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Inspiration: A Shift In Perspective…

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“Our passion and principals are constantly in a frenzy, but begin to shift and waver, as we return to reason.” Laurence Sterne

Inspiration: A Shift In Perspective...

Humans have the ability to shift perspective. We can experience the world through our senses. Or we can remove ourselves from our senses and experience the world even less directly. We can think about our life, rather than thinking in our life.” John J. Emerick

Paradigm Shift: An adjustment in thinking that comes about as the result of new discoveries, inventions, or real-world experiences. A change in the basic assumptions, or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science. Wikipedia

This morning, I stopped at a local Starbucks for a cup of coffee. Nothing fancy, just a dark roast grande with cream. As I drove off, I reached for my cup and took my first sip. Trickles of coffee seeped out from the corner of the lid. I pressed the lid firmly to make sure it was on tight and tried sipping again… same problem. I studied the cup, but nothing seemed askance. Since I had errands to run, I drove on sipping and wiping spilled coffee off my vest. “How strange!” I thought. “Starbucks never has lousy cups… maybe they’ve ordered a poorly designed set.” Yada, yada, yada.

“We’ve seen in the last half century an incredible shift. This is just an extraordinary time to be alive.” Neale Donald Walsch

Inspiration: A Shift In Perspective...

“What is the life of man! Is it not to shift from side to side? From sorrow to sorrow? To button up one cause of vexation! And unbutton another!” Laurence Sterne

At a traffic light, this one a fairly long light at a busy intersection, I studied my coffee cup, removed the lid, and noticed that the part I sipped from was exactly at the corner where the paper-cup‘s two sections meet to be sealed. That little bump in the cup created a bubble or hole that was causing the problem. I turned the lid around and placed my spout elsewhere … voila! Problem solved. A tiny adjustment, a shift in perspective, and what could have become a massive annoyance was resolved. In the same way, we can make adjustments and shifts in our thinking to help us find solutions to all sorts of problems.

“When an idea reaches critical mass, there is no stopping the shift its presence will induce.” Marianne Williamson

Inspiration: A Shift In Perspective...

“What we do at its very, very best, at its very, very most, will shift us slightly in our seat. If only for two hours, great. If for the rest of our lives, even better.” Campbell Scott

Paragon shift: A state of extreme perception, reflexes and dexterity. When one triggers or experiences a paragon shift, he or she knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Urban

By the same token, we can build a keen sense of self, and develop a relationship with our mind and body that will help us stay attuned to when we need to take care of a potential problem. A shift in perspective definitely helps…  From time to time, some of us visit our Chiropractor for adjustments; especially when muscular or skeletal twinges make our movements unbearable. About nine years ago, I was rear ended by a little old lady on a bridge. The whiplash I sustained meant an ambulance trip to the emergency room, a neck brace for a few days, and some painkillers to soothe my frayed nerves. I thought nothing of it after the pain slipped away, and family and life demands kicked right back in…

Nine years later, that seemingly minor event reared its ugly head as an excruciatingly painful shoulder problem. I didn’t know it at the time and assumed I had pinched a nerve in the gym or in bed. My chiropractor, in business for 35+ years, took a look at the X-rays and knew what was causing me pain. The precision of his diagnosis brought me back to this subject of perspective. What we think, see or believe, can be adjusted with a bit more information, additional insights from an expert, and even our willingness to consider alternate perspectives about our lives and our conditions. More below. 😉

“See me safe up: for in my coming down, I can shift for myself.” Thomas More

Inspiration: A Shift In Perspective...

