It happens all too easily - we get caught up in the everyday happenings of life as though that is all there is. We develop tunnel vision and attribute big meaning to events that maybe don’t deserve such status – ‘I’m going too be late for that meeting’, ‘I’m feeling really angry about what he said’, ‘what if my child doesn’t get the first choice school?’ ‘why did my cooking turn out so badly again?’
When things don’t work out, we have a tendency to want to do something about it quickly, to do more, to do harder, to go faster, to solve the problem, generate solutions right away, examine every detail critically to see what went wrong, consider the impact of it going wrong and, of course, give ourselves the mother of all hard times.
These are the times when being able to just slow down, maybe even stop, step back and get some perspective is exactly what we need.
A simple yet beautiful approach to this is to Go Sit On The Moon. Serge King referred to a version of this in his book Happy Me, Happy You, that his father taught him as a way to look at a problem and see how unimportant it could be from another perspective. I have adapted and expanded on that approach here and find it really useful for a range of reasons.
A Simple Process
The first step is to notice that you are getting caught up in ‘tunnel thinking’, a situation where you risk losing just what you need: perspective. With this awareness, just politely yet firmly command yourself to ‘stop and go sit on the moon!’
Then, just take some time to imagine sitting on the moon and looking down at the earth below you in whatever way suits you best. My imagination usually presents me with a combination of the images from lunar missions and a crescent shaped moon like the ones sometimes seen in cartoons – the ones that you can conveniently sit on like a garden swing.
From that point as you look down onto earth, you might want to consider the following or similar.
There you are sitting on one living rock looking down on another rock, both of which have been there for billions of years doing their thing just as they do - floating through space, in the perfect orbit for them.
And as you look in more detail you begin to notice, shifts and ripples and patterns of movement, there are natural features, land masses, sea, clouds and the like. Just being how they are.
And as you look into more detail you notice some of the billions of people doing their thing day by day as they do. The whole of human life as it is, currently captured in this moment from up here on the moon. New lives being created and coming into the world, lives passing away, people busying themselves with work and recreation, people growing and working through this thing called life in their own way, surviving or thriving, living their stories, experiencing their pains and pleasures and so on and so on.
It's all going on at every single moment of your life, 8 billion people, doing their thing, connected and connecting to plants, animals, bacteria, wifi, thoughts, circumstances and more.
Then you might focus down even further to the area in which you are based in your daily life, notice your surrounding environment and with even more detail focus down to yourself, to you doing what you were doing just in the moment before your imagination took this brief sojourn on the moon.
Maybe today has seen challenges, a deadline missed, an outburst of emotion, ennui, lack of direction, misspeaking, overwhelm, a problem to solve – whatever was going on for as you partake in the daily ritual of your life. And you may notice how small, yet unique you are, and all this is from all the way up there on the moon.
And just take some time to take it all in and notice what you notice. Perhaps what was concerning you seems somehow different and less important. You might simply find that sitting on the moon just allows you to see things differently and, that awareness in, and of, itself can be liberating.
Of course, if you want to add even more kupua flair to the process you might, while you are up there, sprinkle down some loving moon dust to finely settle on the earth and provide blessings for everyone to use in whatever way they choose. One should never waste an opportunity to make the world a better place!
Building the Habit
being natural dream weavers and understanding and harnessing the power of imagination
being adept at shifting perspective and working with the four levels of reality to be effective
having a sense of spiritual connection, being able to tune into the sense of connection with life, spirit and something bigger than the daily melee of life.
Finding Treasure on the Moon
When you feel blown around by the events of life, sitting on the moon can take the wind out of a situation and give you the space to get back on track. However, the practice has benefits beyond solely dealing with challenging situations.
You don't have to go sit on the moon only when things are tough, it's nice to visit and see things differently and appreciate your unique and wonderful place in life's rich interconnected tapestry. This provides a way of connecting with pleasure, awe and wonder and is a great complement to treasure hunting.
Sitting on the moon is a wonderful way to experience the shift in perspectives and hold more than one perspective at the same time. We can get some distance from an issue and see it as smaller while at the same time that very process of zooming out allows us to see how wonderfully interconnected and expansive we are.
Coda: Other Views of Earth from Space
To supplement this work of the imagination, I find the real life images that have been taken of the view of the earth from the moon to be awe inspiring.
I am not surprised that astronauts who have witnessed this first-hand have given such amazing reports. For example, Edgar Mitchell, sixth man on the moon, is quoted as saying of such an experience:
This sense of a new perspective when seeing the earth from ‘outside’ is sometimes referred to as the ‘overview effect’ and we can imagine how we might easily shift perspectives and meaning by really being on the moon and back at earth.
I conclude with an image of the earth from space for your contemplation and delight. A perfect opportunity to practice nalu (Huna contemplation/meditation).
The image taken by The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) on 12th October 2015 shows: The Earth straddling the limb of the Moon, as seen from above Compton crater. The large tan area in the upper right is the Sahara desert, and just beyond is Saudia Arabia. The Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America are visible to the left.