Creating is About Seeing

sweep_banksy_1031Can one be inspired by something one can’t see? … It’s hard …    

To be clear, I’m talking about ‘seeing’ as in ‘perceiving’.

The unseen … unperceived … is outside of our awareness. We cannot conceive of things we don’t perceive. They don’t exist for us. We certainly can’t create from, for, or using things we don’t perceive.

The act of discovery is an act of perception.

“I see!”

Wanting to see is an important part of creating and innovating.

“I want to see why….”

“I want to see if…”

“I want to see when…”

These questions have driven adventuring sailors, budding astronauts, the corner doctor, Galileo, engineers and artists…and your children. They’ve driven Joy Adamson, Steven Jobs, Chien-Shiung Wu, Shakespeare. They drove Barack Obama to see if he could change history. I could go on…and you know it.

Giving freedom to your desire to perceive is an act of setting an intention. The intention? To be illuminated. It tells your subconscious that you are ready and willing for new information.

Generally, your subconscious will work hard to give you what you ask honestly of it. The more you desire to perceive, to see, the harder your mind will work to make that happen.  Set the intention to perceive and, if your desire is honest, you will often find that when you didn’t ‘see’ or ‘get it’ before, now you begin to. Your subconscious begins to serve up what it held back from you.

Segue alert …

Why would your mind hold back? To keep you feeling safe. Seeing – perceiving – has been known to shake things up. It can feel light and refreshing. It can be a relief! It can also be an earthquake. Seeing can be any or all of these things, I won’t lie. But I will tell you that the only thing worse than seeing is living in the oppressive darkness that is ‘not seeing’. Seeing is freedom, with all of its benefits, complications, and responsibilities.

So, now you begin to see, to perceive new facts, new information, new points of view … what next? That new information can give you a new perspective on a problem, issue, object, relationship …. Anyone who’s attended my classes knows that shifting perspective is one of the most valuable acts in thinking creatively, innovating.

The choices you make about what you want to see directly impacts the depth and scope of your outcome: the size of your shift…so to speak.

So, if one is serious about creating, one must be serious about seeing. Ask yourself:


→What do I see? What do I allow myself to see?

What do you deny yourself seeing? (That word ‘denial’ is all about not seeing…) Why? Is what you are seeing true or an illusion? Do you know how to test that? Are you willing to?  How much of what you are seeing – or not seeing – is shaped by an assumption? Is it a valid one? Have you tested? Is it complete? Tip: if you are in the middle of assuming, you are not seeing the present … you are seeing your or someone else’s past. Don’t be afraid to allow your scope of vision to expand to the present.

→Am I brave enough to see, really see, brave enough to see truly?

Seeing takes courage. Seeing means allowing for the possibility that your preconceived ideas will be blown out of the water.  Skepticism is questioning with the open mindedness to see differently. Cynicism is questioning without the possibility of being moved. Seeing truly … perceiving means leaving your comfort zone at the risk of having it be rearranged when you return. Honestly, depending on how things are handled, you may lose a friend, a business, or a marriage. You may also gain one….a more honest one. Do you have the courage? Sure you do.

→Am I patient enough to see?

Seeing takes time. It takes attention and focus. It takes giving both the object of your seeing and your mind the time to unfold.  American Painter Georgia O’Keeffe said, “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.” Make the time to see.

→Am I curious enough to see?

The desire to see is a re-connection with the childhood spirit of curiosity. Return there and you will find yourself becoming tickled, amused, amazed, inspired by what you begin to see. Your life will become richer. Cleaner. And all of this will drive your curiosity to see more. That’s how children ‘work’. Seeing takes asking questions and answering them. It takes wanting to know what comes next, what if, how and why. Close-mindedness is a dark place. Seeing takes light. It takes being open-minded enough to be able to see. Curiosity is an open state of being. Come on, don’t you want to know?

→Do I see with my eyes, my mouth, my ears, my mind? Can I see with my heart?

Seeing … perceiving … is experiencing and understanding. If you want to really ‘get’ your dog, get down on all fours and smell the carpet. If you want to ‘see’ how something tastes….don’t just read the review, taste it! Respect the difference between knowing and ‘knowing about’:

I could read every word ever written about riding a bike … that does not mean I know the feeling of bicycle balance.

So, if you want to really ‘see’ your customers, become one. If you want to see a flower, see it from far away. Then get closer. Then get really, REALLY close. See it in the morning, midday and at night. See it two days later; a month later. See it with your eyes, your fingers, your nose, your tongue.

Become conscious, super-conscious, of what it feels like to have the sun warm your face. Then go in the shade and feel the yearning for the sun.

→ Are you curious, patient and brave enough to see deeply?

Are you a 

Oh, now I see!!” … 

Wow! I see!!” …

Do you see?              …. person?

Do you really get off on seeing?

Seeing is very powerful. Truly seeing and seeing truly can change your world. It will bring inspiration, insight, and often, desire to act.

It will revitalize, sometimes revolutionize.

Seeing today truly, perceiving it accurately, can give you a glimpse of what tomorrow could look like. Seeing is life.

Be the change you wish to see. See the change you wish to be.

© Christie James, 2011

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