Recently, while going shopping for clothes with my teenage daughters, I discovered that one of their favourite activities takes place in the fitting room. This is a place where all options are taken into consideration. This small booth expands and grows as time goes by – more and more clothes, fabrics and colours are added to the mix.
The process stops for a moment when we observe the clothes in the mirror. The contemplation of the image looking back at us through the mirror allows assessing: what do I really think of how I look? How do I feel about that on the inside?
Einstein once said: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
I assume that what Einstein meant was that reflecting on dilemmas creates distance. It allows time and space to observe it over and over again, while continuing finding solutions .
But is a reflection always a replicate of reality?
In the sculpture gardens in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, where I worked for over a decade, there’s a sculpture on display named “Turning the World Upside Down” by Anish Kapoor.
The sculpture is made of stainless steel and is built in a shape that resembles an hourglass. When you stand in front of it you discover that the sky reflects below and the ground reflects above.
This discovery makes time in the hourglass freeze, and triggers a new observation on how we perceive reality (did someone say Covid-19?)
The insights resulting from observing and pausing are part of Dya’s DNA put into practice in The Art of Creative Thinking© workshops. When we are in a state of mind where we don’t know what we are thinking or feeling, creating that distance and space helps us to observe.
If we go back to that fitting booth, it’s the observation in the reflection of our own fashion window. The reflection allows us to observe our inner and outer selves simultaneously – the permanent and the temporary.
And with that provision we are starting the path once more…