I finally have some time to clean up a few loose ends…that is, I had intended to elaborate on a few ideas days weeks ago.

For example, I devote a great deal of thought to the concept of deep engagement, and I’ve made references to this concept in several posts.  In fact, I was very glad when Elizabeth King urged me to better define this concept.  I appreciate it when someone I respect takes time to say, “clarify.”   So with that in mind…

Deep engagement is a form of mindfulness that relies on observation and reflection.  It begins with careful consideration of the circumstances at hand.  Driven by curiosity and inquiry, the non-linear path of deep engagement is enriched when we consciously explore multiple angles.

One day last summer I asked one of my nephews (then age 7) if he wanted to build the 18th hole of a mini-golf course.  His initial response let me know that he thought this offer was pretty unremarkable.  Frankly, he was not so enthused.  However, as we began to brainstorm the idea, and began to look for objects that would be useful to the project, deep engagement took hold.  He looked at everything around the house with fresh eyes, and soon found that his sister’s baton was the ideal length for his club.  And, although we could have used an actual golf ball, we decided to fashion one from aluminum foil instead.

Deep engagement comes in countless forms.  The extent to which we explore our environment and the circumstance of our lives fully, with the intention of cultivating alternative perspectives every step of the way, will determine what we see.  The hallmarks of deep engagement are the investment of our time and full attention.

Deep engagement often comes naturally when we find ourselves in circumstances that are pleasing to us.  Deep engagement is the inextricable prerequisite to creative expression.  But when the circumstances we face seem less than appealing, consciously choosing deep engagement then becomes the antidote.  When we choose to cultivate alternative perspectives and explore multiple angles we are certain to find a wealth of possibilities at our disposal.  Same circumstances, fresh eyes.

© 2011 Kira Campo

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