In an earlier blog post in this series, I invited you to install windows in your mindroom so as to let in a fresh breeze and help rid yourself of chronic stuffiness, claustrophobia, and repetitive thinking. Let’s take this idea another step further and ask the question: when you look out of your mindroom window, what do you see? Or rather, what do you want to see? You are in charge […]
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- Eric Maisel, Creativity Coach
In an earlier blog post in this series, I invited you to install windows in your mindroom so as to let in a fresh breeze and help rid yourself of chronic stuffiness, claustrophobia, and repetitive thinking. Let’s take this idea another step further and ask the question: when you look out of your mindroom window, what do you see?
Or rather, what do you want to see?
You are in charge of the view from your mindroom window. You can see anything you like; and you can change what you see depending on the results you want.
Say that you suffer from chronic anxiety. Maybe the view to conjure up is the most calming view you can imagine: a quiet lake at sunrise, fields of flowers, a lazy summer day picnic, or a stream meandering through a forest.
Maybe you’re embroiled in a long-standing feud with a sibling. Wouldn’t it help you if you looked out of your mindroom window at a sunrise lake before replying to his last caustic email? Wouldn’t feel more grounded and centered having spent a full minute watching ducks land on the pond and hearing the mourning doves waking up?
Maybe the issue is chronic sadness. What sort of view might help soothe you a little, lift your spirits, and maybe even help you feel happy? For me, it’s children playing in a playground. Watching them play and hearing them laugh does wonders for my mood. Usually I visualize a certain playground in Paris near an apartment we once rented—that way I get both Paris and children, a perfect duo.
Maybe you’re seriously discouraged about our species and our world. What sort of view out the window could possibly do much to help lift such intractable burdens from your shoulders? For me, it’s an image of a young woman, a certain-to-die Allied operative dropped by parachute into occupied Europe. It is too painful to contemplate the fate that will befall her but something about her—her smile, her youth, her untroubled countenance—makes me feel less discouraged.
What you see out your window doesn’t have to be a vista like a landscape or a seascape. It can be a face, a scene, a movie, anything. It can be one thing one second and another thing the next second. It can come with silence or with sounds, it can come from your heart or from your mind, it can be as ordinary as carrots and beans or as mysterious as the universe.
What do you see when you look out of your mindroom window? Stroll over there now and take a look. It can be anything you like and anything you need. It can be a scene from a hundred years ago or a scene from a week from Wednesday. It can appear in color, in black-and-white, or sepia-tinted. Beyond this window is what you need. What do you need right now?
Eric Maisel, Creativity Coach
ERIC MAISEL, PhD
Eric Maisel, PhD. is the author of more than fifty books and a noted thought leader in the movement known as critical psychology. His books include The Power of Daily Practice, Overcoming Your Difficult Family, Rethinking Depression, The Future of Mental Health, Helping Survivors of Authoritarian Parents, Siblings and Partners, Humane Helping, Helping Parents of Diagnosed, Distressed and Different Children (Routledge, 2019) and Unleashing the Artist Within (Dover, 2019). Dr. Maisel is a retired family therapist, active creativity coach, and critical psychology advocate. He writes the Rethinking Mental Health blog for Psychology Today, lectures nationally and internationally, provides keynotes for organizations like the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry, and facilitates deep writing workshops around the world. You can learn more about his workshops, trainings, books and services at www.ericmaisel.com.
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