360 challenge: Looking back

Photo on 4-7-15 at 4.31 PM #2 I guess I didn't hit "Stop" as the sign on my last official 360 post indicated. My mind is still processing the experience. The experience that started so innocently as a little game. A game to keep me occupied and engaged in the context of my daughter's experience of competing in Snowboarding Nationals.  She had her team and competitions, her playtime, I had mine.

Entering the experience with the daily task of the 360 challenge gave me structure, it grounded me in my own experience and creative process. This bite size structure didn't take away my attention too long. I was still able to be fully, and I mean FULLY, present at the competitions and as the grown up who made breakfasts and dinners.

This play structure allowed me to keep my eyes open, gently and engaged. It allowed for the unexpected to appear in my soft wide focus. It also allowed me to notice other people's focus and point of view. I was curious what people around me saw, if they noticed the same things I did. Did they ever look up to the sky while riding the loooong chairlifts? Did they look down from the heights of the chairlift or standing on their snowboards and skis?

I became aware of the endless possibilities of experiencing the same context and landscape. A slight turn of the neck, a slight lean of the head and the world around you looks very very different. Even a slight shift of thought changes everything.

Looking and thinking back at my blog entries, I noticed a developmental progression. During the first days, when I was dealing with severe altitude sickness and struggled with the simple task of breathing my focus was narrow. I only saw what was right in front of me, closer than an arm's length. This short visual field reminds me of a baby's visual field. Only what's right there matters and is seen and experienced.

On day three I had gained my mountain legs and lungs.  I don't know if it was the relief of being alive and able to breath and eat or if I had rested so much that I was hungry to explore the world beyond my arms' length. I pushed out, opened my eyes, started scanning. First in the condo, then outside, every day a bit further. My eyes, my perception, opened like the lens of a camera. On the last day I found so many engaging photo possibilities that I had to make myself narrow my lens in order to ski. The mountain and everything else had become a visual candy store. Playing with angles, meaning and context. Endless possibilities. Playing playing playing.

I felt safe and inspired. Free to roam and explore, and play. My breaths were full, my body felt strong, the context of my surrounding had gained familiarity. I felt safe and at home. I felt inspired to push the boundaries of my playstructure, the 360 challenge,fearless and limitless, just like teenagers are pushing out of the familiar into their own worlds, creating new meaning.

10 days felt just like a beginning for this play challenge and not nearly long enough to dig beyond the surface . I am curious how the progression would have continued. What would I have seen beyond the first layer of the obvious?

Once back home, I entered a new challenge: 100 ways of sitting. From today on I will post a daily picture on instagram of a way of sitting. 100 days seems like a nice timespan that will ask me to dig beyond the obvious. Ready to play!