“‚ÄčI woke up with no idea what I wanted to write about and turned to Melody Beattie. Well, she not only helped me organize my thoughts, but she tied in directly to a new podcast we’re airing later this week.

Here’s what she wrote for today:

“My friend, a clerk in a local bookstore, and I were sitting on a bench one evening about twenty feet from the edge of the Pacific Ocean. A few stars and a tiny sliver of moon softly lit the sky. We were drinking coffee and staring at the sea. “I like the ocean,” my friend said, “I need to see it. It’s nature’s way of reminding us of eternity.”

Sometimes, we zoom in on the details of our lives and all we can see is the small picture – the problems, issues, and specifics of what we need to do today. These moments are real. They’re the heart of our lives. It’s good to stay focused and attend to them, but sometimes we need to step back and see the big picture, too.

Visit places that remind you of eternity when you can. See the mountains. See the stars. Walk among the ancient redwoods. Stand at the ocean’s door. Let nature and life remind you of eternity in ways that speak to your soul.”

And here’s why it was so perfect as I looked back on this past week. 

Chamira Young and I did a series of podcasts together with Photofocus last year called “Beyond Technique.” When the sponsor wanted to do their own podcast, it went on the back-burner. We decided to bring it back, and the first episode airs this week with an extraordinary guest and friend, Gareth Rockliffe. 

What makes this first episode so unique is the topic, an idea he’s been thinking about for a few months. Basically, it’s the spirituality of the craft as it blends in with the way we live our lives. What started the idea was a conversation he and I had a couple of weeks ago where he mentioned how we begin our lives in “P” mode and then as we grow older, spend the rest of our lives trying to get out of it.

Melody Beattie was talking about looking at the big picture versus zooming in on the details, and I realized the strong parallel to Gareth’s thoughts, and it tied in with my “macro” view of life this morning. 

I didn’t sleep well last night; I’ve got a lot on my plate I want to do today and woke up feeling stressed about getting everything done. Instead of just appreciating looking through a wide angle lens for today, I went straight to macro and the details of what I need to accomplish over the next twelve hours. In the process I lost that smile I always have getting out of bed in the morning, but between Melody Beattie and Gareth, I’m now back to the right “lens choice.”

I stepped back, took a few minutes to regroup my thoughts, and here I am walking the talk. And all along the way, photography played a roll in changing my view, starting with Gareth’s image above. What I loved most about it was the way he picked up on the closer view as well as the horizon and the vastness of the ocean. I found it calming, being able to almost hear the surf rolling in on the beach. (Check out Gareth’s website – you won’t be disappointed!)

And there it is, my point this beautiful Sunday morning: Recognize when you need to step back for the broader view of anything you’re working on, but at the same time, appreciate your ability to look closer when you need to. Personally, I’m stepping back today and enjoying the big picture, realizing that everything I want to do will get done, but the best part of the day is looking through a fish-eye lens.

Wishing everybody a terrific day ahead. Take the time to appreciate the wide-angle view and all that you have in your life to be grateful for, and where needed, like a therapeutic eleven-second hug with somebody you love, switch to macro. Recognize the important role they play in your life and helping you simply be you!

Happy Sunday, everybody! (And Monday to all my friends and readers on the other side of the world.)