“We are witnessing an enormous shift of collective consciousness throughout the world. We are at the precipice of great transformation within our culture and government.” Zachary Quinto

As we continue our journey on the path of life, whether by bicycle, foot, or in our head, we can take a moment to weigh the problems that show up in our lives from a new perspective. Often, we hold unto arcane ideas and old wounds because they are familiar and safe. Sure, there is comfort in familiarity but it doesn’t always aid growth or help us shine a light on areas that need change. We can choose to view the situations that present themselves through a new lens and give ourselves permission to make a necessary paradigm shift. It is time to let go, time to discard the mental rigidity, and shift our perspective… What about you? I love this quote: “Thus times do shift, each thing his turn does hold; New things succeed, as former things grow old.” Robert Herrick. Have a blessed weekend!

What are your thoughts? How do you shift your perspective? Do you feel as if your assessment of a situation leaves no room for change? Do you have a personal approach that works for you? What helps you shift your view on things? Do share! Thank you. 😉

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience! 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: Even a subtle shift in perspective can make a world of difference for us. Try it.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All photos from my personal collection or Starbucks shop in Dubai, Girl with a book, via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

57 Comments leave one →
  1. 31/03/2012 12:07 am

    Love this … just what I needed to hear … see … smell 😉

    • 31/03/2012 5:28 pm

      TY Faerie! I needed to be reminded too. 😉

  2. 31/03/2012 12:13 am

    I’m gonna have to think about this – going through a similar persepctive adjustment right now….

    • 31/03/2012 5:31 pm

      I hear you… same story here and it’s been hectic. TY! 😉

  3. 31/03/2012 12:35 am

    There are always ways to change if we keep our hearts and minds open and if we all make just the tiniest shift a huge change happens.
    I’m not sure how ethical the above brand of coffee chains are, I seem to remember watching a documentary about them comparing the price they sell a single cup for to the price the farmer gets. But I believe they have started to make at least a token change.

    • 31/03/2012 5:37 pm

      Ye, where there is a will, there is a way… I concur. As per the rest, they are working with fair trade farmers and doing their bit to be better. TY! 🙂

  4. 31/03/2012 12:44 am

    If you mean shifting gears like on a car with a standard shift drive, then as the urban dictionary defined paragon shift, when you feel something has to change, it probably means it’s time to shift gears.
    Very informative and how inconvenient was your little coffee dribbles . . . complements from Starbucks. 🙂

    • 31/03/2012 5:38 pm

      Yes, all of the above! TY for your kind words and I am slowly recovering from this rather painful ordeal. 🙂

      • 31/03/2012 6:34 pm

        Sending you abundant healing energies to you Eliz!! 🙂

      • 31/03/2012 7:08 pm

        TY! 🙂

  5. 31/03/2012 2:18 am

    The location of that Starbucks is stunning.

    • 31/03/2012 5:38 pm

      Isn’t it amazing? It’s the Starbucks in Dubai! 🙂

  6. 31/03/2012 2:45 am

    Great post – this is so synchronous, Elizabeth. For years I have been studying and working on self-help, so have experienced paradigm shift on many ocassional – each one moving me on, but l was still searching for an ultimate purpose. Then last night, when talking with my man, everything fell into place – I experienced my first paragon shift, ‘the conjugation of the spheres’, the right elements in place. And now I know what is to be done. Thank you for confirming my instincts! 🙂

    • 31/03/2012 5:40 pm

      I really love stuff like this… when we find a synchronicity in events and feel led by the universe to clarify our thoughts. I’m glad you have confirmed you initial promptings… TY! 🙂

  7. 31/03/2012 3:48 am

    Whenever I travel to a new place…it doesn’t have to be far, perhpas just a day trip or weekend, my perspective shifts on a lot of things. I love that. Life gets clogged kind of like how soap builds up around the rim of your detergent bottle. But if you go in a different direction for a while, things become unclogged and you can see more clearly. (This is not my best written response, but you get my idea).

    • 31/03/2012 5:41 pm

      Quite right! I find travel helps get me out of a rut and thinking fresh thoughts… Getting away sure helps. TY! 🙂

  8. 31/03/2012 4:32 am

    Reflections on lakes, rivers, oceans–of clouds, sunsets, moon, milky way–beauty constant but hidden; that is, until appreciated from the perspective of shimmering light. Great post. Thanks!

