Switch off auto-pilot mode and come alive with your senses experience Veja-De.
Have you ever experienced a series of tedious days that seem robotic in nature? Day in and day out living in repeat mode. Would this experience be similar to what Bill Murray experienced in the movie Ground Hog Day? We need to catch ourselves in these moments of time in order to awaken the senses and become more aware of life happening around us.
I want to invite you to set an intention. You’ll need to lean into this experience with fresh eyes to bring a new awareness into your day. Doing so helps to draw us out of our mental tedium and begin to focus on things differently.
Here’s the deal, you’ll need to practice Veja-De. Yes, that is right. I’m not talking about Deja-vu but instead Veja-De!
In Warren Berger’s article, The power of “Veja-De”, he focuses on the following question, “Can a shift in perspective help us to become better questioners?” Berger describes it as observing everyday surroundings with “Veja-De” eyes that help us to see the familiar in fresh ways. The familiar can become so mundane and we often times lose sight of the fact that everything around us is changing all of the time. Even though we may feel that our day to day actions are routine and methodical, they are not. Looking at the familiar with fresh eyes allows us to embrace and celebrate the ‘newness’ that every day offers us.
Veja-De captured my attention because I believe it fully connects with mindfulness. Bringing a kind and curious awareness to your everyday environment is the practice of mindfulness. Ellen Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard University who is known as the ‘mother of mindfulness’, talks about the act of noticing new things that keeps you in the present moment.
Below is a link to a 4-minute video where Ellen explains why we need to stop operating on auto-pilot.
This video sparked a connection to another great blog that I often read, “Slow Looking, Out of Eden by Shari Tishman link”
How often do we permit ourselves a moment or two to linger and really look at something that we've passed a million times on our daily commute to work? How often do we actively pause with a revered stare to curiously look at something that we’ve never noticed before?
In the car, on the way to school each morning, my boys and I like to play a game. We pick out 3 new things that we notice. For example, sometimes we choose a color (let’s say blue) and then find three new things that are blue. Other times we try to spot weird or silly things. We make these careful observations and then share our discoveries. We’re always so surprised to see what each of us has pointed out. These observations always end up being so different. We note the different perspectives that we have, even though we take the same route day in and day out.
Perhaps this is what the French novelist Marcel Proust meant when he said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Begin to see your world with “Veja-De” eyes.
Strive to rid yourself of the mundane in your life.
Reflect on the uniqueness of each day.
Neila Steele & Andy Vasily