3 min read

The Practice of Zooming In & Out

The Practice of Zooming In & Out
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP / Unsplash

As we ascend the spiral staircase of our lives, our challenges are familiar, but because we change and see things differently with time and experience, our lessons take on new, and at times, deeper and more expansive forms.

I love when life is flowing, it’s my daily intention, but when things get wobbly, I know it’s simply another side of my life experience. I’m able to embrace these wobbly times in a different way than in times past because I’ve reached a higher level of self-awareness and understanding. I now know that it’s about how quickly I recover. There’s really no need to bemoan a situation that doesn’t feel good; this is where acceptance, responsibility, accountability and recovery play strong roles.

These challenges have provided some interesting opportunities to remember and fully utilize the power of zooming – zooming out and zooming in.

Practically, we use the zooming function on computers to examine images, and to increase or decrease the size of pages and fonts. Manually, we may go the old fashioned route and use reading glasses or a magnifying glass to increase the font while reading or scrutinizing a contract.

This technique also works as a beautiful life navigation tool.

Whenever you’re aware that you’re not feeling love, joyful, positive, or in the flow, simply stop and challenge yourself to zoom out. It’s not always easy, but it’s amazing how often you can quickly shift your perspective and in most cases, your flow is restored. When it isn’t, simply challenge yourself patiently and without judgement, feel your way through the discomfort.

When you’re feeling bad, stop and just notice. Often, you’ll find that you’re zooming in on a problem or challenge with such intensity that everything else seems to fade away and you get stuck mulling over some situation, losing sight of the big picture. It just takes some focused, conscious zooming out to realize that your intense worry, fear or doubt about the given situation is pulling you out of your flow, pulling you away from love.

Zoom out by taking a walk, spend some time with a child, play with a pet, engage in some activity where you get to freely express yourself – dancing, painting, drawing, coloring, etc., take a nap, whatever the activity, do something to force yourself to break the intensity of your focus on the TREES so you can get a broader look at the FOREST.

Nothing helps me shift my perspective faster than the visualization exercise of closing my eyes and imagining a bubble around me, then I imagine extending the outside of that bubble to the street, then the city, then the state, then the country, then the earth, then the universe. And in all of that expanding, I inevitably remember the pale blue dot.

This is the "Pale Blue Dot" photograph of the Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft on February 14, 1990.

Image of Pale Blue Dot. Source: NASA

In his book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, Carl Sagan, wrote,

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam…Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.”

I don’t know about you, but what a catalyst to quickly shift my perspective. So much time is wasted needlessly churning on issues we have no control over. With our limited vision, it’s in our best interest to humbly surrender and seek the highest good.

There are also times when it’s best to zoom in. One example is when you forget your greatness. In this context, it's appropriate to remember that you are part of this vast universal energy, and as such you are everything, just as you are nothing, all at the same time.

Utilize the powerful tool of zooming in and out. It can change everything!