How taking a new look can change your life.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

“Langdon used his heel to scratch some lines on the gravel path between them. “True or false?” he asked.

Puzzled, Ambra eyed his scratchings - a simple Roman-numeral equation. 

                I + XI = X

One plus eleven is ten? “False” she said immediately. 

“And can you see any way this could be true?”

Ambra shook her head, “No, your statement is definitely false.”

Langdon gently reached out and took her hand guiding her around to where he had been standing. Now , when Ambra glanced down, she saw the markings from Langdon’s vantage point. 

The equation was upside down. 

                X = IX + I

Startled she glanced up at him. 

“Ten equals nine plus one” Langdon said with a smile. 

“Sometimes, all you have to do is shift your perspective to see someone else’s truth. “

                            From 'Origin' by Dan Brown


Although A New Look At is only three years old, at its heart is an idea I have been exploring for many years.

When my son, was seven I took him to see an educational therapist. He was struggling at school and his teachers thought he might be dyslexic. 

While the therapist took him through an assessment, I worked through a set of questionnaires. There were questions about my pregnancy which made sense. What surprised me were the questions about his sense of smell, his sleep patterns, eating habits and what clothes he liked to wear. 

The therapist explained that my son was hypersensitive. The world was too noisy, smelly and bright for him. 

She explained how his hypersensitivity was affecting not just his ability to read but also his ability to pay attention and remember where he had put things. I began to see him in a new light. By the end of the morning a huge part of my stress had melted away as I gained a new understanding of how he experienced the world. I had been helped to take a new look at him and that changed everything. 

It was such a powerful experience that I began to work with the therapist and I watched the same process time and time again. Stressed anxious parents arrived with stressed anxious children and as they were helped to take a new look, their relationships changed. 

Spending time with hypersensitive children, I began to not only see them differently I began to see everything differently. It started with parenting. Hypersensitive children “feel” their way through life. How you “feel” to them is just as important as what you say. I could no longer parent on autopilot. I had to learn to how to be present and make decisions based on what I felt was right rather than what everyone told me was right. 

I also began to understand my own sensitivity. I discovered how it affected me and identified my strategies for managing it. 

Although this was all very informative, I began to wonder if hypersensitivity was actually a problem to be solved. Maybe it was part of something bigger.

Hypersensitivity is stressful. When any loud noise, strong smell, bright light or unfamiliar taste makes your body produce a stress response, life is exhausting. But maybe the problem is the world, not hypersensitivity.

Maybe the world is too loud, smelly and bright. People cope by shutting out the stimulus and becoming hypo-sensitive. When you look at the rising levels of unhappiness and mental health issues, this seems more possible. What if hypersensitivity is a step in our evolution and by creating a world that a hypersensitive child can live in, we will create a better world for everyone? 

The children I lived and worked with are now Millennials. It was natural to move on from helping them negotiate the challenges of school to helping them create lives they love. 

Last year, my story came full circle when Holly, my daughter, joined me and A New Look At became an intergenerational business. 

Together we help women build lives they love with courses that help them take a new look at things because in the words of Wayne Dyer, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” 

When I took a new look at my son all those years ago, my whole world changed. 

If you are ready to take a new look, why not try this week’s exercise? It’s a fun and easy way to find a new perspective and practice looking at things differently. 


🖍Perspective Doodling 🖍

Before you’re put off by the prospect of drawing, you do not need artistic skills for this exercise! Perspective doodling uses drawing to help you focus your attention and take a new look at an every day object.

How it works

  • Choose an object you have to hand. This could be your coffee cup or your phone anything that is near by.

  • Now, draw the object without taking your pen off the paper. Don’t worry if the lines overlap or cross. Just focus on following the lines you see.

  • Don’t worry about it being perfect, enjoy the sensation of your pen on the paper and the long line you are creating.

  • If you fancy it, draw a few objects, you can even overlap them on the page if you like!


MindsetTracy SmithComment