Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pressed in a Book

Someone recommended a book to me yesterday. It's called The Dance. The best I can tell it's written a woman who, shall we say, is a bit..open-minded?

It's written by this woman named Oriah. For a while, she had adopted the surname Mountain Dreamer which she had been given during a shamanic retreat. She used it until she grew tired of explaining that she was not Native American nor was it a stage name. Anyway, she sounds like a bit of a kook, but being somewhat open-minded, i.e., kooky, myself, I thought I'd read a bit of it and see what I thought. In the meantime, I found this bit of wisdom on her web site and I actually agree with it. I thought I'd share it. It's not any great insight if you've given any thought to the issue, but I do believe most of us tend to avoid those of us who are different. Hell, I even state my avoidance of "the different" as I discuss the very topic here. I was afraid to read this book because I thought it was too new-agey for me; I'd be embarrassed to admit that I'd read a book by one-named woman who considers herself an outside influence.

Of course, when I admit to you what convinced me to read the book, you'll think I'm a nut. The excerpt from one of her books that is on her web site talks about her four-year old son Brendan who was a bit of an unusual child, apparently. He got in trouble in kindergarten for not coloring his pictures the colors his teacher thought they should be or something like that. This spoke to me, obviously, because I have a four-year old son named Brendan who is a bit of a character himself. However, it also got me because my mother got called to the school and I got called out in class in front of all the other kids because I colored my barn purple when we were coloring a barnyard scene in class. I was the only kid who used a color other than red for the barn and my teacher yelled at me for it. Told me it was wrong. So, I really related to the story about her son.

Anyway, here's the other bit that spoke to me....

One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to become aware of your conditioned way of seeing, to open to new perceptions, is to spend time with people who see things differently than you do. Most of us spend time with people who share our worldview, people who think and see in similar ways. It gives us comfort to have the authority of our experience reinforced by another's experience. Being with those who have had different experiences and so see differently not only opens us to new perceptions but helps us become aware of our habitual blinders.

I think almost every one of us can benefit from that little bit of knowledge.

1 comment:

Jen aka Evilynmo said...

That is an excellent quote! I have had to expand my horizons in the past year and it has been hard and also very worrthwhile. Good stuff =)