Like many of you, I’ve been obsessed with the NYtimes Spelling Bee game! It’s a word scramble game where you try to make as many words as you can out of the 7 letters of the day. The more words you make, the more points you get, until you climb the ranks from solid to amazing to genius. At the end of the day, I trade word lists with my friend Mati so we can both hit genius before our heads hit the pillow. So satisfying!
But here’s why I’m telling you this: When the word is finally revealed, it’s so OBVIOUS, like it’s been there all the time and you just couldn’t see it. I find myself shouting at the screen, How did I not see that?!
Of course, this got me thinking about how this parallels our lives.
How we have blind spots.
How we don’t know what we don’t know.
How we can’t see what we can’t see.
This is why insights are so exciting! We break through for a moment and see our lives anew. We see a pattern, a behavior, a desire… we awaken to our own power, or a self-limiting belief. We suddenly see our lives in new ways.
Because guess what? We are likely seeing the same things over and over again. Thinking the same thoughts. Seeing our lives through the same lens.
What are we not seeing that would make all the difference?
Here’s what I’ve been learning about life (and breaking through stuck places) from playing Spelling Bee:
1. When you are stuck, take a break.
Even if I turn away from the screen for a few seconds and look back, I can often see something new. So take walks around the block as often as you can. Go on vacation. Put it down and do something else.
2. Ask for help from friends. See if they see something we don’t see.
Do you have some trusted friends that you can ask for some perspective? Sometimes getting a friend’s point of view (or a therapist or a coach) is valuable. They can see things we can’t see ourselves because we are too close.
3. Look at someone else’s phone. I noticed that when I look over someone’s shoulder at their game (okay, everyone in my family is obsessed now) I see new things. Again, it’s all about getting a new perspective.
4. Turn the phone upside down. Our stand on your head. Whatever is easier. You can literally see something you haven’t seen before.
5. Try to look in soft focus. Squint. Don’t look too hard. Soften your brain into a more intuitive place.
6. Keep at it.
7. Ask a child. Nico (my 10-year-old) always sees things I don’t. He’s also more willing than I am to try out words that may or may not be words. Which is to say, I think I know things and he doesn’t take for granted that he does.
8. And finally, we don’t need someone to give us all the answers because it’s satisfying to have our own insights.
I like it when I get a few words from my family or friends, but I also want to figure it out myself. I want the satisfaction. This is why a good coach will listen deeply, ask great questions and reflect back what you already know. When the stroke of insight comes from us, it feels like a bigger revelation.
Let me know if you love the Spelling Bee! And/or where in your life you would like to see things with fresh eyes. Where in your life would you benefit from a new perspective?
P.S. If you need personal coaching at this wild + tender time, I have a few spots available. Just hit reply and let me know!
On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.
As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.
Meera Lee Patel is a self-taught artist and the author of several best-selling journals, including Start Where You Are. She is also the author of How it Feels to Find Yourself: Navigating Life’s Changes with Purpose, Clarity, and Heart, a book of illustrated essays....
Hey friends! A couple of months ago, after a minor break up (there are so many tiny heartbreaks in this dating thing!) a friend invited me to her yoga class. If I had known how hard it would be, I surely wouldn’t have gone. It’s been years since I had a proper...
Listen in to this great conversation about adult friendship with expert Kat Vellos! Kat Vellos is a trusted expert on the power of cultivating meaningful friendships. She’s a speaker and author of the book, We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better...