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Shift, baby, shift!

Jamieson Van Loan

As always, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and during this constant journey towards betterment, I’ve really been trying to shift my typical perspective. Even in situations that do not call for any real adjustments or analyzing, I try to approach it from all different angles in order to really focus my compassion and empathy. I think being vigilant about where my mind goes and how much my own influence is bleeding into a situation is beyond important. This challenging of our thoughts should be an active part of our mindful practices.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a black and white thinker. Or I should say, I used to be. I really assumed I was taking situations, unraveling them and assuming the best perspective on them. But it turns out the best perspective was really just code for “my perspective”. This automatic way of thinking, even when done analytically, is completely rigid. Compounded by the fact that we are all just taking our past experiences and injecting them into our current ones, leaving us drowning in the monochromatic paradigm.

And this black and white mindset is the filter in which we ultimately view ourselves, not just the world around us. It is why we innately compare and contrast our lives with others. It is the basis for our inner critics. It is like saying "ugh I can't stand my body right now, I need to lose weight." But is it really that dramatic, that far on the spectrum? Is this language the most compassionate way to speak to yourself?

So what can we do to work towards being more vivid and open in our thought process and move away from the black and white perspective? How do we make the shift towards empathy and openness?

It takes an active mindset. It requires beginning within and acknowledging your inner thoughts and where they come from and how realistic they are. It requires being aware of what is your own perspective and what is fact. It requires being hyper aware of the language you are using inwardly and to others. It requires real diligence and self-awareness. But with practice you eventually look at people who haven't taken this deep dive and you can see how polarized their thoughts are. So what side of the fence do you want to be on?

Take the dive, make the shift.

Love yourself first,