When I was a kid, I used to love to play with my dad’s kaleidoscope. As I peered inside, a whole new world, a whole new view of the world appeared. It didn’t matter what I was looking at, in what direction I faced. There was always a surprise in the view. A slight turn of my hand would magically create a whole new experience. Any direction you faced gave you a beautiful glimpse of another possibility. Infinite ways of seeing things, infinitely changing. The kaleidoscope had a way of transforming anything you were looking at into something beautiful, if not at least interesting.
Life is like that. Every day is the opportunity to experience things as if for the first time. Everyday we have the choice to look for the beautiful in the mundane, the enchanting in the ordinary. What if we encouraged our kids to do the same? We could all practice together having kaleidoscope days. Starting each day with the idea that everything is brand new, a fresh new beginning. Every day is full of constant change, which we get to accept or resist, our choice, but it is always there. Stress, at its origin, is simply resistant thoughts. When we are thinking “not okay” and “needs to be different”, we are creating resistance. The body starts to respond by contracting, holding, pushing against what IS. Having a kaleidoscope day involves the following:
*Today I decide I want to feel good
*Today I accept that my world is constantly changing
*Today I look for beauty wherever I can, in whatever I see
*Today I go with the flow and say “okay” (doesn’t mean that I like it, just means that I accept it)
*Today I am flexible. I challenge myself to look at every situation from multiple possible points of view
Have a kaleidoscope day with your child today! Start by doing your favorite deep breathing exercise. Get a kaleidoscope and practice looking and sharing what you see. Then talk about the agreements listed above. Create little cards or sticky notes to remind yourself and collect your kaleidoscope moments throughout the day. Breathe, relax, enjoy.
My dad is still creating kaleidoscope images through photography, such as those seen here, and sending them to me. He has a photography program that will translate “normal” photographs into these beautiful images. You can snap a photo of virtually anything and then transform it into a kaleidoscope image. These shots are constant reminders for me to approach life as if I were looking through a kaleidoscope, pointing my attention in the direction of things I find interesting and allowing the picture to fall into place, infinitely creating, changing and showing me endless points of view.