This holiday season is a beautiful reminder of the opportunity we have in each moment to tune in to peace and joy. Yet amidst the bustle of year-end wrap-ups and shopping, we may struggle to find a place of solace and calm. Finding peace depends on the lens through which we choose to see life. That, in turn, requires us to consider that we do have a choice about the ways we perceive. Beginning this week, we will look at two lenses in particular that determine our capacity for lasting happiness: the positive possibilities and the impossibilities.
Most of us tend to think that whatever we perceive is real. Yet the truth is that our perceptions are not solid and fixed. They are always coloured by our personalities and experiences. I have often heard the story about a group of blind men who encountered an elephant. One man, feeling the elephant’s leg, said, “It’s a tree.” Another, feeling the elephant’s trunk, retorted, “No! It’s a snake.” Another, feeling the tusk, shouted, “What’s wrong with you? It’s a spear.” They all began to argue, each certain that he was right and the others were wrong. We can be like that. We often don’t realize the limitations of our perceptions and how much more there may be for us to consider.
We are each interconnected parts of a vast, intelligent and loving whole. Within it, we do not control but co-create. We have the power of free will, and the ability to choose how we think, act and react. What we do with this power deeply affects the quality of our life, and influences everyone and everything around us. So, we need to ask ourselves: how are we choosing to perceive?
Positive Possibilities and Impossibilities
When I was a young girl, my maternal grandmother would come to visit our family for a month over Christmas. Though she had lived through much adversity, raising three young children on her own while her husband was away at war, facing life as a widow after his untimely death soon after the war, and living through a disfiguring, debilitating illness, she had a special light. She had found inner peace and exuded it in all she did. In my early life, she was an essential teacher. I still cherish her insights every day. One of the things she taught me was that we each have two channels within us to which we can attune: one that leads to suffering for all, and one that leads to love, service and interconnection. It was up to each us to personally choose where we place our attention.
As you begin to let go of the fixed thought that your perceptions are all there is to know, you deepen your awareness of this moment and the richness that it offers. You then discover greater choice and two essential options. You can open to the here and now, recognizing that you are always unconditionally loved and supported by the universe. Or you can choose to resist what is and the possibilities within it, attached to againstness, feeling separate and alone. Both options exist in every moment. One is experiencing life through the lens of the positive possibilities, in harmony with Nature. The other is life through the lens of the impossibilities, in discord with Nature. No matter your circumstance, you have the power to choose the lens through which you perceive. In embracing this reality, you can bring peace to yourself and to the world.
Explore Your Perceptions
In the coming weeks, we will take a closer look at both the positive possibilities and the impossibilities and how they impact your life and others. For now, I invite you to consider the following, so that you can start to connect with your true power to choose how you perceive:
• What would happen if I opened to the idea that my perceptions are imperfect?
• Can I think of at least one situation where the way I perceived it was inaccurate?
• How do I feel about the idea that I always have choice about the way I perceive?
• Do I have any resistance towards this idea? If so, what do I gain in that “yes but”? What do I lose?
From my heart to yours,