The Observation Factor

If you have your vision, you look, but do you see? Do we have to be taught to see what’s really in our sphere? How does what we see influence our life experience and in turn what we create? I think a lot about this each time I begin to explore how to translate my life experience into a creative experience. Translating my life from visual intake to visual outpouring is as creative as the work that results.

I was listening to an interview with Billy Bob Thornton, the writer, producer, director, and actor. Thornton said, “I watch the world like I’m watching a movie.” I’m intrigued and confused by his statement. When I first heard it I thought it was fresh and new, but then I was wondering if there’s a bit too much feeling removed from the experience as simply an observer. When I thought about it further I would translate that, for myself, to say, “I watch the world like a writer and director”, always thinking about how one thing impacts what comes next.

Observation takes practice, but when you begin to make observation a spiritual practice you will expand how you experience life. In turn, it also means that your level of self-expression expands allowing your art to serve a reflection of your soul. Your ability to observe what passes your view influences how you translate each experience into something meaningful. Your skills of observation provide a context, a filter, for what you believe is important to creating a sense of peace in your life.

Have you ever asked yourself what you’re missing? Try looking at things different such as through the lens of a camera. When I was doing research for my dissertation, one of the studies gave patients in a hospital a camera and asked them to take twelve pictures that intrigued them or they felt was meaningful to their hospital experience.

Recently I saw a news story that asked participants to take a picture frame and walk around the city placing the frame around things they felt were beautiful. You’d be surprised about what you find beautiful when you isolate specific elements in your world by framing it both literally and figuratively.

What will you do today to expand your skills of observation? How will this help heal your world?

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