The zoom-out is a remarkably clever thing. I don’t know why it doesn’t get more attention; kids should be taught it in school, the media should write about its virtues on a regular basis as a solution to political conflict, priests should preach about it and immigration officials should test for it. After all, no one is going to commit heinous acts if they understand the principle of universal connectedness and appreciate the global consequences of their actions.
To be used in moments of struggle, high emotion, conflict, and prior to taking big decisions, the zoom-out is a simple but powerful method of obtaining an objective perspective on your life, and therefore in my humble opinion, possibly the most important tool we have at our disposal.
What is the zoom-out?
Ideal conditions for the zoom-out are a secluded and tranquil location where you won’t be disturbed.
Close your eyes. See yourself sitting as you are, from the perspective of a metre or two above your head. Then zoom out (rise higher) so you are seeing the building you’re in from above. Then zoom out again, now you can see the area of the city/town that you’re in. Zoom out again, and now you can see the whole city, and some of the land around it. Zoom out even more, so that you can see your whole country with its detailed topography, and then further so you see the continent you are on. Then go even further out, and now your vantage point is from space; it’s silent and vast, and looking down you can see the earth. Notice how the notion of time seems completely irrelevant out here.
From this vantage point see the issues that you are struggling with, the questions that need answering, the decisions waiting to be taken.
You can take as much time as you want up here. There are no distractions, no demands, and no expectations. Look down, taking in the big picture that your life is a tiny but important part of. See the connections,
Notice how all you see is the present. This is because the past and the future do not exist. Your perspective from up here is the most accurate you will ever experience.
Take this peaceful expansive feeling of being present with you and go back to it whenever you need to by closing your eyes and seeing your zoomed-out perspective again.
When you’re ready, either zoom-in to your body (using the same process for zooming-out but in reverse), or simply let go, and slowly come back into your body before opening your eyes by feeling your breathing rhythm, rubbing your arms and legs and hands and stretching gently.
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The zoom-out is best when used in conjunction with the Gaia Connection Exercise – here you zoom out and see the connectedness of everything as a web or net of energy, which you are part of. This energetic connectedness explains much of what we feel, think and do, and once we are able to understand the movement of energy in this network and between each other, we are in a much better position to objectively weigh our decisions and behaviour.
Try it. You’ll like it :)