The View From Above

Another photo for my daughter’s “From the moving school bus window” collection.
I know that the sun rose already for so many, is rising now for others and west of me, millions are still sound asleep, enjoying a few more winks of sleep.
If you want to be humbled, to gain the edge that perspective offers and to start your day off with gratitude instead of dread- think about how many across the globe would gladly swap your largest complaint with theirs.
Everyone’s struggle and suffering is real, and “at leasting” doesn’t help.
Perspective does.
It’s easy for me to do this and immediately quiet any internal “woe is me” dialogue. I don’t have to work hard to be grounded in gratitude. It’s as simple as seeing vial on insulin on my counter and knowing that I can afford it when others in my same city cannot. Yes being a T1 diabetic is not something I would wish on anyone, but I have the drug required to stay alive.
For others, this exercise is so much harder. And can feel insensitive and like I am trivializing the magnitude of their suffering. The last time I wrote about this idea I had someone reach out and share that although she was dealing with the raw wounds of losing a child, she was able to connect with the idea of the sun rising on mothers across the globe who are also mourning the loss of a child without the support of friends and family. And of mothers who have lost multiple children. She shared that while it didn’t impact the intensity of her grief, it made her appreciate the text message from her friend that morning in a way she otherwise wouldn’t have. And she spent a few moments sending her love to the mothers who don’t have someone checking in with them.
Marcus Aurelius practiced the philosophical exercise of taking the “view from above”, as a way of gaining perspective.
Someday it will be harder for me to take a view from above and ground myself in perspective and gratitude. But that’s why I do this work now, to make it a habit, a part of my life- not just to help me now but prepare me for what’s to come.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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