    • 31/03/2012 5:42 pm

      Terrific analogy from you and TY for your insights! 🙂

  9. 31/03/2012 5:28 am

    Your “perspective” is so right on…as we are encountering some changes in our life …I will keep these words in mind…a good outcome I forsee…Thanks…~mkg

    • 31/03/2012 5:42 pm

      I wish you abundance and a blessed outcome.. we could all use some of late. TY for stopping by. 🙂

  10. 31/03/2012 6:27 am

    Sometimes a minor break in routine can provide that ‘shift’ in perspective, we all sometimes need. I think your example of slightly turning the lid on your coffee cup was a great example of my ‘perspective’ on this issue. Very thought provoking post … good job. 🙂

    • 31/03/2012 5:45 pm

      TY and it was a flashbulb moment for me… I didn’t add this part to my second story though it was implied, every time I get an adjustment, I experience a new understanding about perspectives and pain. 🙂

    • 31/03/2012 5:46 pm

      I intentionally said flashbulb instead of light-bulb moment… shifting my thinking. 🙂

  11. 31/03/2012 7:10 am

    Video Response 🙂

    • 31/03/2012 5:47 pm

      TY for sharing your video. I enjoyed your insights on creativity… provocative and enlightening. 🙂

  12. 31/03/2012 7:48 am

    It is amazing how the tiniest shift changes the perspective so dramatically!

    • 31/03/2012 5:47 pm

      Yes, it is amazing and I see how powerful it is too. TY! 🙂

  13. 31/03/2012 11:02 am

    Good post. I try to keep an open mind. I have learned that things change with time and that somethings are only meant for a season. So when I hit a point where a challenge arises, I take a step back to assess. Is the challenge there to sharpen my skills as I move forward on the same path, or is it a sign that I need to do something differently? I now understand that a change in perspective can sometimes make the difference in whether we live fulfilled lives.

    • 31/03/2012 5:51 pm

      Wonderful that you do that… It is important to step back when we find ourselves in the middle of the fray as it were… It helps with perspective and curbs the tendency to histrionics…TY! 🙂

  14. 31/03/2012 3:40 pm

    Elizabeth, you clearly put a lot of time and thought into your posts.

    • 31/03/2012 4:10 pm

      TY Margie! I appreciate the feedback… 🙂

  15. 31/03/2012 3:46 pm

    It’s amazing how much a change of perspective changes everything. Thanks for this.

    • 31/03/2012 5:52 pm

      TY too and yes, it is amazing how even a subtle shift in our thinking can open new worlds, new vistas of thought. TY! 🙂

  16. 31/03/2012 6:15 pm

    Travel and reading non-fiction on all sorts of subjects, going to university as a mature-age student, participating in the Blogosphere, having friends with different interests from mine – all these things have helped to open my mind and shift my perspectives on many things. I think engaging with people, with an open mind is the key – not being intractable, aggressive and defensive (although human nature makes it hard not to be so at times ;-)). And, also, experience, I guess.
    Hope you are feeling better soon, Elizabeth – living with pain is energy-sapping – I empathize and sympathize.

    • 04/04/2012 5:28 am

      TY for the well wishes and comment! Excellent points and true that our human side does act up from time to tie but we can refocus. Experience is a great teacher; I’m more patient now than when I was younger. 🙂

  17. 31/03/2012 7:42 pm

    Thanks for helping me see things differently, and for the reminder. Great writing and quotes. ~ J

    • 04/04/2012 5:29 am

      You are welcome and thank you for connecting. I love your writings/poetry. 🙂

  18. 31/03/2012 8:01 pm

    My shifts and changes in perspective have at times been so big that I no longer trust that I’m ever seeing things as they REALLY are, they are just as I really see them! Give it time, perhaps I’ll have an entirely different point of view…and a change in opinion. I find this goes hand in hand with being comfortable with mystery! 🙂 Debra

