A Visual Escape

Recently I blogged about the Science of Happiness Project that I’m participating in. I received an email from one of the coordinators that said, “Remember that happiness isn’t simply determined by your genes, nor by what’s happening in your life — 40% of it is actually in your control.”

As a participant I receive activities, quizzes, and games each day with the idea of building and strengthening happiness habits.

Do you remember the Highlights for Children magazine from when you were a kid? My favorite thing was finding pictures within a picture! Researchers have found that one way to build up and boost our mood is to engage in techniques that distract us from worry and help us avoid over-thinking.

Below is a scene I received with the instruction: “Find the following six objects hidden in the scene. Take you time and enjoy looking around to find them all:  pinecone, pigeon, hare, dandelion, wrong house number, and fish.”

In your life, what’s hiding in plain view?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience— Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

69 thoughts on “A Visual Escape

  1. Hey there are games like that on many game sites. Hidden objects! I don’t know whether they “create” happiness in any form but they certainly are distracting!

    • Jeff – No, you’re right. Games like this don’t create happiness. It’s the time you spend focused on something else that helps to eliminate stress…making room for happiness to sneak in and grab you when you least expect it 🙂

  2. My word! What a cacaphony of images! If they were audible it would be like an orchastra tuning up, each instrument playing it’s own note as loudly as possible. I had a small incident take place yesterday at the greenhouse. It had become much warmer and to pull off my sweat shirt I had to remove my glasses and I laid them carefully aside. In the time it took to remove the shirt and hang it up, I had forgotten where I put the glasses. After a fruitless search of some minutes, I had to call a co-worker to help me. In a few seconds she located them, perched atop a tray of flowers where I had put them to be safe, knowing that no one would stack anything on the plants. I guess that goes to show that at times we all need some help to point out what is right before our eyes when we can’t see the forest for the trees and vice versa.

  3. “What’s hiding but in plain view?”

    Ah there was a bit of mischief this morning in one of the classes. A student was apparently ducking at his desk behind a standing folder at his desk. It was clear however that the work assigned was not being properly negotiated, so I asked for an immediate tear-down. A tactic certainly as old as the hills, and one I well remember of my own younger days.

    I do love this post, Laurie, and actually have worked with picture searches before with the lower grades. They are quite popular!

  4. My children loved the Highlights hidden pictures !! I remember Highlights from my own childhood (yep, almost 50 yrs ago !!). I think Happiness is a state of being. I consider my own self to exist mostly in a state of perpetual happiness – even if I’m stressed, challenged, depressed, angry or anxious. Under all of that, I am a basically happy person, simply because I prefer feeling that way.

    What’s hiding in plain view ? – my awareness. My core essence that is the Source of my life force. The eternal aspect of this that is embodied. Almost no one would suspect that anything is “here”, beyond the egoic structure of Deborah formed from this lifetime’s journey. This core self is hidden in plain view, if one is able to “see” such things, they might be able to discern it is so.

  5. I so loved the Highlight magazine as a child! Very effective to create that visual/memory connection for the reader! It immediately brought a smile to my face! ~Thea

    • Chris – The stats, facts, and figures in the Happiness Project are astounding! And we, as individuals, have so much control regarding our happiness level. Thank you for visiting today 🙂

  6. That was my favorite page of Highlights too. Am afraid my eyesight has changed since my years with Highlights so I must wait till I am at my computer screen to find the hidden objects —my mobile version is too tiny for me :-). But your message was received, loud and clear—thanks Laurie and have a great week.

    • Winsomebella – Even when I blow the picture up on my laptop screen, it’s still difficult to find the objects. I can’t begin to imagine trying to find them on my phone’s screen! It would be like working with braille (which I can’t read)…

  7. I remember that Highlight magazine game–thanks for the memory, Laurie. What’s hiding in plain view in my life? Only everything that counts–this moment, Presence, scintillating magnificent Life! Will be off-line for a while after today, my friend, so wishing you the bestest as Spring arrives.

  8. At the moment, it must be springtime that is hiding in plain view! I do remember finding pictures within a picture in “Highlights” magazine. I wonder if that magazine is still around?

  9. I can not see the picture well enough. I will need to go to laptop and I love doing those exercises!
    I always have a little voice that says, ‘You don’t really want to do that’ which pops up before nearly everything I do. I am practicing responding with “silly thought”. It is helping me not be so intense and that feels like a relief What a fun project to be a part of. Thanks for sharing .

    • Patricia – I love that you’re giving yourself permission to be “silly.” I recently learned that if you click on a picture in any WordPress blog, it enlarges it (at least that’s true on my laptop – not sure it would work on a mobile device).

