Reply To: To the The Female God of the Labyrinth,” with Joanna Gardner, Ph.D.”
The idea of “zooming back the camera of our consciousness” is powerful image. In my experience, if I cut my finger my immediate reaction is usually, “I’m cut!” But it actually isn’t ME that is injured… It is just my finger. I am not my finger. I could have that finger removed completely, and I’d still be me. But when I cut my finger, my mind yells “I am hurt” because I’m zoomed way in on the injury. If I take a few deep breaths and zoom out, it is apparent that I am not hurt. In fact, except for the little bit of blood on my finger, I’m perfectly fine. The more control I have over the ability to zoom, the more I’m able to physically handle. I think our bodies naturally do this to some degree when they go into shock with major injuries. To be able to reach a similar state consciously can be a valuable tool for the not-so-serious hurts.
The same goes with thoughts and emotions. If I hear something I don’t like and say “I’m offended!”, I often find that I can zoom out a bit and see that I am actually just feeling weird about something I heard. I am experiencing an emotion that I call offense, but I am not offended. I just am. However, if I’m zoomed way in on my emotions, then they fill the whole screen and it absolutely seems like my offense is all there is… that I am offended and there is nothing else to be seen. But knowing about that zoom lens is powerful. I can just kick it out a bit and watch the feeling of offense rise and fall, and realize that I can be the watcher of my experiences, depending on how far back I zoom. Once I am able to see things more clearly from my zoomed-out stance, I can then work on why I cut my finger (not paying attention to chopping carrots) and why I felt offended (because I have a strong aversion to ________(fill in the blank)), and work to fix those aspects of life that return unpleasant results at their root. That zoom lens is a very powerful tool, if I remember to use it.
I know this comment doesn’t really jive with the labyrinth theme, but I really loved that statement about the zoom lens of consciousness…
Lovely article, and interesting conversation. Be well!