Mindset & Mindfulness

Magic Eye, 2020 Edition

It was a complete coincidence, really. For several weeks before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, I was getting fleeting glimpses of clarity in my professional life, and realizing that several simplifications would serve me well.

And then, bam! Barely was my beta course for teaching an initial group of students to build their own website underway, before almost every part of our planet was treated to a sudden and radical shift in our definition of a normal day. I kept my eye mostly on the ball and saw that course through: several of my students created excellent basic websites. But, like everyone else, my priorities changed fast.

Those earlier glimpses of understanding solidified into clarity, in the blink of an eye.

Remember the 1990s craze for Magic Eye pictures, where a seemingly riotous image of busy colors and patterns could be stared at in just the right way, so that it would reveal something altogether different, in vivid 3D certainty? I’m reminded of that now. The noise, chaos and sheer “busyness” of our previous life has revealed a more important picture underneath. Not all of us ever managed to “see” Magic Eye pictures, but I’m willing to bet 99% of us can now see at least something we missed, before March 2020.

Magic Eye, 2020 Edition | Pauline Wiles

This isn’t actually a “magic eye” picture. Please don’t stare too hard at it!

Alongside the inevitable anxiety this situation brings, I’m trying to harness this new Magic Eye ability. It’s not often I get such pure, certain focus for what my days, weeks and months should contain.

I invite you to consider, what fresh clarity have you gained in recent weeks?

Good questions to ask include:

  • What do you need to do more of? From what friends have told me, self-care, gentle movement, and checking on the wellbeing of others could be on this list. I’m planning to watch more TV (typically, I watch hardly any) and read some of those wonderful titles in my TBR pile. And maybe learn to juggle 🙂
  • What should you do less of? For me, this includes checking the news, devouring local statistics, and avoiding busy work. I’ve also decided to sunset a Facebook group, and purge all kinds of business processes + website content. The urge to declutter both physical and digital spaces is stronger than ever!
  • What do you need to keep doing? Unless you’re in a highly perilous situation, you should probably keep going with meaningful work, in whatever way you can. For one thing, it’s a good distraction, and for another, you’ll be glad, when we come out of this, that you didn’t let all your projects and progress stall.

Here are a few more useful links you might have missed when originally published:

Like most others, I’m shaken, distracted and worried by what’s unfolding this month. My daily inconveniences in California are minor, but I’m almost powerless to help my parents, 5000 miles away in Cambridge. Still… there’s no point getting in a froth about it. Instead, I’m trying to use my Magic Eye clarity to embrace the gift of vivid insights.

…How’s it going for you?

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4 Comment

  1. Reply
    April J Harris
    March 30, 2020 at 10:36 am

    I like the idea of looking at what fresh clarity we have gained, Pauline. Although there is a lot of confusion swirling around, the important things do seem so much clearer. It would be good to take the time to assess and learn from them. Right off the top of my head, I will say I’m realising that although I thought I was a grateful person, I wasn’t nearly grateful enough! There are so many things I took for granted – from full shelves at the grocery store to being able to go anywhere I wanted anytime – that I will never, ever take for granted again.

    1. Reply
      March 30, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      Yes: I just read about the situation now in India. Even though most of us are feeling severely rattled by what we’re experiencing, we still have masses to be thankful for.

  2. Reply
    Jean | Delightful Repast
    April 1, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Pauline, yes, sometimes it takes something big to give us clarity. When my husband told me I was a good person to be isolated with, “a cheery little person,” I thought of all the couples I’ve known who would drive each other nuts in isolation! 😀 And it made me check in more often with my single friends who are reallllly isolated. As strange as all this seems now, going out “like normal,” when the time comes, is going to feel very strange indeed!

    1. Reply
      April 1, 2020 at 5:02 pm

      I know I should’t joke about it, Jean, but I’m convinced the divorce rate will rise this year. Personally I’m thankful to be locked down with a hubby who’s also my best friend and it sounds like you’re a well-suited pair too.

      You’re right, going out on a whim will be a strange and wonderful thing!

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