Blog & Insight

Getting a different perspective using images

When you're stuck and don't know what to do it's often your internal representation of the situation that contributes to you not understanding what options are available to you.

That's what the tools in the LANDSCAPE toolkit do - they help open the doors within your mind to the solutions or different perspectives that exist.

As I say in my poem From not knowing to knowing what to do

"The answer for me is the unconventional
Not just because I feel at home there
Because it is our conventional eyes that are seeing the lack of options
Unconventional looking gives permission to act ‘as if’ there’s other ways to view the situation
To believe there’s a solution, or even multiple solutions, out there"

Which means please don't expect much conventional problem solving in this post.

One effective, and yes unconventional, means of getting back on track is using images of landscapes.

You'll get a much better sense of how well this process works if you have a go for yourself.

Do therefore think of a situation where you're stuck and/ or don't know what to next.


Pick an image that best represents the current situation (printing images from www can be helpful so too from magazines or even photos you've taken).

Trust me as I say that as you flick through the magazine that an image will pop out at you as if you say "pick me".

Here's an image that conveys how I'm feeling about a current stuck situation. It's a situation where I know I need to hold tight and wait for others to join me but am frustrated at the lack of action/progress.

As I think of the situation I can feel my shoulders and chest tighten, and also feel the need to close my eyes which isn't helping with knowing what to do as I wait.

No need to logically understand why I chose this image or you've chosen the one you have - just trust that your choice is perfect.

It's a metaphor after all and doesn't have to make logical sense.

That is, I can retrospectively see this landscape is quite uninviting and don't really want to spend any time there. With my arthritic knees climbing those mountains also feels impossible which adds a sense of despondency.

The choice of image may however mean something else entirely.

The aim now is to make changes to the image until it feels better - or represents where you'd like the situation to be.

As you can see below I try a sunrise sky but realise that doesn't feel right (again no need to understand logically why this is the case).

I actually cut out the mountains and remove the sunrise sky and replace them with a green hill and blue sky with white clouds.

As I consider having more of the blue sky nearer the hill I realise I also want to cut out the copse of trees too.

In another magazine my eyes are drawn to the image of lovely poppies and lavender and add them as the final piece of the collage.

For a few moments I try adding other new elements or exchanging some - just to get a sense of whether I'm happy with this collage of images or if there is an alternative that is even more perfect.

You may find that you've only changed one element of the original image, or perhaps none of the original elements remain.

There's no right or wrong just an exploration as you help open doors in your mind to seeing the situation with more resourceful eyes.

You're not looking to change the situation per se more like change your reaction, relationship and/or connection to it.

As I now reflect on the original stuck situation I certainly feel more optimistic.

I'm breathing more fully and my shoulders are down.

I still get a sense I am waiting for others to arrive but don't have the same sense of frustration about it. I'm certainly happy to wait a little longer and can get a sense of all the things I can be getting on with whilst I wait ie it's not wasted time I'm just preparing for the journey to come.

Do let me know how you got on [email protected]


If you'd like to understand how I might help you personally to get unstuck and back on track or help your team to see situations from different perspectives do get in touch [email protected] +44(0)7770 538159.

A post on How you can work with me and another about the coaching offered might also help with your decision making.

Alternatively you can sign up for my newsletter and/or following my podcast - Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith - available on your favourite app, Spotify or Apple.


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