    • 04/04/2012 5:31 am

      You have a point there Debra! Someone once said that we see things as we are not as they are. TY! 🙂

  19. 31/03/2012 8:45 pm

    I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger award! Please go to to see how to accept. 🙂

    • 04/04/2012 5:32 am

      TY for the award! I am honored and accept with joy. I’ll stop by your blog soon to say same! 🙂

  20. 31/03/2012 10:04 pm

    one of my favourite examples of shifting is when Samoa decided to align themselves with NZ’s time, and repositioned themselves on the other side of the International Date Line this past December. They lost a day – December 30th never existed and midnight December 29th changed over to December 31st. And as a result, instead of being the last place on the planet to ring in the new year 2012, they became the first. How cool is that!

  21. 01/04/2012 4:12 pm

    I love it! Sometimes all it takes is a step to the left to get a different perspective.

  22. 01/04/2012 9:02 pm

    I think realizing the ideas of shifting perspectives can help us understand each other better. It is amazing how differently people can view &/or experience an event or situation….good to have you come by!

  23. 02/04/2012 3:47 am

    Never place the sip hole on the seam of the cup. I’m surprised you’re just learning this with you being a veteran Starbucks drinker!

    • 04/04/2012 4:52 am

      Honey, you are kidding right? You have the wrong person as I’m not a veteran Starbucks drinker! But there you have it; a shift in perspective for you that everyone isn’t cognizant of the seam on the cup, right? TY! 🙂

      • 09/04/2012 7:05 am

        I just assume everyone is a veteran Starbucks drinker. Yep, you are right. I was way off!

  24. 02/04/2012 8:02 am

    It’s always best to have an open mind, to be flexible in your thinking and not intractable. For someone who has lived with pain in the lower back area for about 14 years I can understand how you would feel. I hope you will be fine, Elizabeth.

    • 04/04/2012 5:21 am

      TY for your feedback and yes, I know that pain story well… Keeping an open mind in all things is a good way to learn more and shift perspectives. I concur. 🙂

  25. Bree permalink
    03/04/2012 7:26 am

    Terrific insigts on the topic and a great reminder for us to pause and consider other options before responding. Typically, most of us react in a certain and familiar way. We could try a new approach to things. Feel better and I hope the pain subsides soon.

  26. 03/04/2012 12:45 pm

    An incredibly helpful post on the benefits of possessing the correct perspective, of changing perspectives to achieve more wisdom and insights into ourselves. As a coffee lover, I especially enjoyed your struggles with that Starbucks coffeecup lid! That is SO me! How I laugh at myself afterwards when I finally achieve the “correct perspective.”

  27. 03/04/2012 10:39 pm

    thought provoking and insightful post. There’s something that seems off about the John J. Emerick quote, but I can’t grasp it in words.

  28. 04/04/2012 9:01 am

    It’s good to get different perspectives and be flexible to change. My most recent experiences with many doctors for my current health issues made me realize they need a paradigm shift. They were so focused on drugs and their area of specialty, they didn’t see the bigger picture of what the problems were or other treatments that might help. It took alternative treatments and looking at the whole body and mind to start me on the path of improvement.

  29. 05/04/2012 3:48 am

    Very interesting article Elizabeth. Certainly our perspectives shift, if we allow them too. Many people, sadly, do not.

  30. 09/04/2012 1:46 am

    Terrific post, Elizabeth. I especially was fond of the Marianne Williamson quote. She always is so very eloquent. Perspective changes and shifts are so necessary~and make such a difference. Well said!

  31. 10/04/2012 6:40 am

    Great post, Elizabeth.
    As open minded as I think I am, I realized on some things, I kinda don’t want to budge. But I know enough to know that when I draw that line in the sand, if the line isn’t supposed to be there, a swift wind or a subtle breeze will take care of it.

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