Make a small shift: Change how everything looks!

Hello dear friends,

Over the last day or two we’ve experienced both the New Moon in March AND the Spring Equinox of 2023 — two harbingers of change and newness. What is new in your life? Or, what can you make new yourself? What is worthy of re-newing?

Sometimes it’s as easy as shifting your perspective on what is in front of you, and I recently discovered a very literal illustration of that: look at the 8 design images above. They are all the exact same design, colored in different ways to highlight different aspects of the design. Here is a closeup where you can see the underlying design:

I wish I could say that I drew the design, but no, I only photocopied it from a coloring book of Islamic Geometric Designs.

At first glance I would never guess that they all have the same underlying image. It was what I added, that is, how I colored the images that made the results so different. And isn’t that the way with many situations in our daily lives, too?

I notice my annoyance with something my spouse does or doesn’t do. But then I remind myself of other times when I was touched by his thoughtfulness or amused by his humor. It’s especially frustrating when he’s intending to be kind yet his actions mess up some of my best laid plans. On good days I remember that I have a choice in how I look at the actions.

Here’s a poem I wrote a few years ago with a similar idea:

Our Responsibility to be Informed by Cat Charissage

How do you get your news?

How do you live out your citizenly responsibility to be informed?

In times of war it feels that we must keep up with it all,

We must know which cities are now occupied by “the enemy,”

We must watch the crowded lineups of women and children escaping the country while they can,

must keep up three, five, nine times a day as our phones “ping” another notification of death, of suffering.

We feel good knowing these things, keeping up with the latest.

We’re being responsible, well informed citizens.

We even think we know what’s really going on

Forgetting that the first casualty of war is truth.

But — what is really going on?

And did you hear about some other news?

That in Red Deer, healthy twins were born to a couple who’d yearned for ten years for a child.  And now they have two!

Did you hear about that family in Calgary whose grandparents needed to move into assisted living, renovated their home so that the grandparents could move in with them?

Did you hear that in schools around the world, teachers gently taught little ones how to read?  And not just today, but every day?

Or that in every hospital in every nation the nurses cared for their patients, and lives were saved?

Be conscious of what news you take in.

What’s really going on?

A lot more than we’re told.


Dear friends, let us always ameliorate suffering and stand for justice, but always, always strive to see whatever beauty is in front of you. And if you just can’t find it, create some.

With much love and many blessings,


1 thought on “Make a small shift: Change how everything looks!

  1. Nury Stevens

    Thank u, dear Cat. I appreciate greatly your viewpoint. Meditating on that. I love your art. Did u remember when I still want to be your student? I still want to be..


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