeze was playing with Butler’s mane as we rode up Central Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona.  Miles away there were different types of commutes occurring on this same street as people rode in cars, trains, and buses to their city destinations in high rise buildings.  I thought about the irony of this for a moment, and then gladly left the bustle of the city in my mind’s eye and focused on the coyote crossing the road in front of us. 

The sun was slowly rising and the quiet rural community that surrounded us began to stir.  I’ve walked this road before many times, yet today it was different.  Butler was carrying me, which meant I was seeing things at a much higher level.  I marveled at how much further I could see and how differently the landscape looked.  What from the ground looked like acres of dense shrubs, cactus, and trees, was actually filled with discreet trails of animals and people as they moved over the land from one location to another. 

I also realized how much more I was seen and acknowledged by others we encountered.  Yes, I realize it’s hard to miss a 16.2 hand Thoroughbred and rider.  However, in a horse community like ours this isn’t an unusual sight.  Yet we were waved too and greeted “Good Morning” by far more people than if I’d been walking alone. 

Looking up into the sky I noticed hot air balloons passing overhead, and wondered what their view looked like.  Certainly from their angle Butler and I weren’t as dominating a presence as we may have appeared from the ground.  Could they see the winding paths through the desert connect and cross with each other?  Perhaps even someone walking upon them?  Did they see the birds fluttering from tree to tree, looking down upon them rather than up to them?  What was that like?

My mind continued to travel down this path of curiosity as we continued to ride.  I realized within a few brief minutes I’d experienced my position on earth from three different angles.  First, reminiscing about how the landscape appeared when I walked upon the ground.  Next, how I currently viewed my surroundings from horseback.  And lastly, imagining what the land looked like from the brilliantly colored hot air balloons floating overhead.

The same physical place experienced through three different perspectives.  Each one giving me a broader view the higher I moved off the ground.  As I transcended to the next level there were new things to discover and consider.  For instance, from a different perspective if I knew the trail to my left existed and was an easier trail, or would help me arrive at my destination faster, would I take it?  If I knew the path I was walking on was suddenly going to dead end, leaving me nowhere to go would I make different decisions long before I reached the dead end?  How do I experience the details and beauty of the desert differently when my feet are planted on Mother Earth?

Sometimes we find ourselves going through life experiencing things from just one view or perspective.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in some cases, but it can limit our experience.   The next time you’d like a new perspective or feel stuck and want new options consider enlisting your imagination.  What do you experience when through your imagination you:

  • Consider the situation at eye level, a bird’s eye view or from below the situation looking up into it?
  • Take on the role of others in the situation and consider what their perspective might be?
  • Release any perceived or actual restraints opening the door to new options and opportunities – no matter how unlikely or ridiculous they might first seem.
  • Allow the scenario to play out without inserting your will, acting as an observer only.

Will you discover new ways of seeing things, new options or choices?  Likely.  Sometimes that’s all it takes – a new or different perspective to make a change or shift in your life.  Or, you might discover that where you’re at is the right place to be.  Either way – you’ll have empowered yourself to make choices and consider options you might not have before.  This ultimately paves the way for greater confidence and courage in your life, giving a boost to your self-esteem.

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