July 24, 2009

The Art of Seeing

The first step on the journey to coloring your world is to master the art of seeing.

Although we often look at things, we don't always see them.

Our lives are distracted by thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, and we miss a slice of life.
Don't just wake up and smell the coffee! Experience it. Delight in the visual ritual of drinking coffee. There is a reason why coffee is comforting and makes us feel at home. The rich deep browns of nature give us a sense of belonging and remind us of where we came from.

Ever notice how gracefully cream blends into coffee to create a new earthy color? Color theory in action! Realize how "alive" color is. More or less cream changes the taste, as well as the color. Be part of it. Live in the moment.

That is the art of seeing.

So open your eyes and notice your surroundings. Up, down, and all around. Or you will miss a colorful encounter.

A few weeks ago, I was jogging and glanced up at the sky. I stopped in awe when I saw the most spectacular cloud formations in the bluest sky ever. I was mesmerized not only by natures beauty, but by the intimate connection I felt with it.

Anyone can master the art of seeing with three simple concepts.

  • Childlike. Be playful, live in the moment, observe as if you are seeing it for the first time.
  • Creative. Release the artist within you. The world is your canvas and your eyes your paint brush. When you look, see it fully by pretending you are painting with it with your eyes.
  • Curious. Look everywhere, beyond the ordinary, and discover surprises and meaning in everything. Your mundane routine will magically turn magnificent.
One of my favorite scholars, Friedrich Schiller, states in On Na├»ve and Sentimental Poetry that geniuses have a childlike naivety; and when adults retain this childlike temperament, they co-exist with nature, and are truly open to explore.  When we live in the moment, we don't get lost in the illusions of our minds, and can create and act boldly.

How many times have you had a brilliant idea pop in your head, when you are not even thinking about it. When you live in a natural state, instinctive and extraordinary occurrences simply happen. Consider it an organic thought.

Thinking in action is what the art of seeing is all about. Visually experience it first. Open your eyes wide! Your body, your senses, and your mind will react naturally as your eyes take in all in.

Remember, color is a gift from nature. Revel in it, and you will color your world.

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