Living in 3D: A Beginner’s Guide

3 simple practices that could add depth to your life.

I was smiling because the sun was shining on my toes . . . and it felt so good! That’s the truth. There was nothing else to smile about – not that I can remember – only the bright sunlight and the warmth on my toes sticking out from under the blankets.

Maybe I should start at the beginning of the story.

So I was in the critical care unit at the hospital – one of those fish-bowl like cubicles with the curtain partially drawn. Just thirty minutes earlier, Nurse Terrie had piled on a third blanket because my toes were so cold. (Actually, my toes are always cold but I didn’t bother her with that confession. I was just glad for the temporary warmth of another blanket.)

Oh, in case you are wondering why I was in critical care – let’s just  say that complications from my transplant got very complicated.

Ok, back to the sun on my toes. I hadn’t even realized that my cubicle had a window until that moment, and for that moment, nothing else existed. Just a bright-yellow diagonal slice of sun across the edge of my bed. Beyond that, zilch, nada, nugatory.feet-in-sunlight-1

I was totally in-the-moment with a great big smile on my face: a couple seconds of feeling like I was in a world of virtual reality, sensory stimuli and all. I know it sounds crazy but I swear, there was no “happy juice” flowing through my PICC line  – made me think of 3D movies.

Now I have to go back and fill you in on my 3D inclination.

My 3D Habit

Over the years, my husband and I have fallen into the habit of dinner and a movie on Friday evenings. Dinner can be anywhere but not any old movie will do – has to be in 3D, and if IMAX, even better.

So we usually go to the newest movie house just around the corner (actually a few corners) from home – the one with plush leather reclining seats and 70-foot projection screen. The review boasts a 4K digital projection system, 3D projection capabilities and digital surround sound: Dolby Atmos. I barely know what it all means, but I can tell you the experience for me is awesome.


The lights go down, we lay back and fall like Alice down the rabbit hole, into in a make-believe world; a virtual representation of real life.

Let me be sure you get this straight: we live in the real 3 dimensional world, yet pay to go to a place where we can experience a virtual representation of the real 3D world we live in, because our real world does not seem to be real enough for us.

Paradox? Sounds about right.

But now you know why the experience of the sun on my toes was so incredibly rad. It was like a 3D projection on a 40-foot screen and I wasn’t just watching, I was a part of it!

Then the ‘what-if’s’ started.

What if my days had more ‘sunshine moments’ like this one?

What if I was missing out on a whole lot more of these 3D moments? I only caught this one by accident.

What if I could live more of my life as colorful, as large, as detailed as in cinematic 3D?

What if I could figure out how to make it happen – on purpose?

Now that would be epic.

Children’ Interactive Exhibit at Liberty Science Center, New Jersey

What it means to have a 3D moment

When making 3D movies, stenographers have to use colored filters to create the illusion of depth that immerses you in the excitement of the scene.

In our 3 dimensional world, depth is not an illusion and yet we constantly miss out on it. We get distracted.

Our world is often too loud, too bright and busy for us to notice the significance of details that add much of the meaning and richness to life.

Like using a flashlight to look at an object in broad daylight, all the shadows disappear, and with them the depth. That third dimension vanishes.

Living in 3D means fully experiencing the life in and around you. A 3D moment is that instant in time when you feel the magic of the sunshine on your toes, wonder at the miracle of a breath-taking sunset, or thrill at the sound of . . . I don’t know, you fill in the blank. It’s that moment in time when you stop being just a spectator in your own life.

 What made up my 3D Moment

First, there were no distractions; only me in the room. Cell phone off, TV off, unsettling thoughts off.

Second, there was a single focal point; my toes in the sunlight. If there was an elephant in the room I don’t think I would have noticed. (Well, an elephant? I probably would, being such a tight fit and all, but you get my drift.)

Third, was the atypical view point – looking down the length of my body to my toes in the sunlight; a light at the end of a trail of shadows.

So let me use this as a blue print for creating future 3-D moments.

 Creating your 3D Moments

Disconnect. Schedule short periods of “alone time” into your day. Eliminate the daily distractions and set you mind free to pleasantly wander. Give logic a rest. Don’t ponder the state of the union and certainly don’t start thinking about how annoyed you’ll be if the package you ordered two weeks ago isn’t sitting on your front step when you get home.


Details. Take note of the details that add so much texture and brilliance to life, and for a few moments let them fill your thoughts. Day-dream. It’s not a waste of time.

drawer pull

Open your mind to the possibilities around you. An ordinary drawer pull may become a work of art – a masterpiece of form and symmetry.


This practice may help you to see all of your world so much more clearly. And get outdoors; experience all the empty spaces beautifully carved into the patterns of nature.

palm tree

Diverse thinking. Try standing at the base of a tree and looking up at the branches. I guarantee a captivating perspective. Even the most mundane things become extraordinary if you look at them from a different view-point.


What I learned in that small cubicle with my toes in the sun: sometimes we have to climb into the small dark spaces to appreciate the real beauty of our lives.





Author: Juliette

A graduate of The University of Louisville, Juliette holds an M.Ed. and has been a teacher for over 35 years, specializing in Language arts, Reading and Math. She received two life-saving liver transplants in 2005 and now lives happily with her husband of 19 years in Louisville, Kentucky.

6 thoughts on “Living in 3D: A Beginner’s Guide”

  1. I went outside to look up at the mile tree opposite my house . and I was “smirking “. I thought an ant can climb that tree but I can’t. But then I can appreciate it blowing in the wind and I can the tip of every branch and twig in its position in space. 3D I guess.

    1. Is there ever a reason to scold yourself? Other people do a good enough job of that – in my opinion – don’t you think?

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