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How Do You See the World?

“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
―W.B. Yeats

I am so grateful for my life, and there are many things that I really appreciate. One of those amazing things is my glasses! When I was younger, I noticed that many people wore glasses. I thought, I have great vision. I bet I will never have to wear glasses. Then, in 1996, I was on an airplane with my husband, Dick. I was reading the book Peace Is Every Step by one of my greatest teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh.

I was holding the book an arm’s length away, and Dick asked, “Can’t you put the book closer to you?” I thought, Oh, okay, and moved the book closer. But when I did, everything became a little blurrier. So I looked at Dick and said, “I can’t see the words as well.” He smiled, and said, “Welcome to the forty and over crowd!” In that moment, I was in shock. I needed glasses!

Well, I stubbornly waited another couple of years, keeping my books a comfortable distance away until I finally had to admit that I really did need glasses. Now, seventeen years have passed, and when I put my glasses on, everything becomes crystal clear. Oh, the precious gift of eyesight. What can I do with this gift? I spend time noticing, being in the moment, and becoming aware of everything around me. I believe, in this life, we are meant to be as aware as we can in all moments of the day. We can develop “20/20” awareness, giving people and things our complete attention.

I love to look at beautiful scenery and images, of course—things that are “pleasing to the eye.” I love to look at people, look into their eyes, and see the light they are shining outward. With a daily practice of Focused Attention, I see you. I see the people I interact with and encounter throughout the day. I simply appreciate the beings they are, knowing that we are fellow traveling companions in this world. Judgments, expectations, and opinions of others are simply me writing a story for them. It’s not their story; it’s mine. My mother used to say, “You never know what another person feels or is going through unless you can walk in their shoes.”

I get to know my mind through the practice of sitting with myself every morning before I go out into my day. I connect with this Truth: We are all loving beings in this “boat of life” together. I stop writing stories for myself and others, and in this way, my meditation is like putting on a pair of glasses that brings life into focus. I see more clearly, and I am not hindered by any “blurriness” that may interfere with living in joy and harmony.

We can look at the world moment by moment, seeing beauty everywhere. Try this today: pause and ask yourself, “What am I aware of in this moment? What do I see?” You will be amazed that a pause like this from time to time throughout the day brings what is real and meaningful in the moment into crystal-clear focus.

I am thankful for the glasses I wear on my eyes, and I am grateful for the gift of sight. My practice is a gift that helps me to see the ordinary in life as a series of extraordinary miracles. How we see each day is a choice. We have the power to shape our reality. So, I ask you, How do you see the world?

With love and blessings,

* * *

By the way, friends, August is National Eye Exam Month. So, if you haven’t had your eyes checked recently, here is a good excuse to make that appointment!

About Barb Schmidt

Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.
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