  10. Yes, Highlights magazine is still around … my nieces and nephews have received it. This posting is great Laurie. What’s hiding in plain sight may be the key to opening our life in many ways. My role as a coach is often related to helping my client see what else is possible or what else is there.
    I’ve long held on to the R.D. Lang poem:
    “The range of what we think and do
    is limited by what we fail to notice.
    And because we fail to notice
    That we fail to notice
    There is little we can do to change
    Unitl we notice
    How failing to notice
    Shapes our thoughts and deeds.”

    This is the perfect invitation to “mindfulness” don’t you think?

  11. Laurie, I like the idea of distractions from your worries – something I practice a lot of the time except when I wake up at the deadly time between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep. Outside of that I find writing, reading, walking, TV, gardening and getting together with friends are great distractions.

    • Sharon – When I find myself awake in the wee hours of the morning, I go through the alphabet one letter at a time and mentally say something I’m grateful for that starts with that letter. A – angels, B – books, and so forth. I usually don’t make it to Z 🙂

  12. Laurie, this was great fun! It reminded me of the “Weekly Reader” my children, students and I read in school. Now, the “Weekly Reader” is published SCHOLASTIC. It is printed as a color magazine instead of a black and white newspaper. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. 🙂

  13. I used to love the Highlights for Children magazine as a kid. Brings back memories of enjoying the hunt for the hidden objects. With a birthday fast approaching, it is also a reminder how fast the time has gone since those youthful days. Thanks for the lovely distraction Laurie! 🙂

  14. Laurie, thanks for the memories. I used the Highlight Magazine when I taught 3rd grade. When I was in elementary school and when I taught we had the “Weekly Reader”, which looked like a newspaper. We felt very grown up reading our own newspaper like our parents!

  15. The happiness hiding in plain sight . . . hmmm . . . I am thinking about my current situation. I am about to move back to my townhouse after living away for over 3 years. The woman I have been renting a room from for the past 5 months to be close to my clinical internship sent me a fussy e-mail about how her electric bill was $100 more than it was this same time last year. We had agreed five months ago my rent would be $500 a month and that would include utilities. She had not been renting out this room and so at the time was not making any money at all. All she can see is the $100 she is spending, not the $2,500 she has made.

    I’ve been writing my three things I am grateful for each night in my journal. Sometimes, I am just grateful that I am writing in my journal. There is so much happiness in my life and much of it I take for granted and feel this sense of entitlement. Nothing is guaranteed and all that I have are gifts.

    • Barbara – The story you shared of the woman focused on the $100 she’s spending rather than the $2,500 she’s made is a perfect example of something hiding in plain view — THANK YOU!

  16. Hi Laurie, Oh boy. I was happy then saw this and just spent ten min + trying to see the things and if those three birds on the wire aren’t pigeons then I’m batting zero, lol. Did anyone else find them all? All that aside, it’s a great idea to focus on the moment to come to a place of happiness. Thank you. Paulette

    • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap – Look at the arched doorway just to the left of center. Do you see the light fixture above the archway? Now look just above the fixture – there’s the pigeon 🙂

  17. What fun! My mother got me a subscription of Highlights when I was a kid and my favourite thing was the hidden pictures part, too. Thanks for bringing back our childhood memories and reminding us to play, once in awhile. 🙂

  18. Hey…having had a rough day and crying just now and then came upon this, it did distract me so much to the point I was wanting that pizza. I found the pigeon but couldn’t get beyond the cat on the window sill and that dang pizza. Loved it and thanks for sharing….it must be the God Wink I needed. Many blessings to you and yours. Suzy

  19. Oooh! Hidden object games! Love them…just so long as they’re not on the canvas of my own self! lol 😉 Got me thinking now…all those things hidden in plain view! Oooooohhhhh!!

  20. I loved Highlights Magazine. My mom and I did the Hidden Pictures together every month. I also loved Goofus and Gallant.

    So much of what I need/want isn’t even hidden. It’s right there in plain sight. I just need the courage to look and then reach. Very valuable post!

  21. Great post. I find myself wandering through this scene thinking about the life behind it. The alien on the awning and the ohm symbol stand out. The person that owns the Beetle must kayak, I wonder what kind of water they have near them and if it is a long drive. How did the stop sign get on the clothes line? Talk about mischief. Did someone throw a pillow at the news/trinket stand? The kids left their pizza out again. The cat is probably going to eat it. The mask looks pretty cool and I have been looking for one.

    Of course the simple explanation is that it is a search and find puzzle, but why not have fun with it?

    I still can’t find the pinecone.

    Thanks for the trip.

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