Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I was out for a walk yesterday with a friend who lives near Gatineau Park. It was so lovely. There were no bugs and the forest floor was covered with Trilliums (is that Trillia?) and it was just really nice. As we walked along I found myself being drawn to slow down and check out the clover. It's a bit of a bad habit depending on who you ask.
(Context is everything when you're looking at clover. If I look for clover while I'm waiting for the schoolbus that Remi's on, it might appear that I'm searching for a lost piece of crack. Woman standing by herself, searching the ground, my neighbourhood - that might say "looking for dropped drugs.")
Remi doesn't like it when I slow down to look at clover. She wants to move along and having me stop and stare at the ground doesn't work for her sometimes.
But Alain thought 4-leaf clovers were rare. I said that maybe they are rare, it's just that I can find them. After finding 11 of them, he got the impression they're not rare and it changed his perception. He admitted that he hadn't really looked before, but that was in part because he didn't think it would be easy to find them. And again, it may not be easy - it's easy for me. I trained myself to find 4-leaf clovers years ago.
The hardest part was believing they existed. It took me at least a year to find one. Maybe two years. I looked and looked on occasion. Then I found one. I was so proud. Then a year later I found another one. That encouraged me to keep looking. Then a few months would go by and I'd find another. Eventually they started jumping out at me even as I was out on a run. Now you can just put me in a patch of clover and give me a minute or two and I'm fairly confident that I could come up with one for you. I don't even pick them anymore. If I do, I press them and then I end up with a bunch of dried 4-leaf clovers and nothing do do with them, so they wind up in the garbage.
So now my vision is trained to see odd clover. I figure it's what makes me a good proofreader.
As I was telling the cops last week during our stress reduction seminar, one of the keys to achieving a goal is to believe that it's possible. Without that, there will be all sorts of blocks in the way. I'm sure I've written about this before, but here it goes again. I have a personal example of how beliefs can change your vision.
I bought my first car when I was living in New York, out in the country. I needed a car and I didn't have a ton of money so I knew I'd need a used one. I saw my car in the parking lot of the Kingston Valley Mall. It as a white Honda CRX. Two-seater. Sweet. It turns out that my neighbours were selling it. One of the things about it, was that it didn't have all of the features installed, including the sunroof. It had a cut out of where the sunroof would be, but it wasn't there. Oh well. It would have been nice. I even considered saving some money and getting the sunroof installed one day.
I thought about that often, about how great it would be if that car had a sunroof. But I liked my car as it was and was grateful to have that awesome car. One day, my sister was visiting from Ottawa and we had the car running to get the a/c going. She looked at the dash and said, "what's that button for?" Well, you can see where this is going. She pushed the button and it opened the sunroof.
I believed with such certainty that my car didn't have a sunroof that it impaired my vision. I didn't physically see the button that had been on my dash the whole time that opened the sunroof and I'd had that car for well over a year when she discovered it.
To see with new eyes is to really let go of old beliefs or to get some new ones. Without the belief, your vision won't work properly. You won't believe your eyes!