Perception is everything…. what does that even mean??
You’re probably holed up at home right now, maybe in a small apartment, like us!
I’ll admit, our big rainforest backyard in Australia would have been much nicer than our tiny French balcony right now, but none-the less…
Maybe you have to share that space with many people, or you’re alone, which has triggered off feelings of loneliness.
Maybe money is running dry due to job losses, or even if there’s still money in the bank, perhaps the uncertain future has you experiencing a whole lotta money stress.
Maybe you’re sick.
Whatever you’re experiencing right now, it can be very easy to label these experiences as ‘bad’.
And I get that!
They can feel unpleasant, especially when we’re used to so much freedom.
So much choice.
But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer.
For it’s not our circumstances that cause suffering.
It is our thoughts about our circumstances that create the suffering.
Shakespeare said it best, when he wrote: ‘Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
And this really is the truth that I wanted to remind you of today.
For we’re being given a HUGE opportunity to learn and grow and become less so-darn fear-burdened right now!
Being forced to stay at home, to live in a way we’ve never lived before, isn’t something to be feared.
We can create an internal mind-driven stress-storm for ourselves, OR we can drop all those old behavioural patterns that have followed us through life, and learn a new way to navigate life.
A way that involves learning the difference between a situation you find yourself in, and what your mind says about the situation you find yourself in.
For many people trying to seperate the mental chatter from the situation itself, can seem as difficult as trying to separate the salt from the water in the ocean!
Simply know that you CAN learn how to differentiate between a situation you’re experiencing, and the mental commentary about the situation you’re experiencing.
For that is one of our big spiritual lessons right now!
To be stuck in a situation, that we don’t have a whole lot of control over, and cruise through to the other side with our sanity still in tact!
But to be able to do this, requires a shift in perception.
Are you open to what I’m about to share?
Are you willing to widen, maybe even shift your perception?
If so… read on….
The mental chatter is NOT you.
It’s a perception.
A perception based on your conditioning; your belief systems, past traumas, stored emotions and experiences.
If you want a free lesson on how our subconscious conditioning impacts our lives, simply click here, to listen to my audio workshop The Art of Self-Love.
Let me give you a little example of how perception works…
You’re sitting at home, sipping a beautiful cup of tea by the lamp-light.
Life feels sweet!
Then you pick up the newspaper and start reading about the Coronavirus and the global impact it’s having.
You’re reading all about death, financial loss, and the severity of the measures being taken to try and slow the spread of the virus.
Suddenly you’re plunged into a negative internal dialogue.
That dialogue spilling out into the conversations with the people you’re locked down with, or the people you communicate with over the phone or online.
Nothing’s changed, yet everything’s changed.
One minute you were home feeling calm and at ease, the next you’re experiencing dread and fear and worry.
What really changed?
That relaxed, positive feeling suddenly turns to emotional turmoil, even though you’re still where you were before you picked up the newspaper.
This is the impact our thoughts have on us.
They create suffering.
You’re still sitting at home with your cuppa tea but now your mind has gone off on an ‘Oh my gosh the world’s gonna end; we’re all gonnna die!’ tangent.
You don’t actually know if that’s going to happen.
Chances are it won’t.
We’re a pretty strong breed us humans!
But still you can’t shake the anxiety.
Even though right now, right here, you are safe, you are healthy and you still have a roof over your head and food to eat.
You’ve got everything you had a few weeks ago, and maybe a whole lotta extra time, if you were laid off work.
Most of us complain of not having the time to do all the things we want to do, but when we get given the time, we start complaining about something else.
Our brains are hard-wired to keep us in an endless cycle of suffering.
To keep us in fear-states.
Even though right here, right now, everything is ok.
Our brain plunges us into a gloomy future, and knocks us off our perch.
What do you do?
Well, I can help you rewire that programming instantly through my One-on-One Intensive so you can end the thoughts of suffering once and for all, but perhaps you’re not ready dive heart-first into your ‘stuff’.
Maybe you need to ease your way in.
Dangle a toe in to see if it’s really safe, before you emerge your whole self.
If this is you, then here’s what you need to do:
Next time you find yourself saying to yourself, or out loud to someone else, something along the lines of: ‘I can’t do this anymore’ or ‘Life is falling apart’ or ‘How am I going to survive?’
Simply draw your attention to the thought (or statement).
Awareness if the first step in healing.
Our mind likes to make up all sorts of fear-driven stories and scare the sh*t out of us.
Thoughts about how horrible and restrictive life is right now.
This time of lockdown is your invitation to practise becoming aware of the negative self-talk.
And don’t worry, you’re not the only one who talks to yourself!!
Crazy as it sounds, we all do!
Ok, so you’ve started to notice your inner and outer dialogue; the dialogue that’s triggering off the fear and stress.
Now ask yourself:
How would I experience this situation if I didn’t add any judgement to it?
If I didn’t perceive this situation through the lens of ‘good’ or ‘bad’, what would this situation be?
Maybe even journal or meditate on it if you have the time.
At the very least, be open to experiencing the moment without needing to make it wrong.
You see, it’s this judgment of self and of the situations we find ourselves in, that make us unhappy, not the situations themselves.
If you perceive someone or something as ‘bad’, then of course it will cause you stress and anxiety.
But if you refrain from judging it – from labelling it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – maybe you would feel calmer.
Because in the majority of situations, it’s our thoughts that blow situations out of proportion.
Our mind LOVES to catastrophise!
I go into much more detail about ‘catastrophising’ in my book The Upside of Down: A personal journey and toolkit for overcoming depression.
So ask yourself:
How would I experience this situation minus the judgement?
Maybe you would find yourself sitting in your house, breathing, enjoying a your cuppa tea.
What then, is inherently wrong with that situation?
It’s the ‘story’ we make up around this present moment that plunges it into doom and gloom territory.
When you drop the story – the need to make something ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – then you no longer need to suffer.
You feel lighter.
For the story is generally all future-based.
But in all truth, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.
So we can let our perception of the situation hurl us into a future state of anxiety.
Or we can drop the need to judge something as good or bad, and simply be with what is happening right here, right now.
When you commit to practising this – to separating the mental commentary about the situation from the actual situation – you’re essentially setting yourself free.
Free from the suffering.
Free from the worry, the stress, the fear.
And as you know from my blog: Boosting Immunity Amid the Coronavirus when we’re in these kinds of fear-states, our immune system shuts down.
Fear physically affects the body.
And it wreaks havoc on our mental state too.
This activity – where you let go of judging your situation or yourself – frees you from the conditioned mind.
The limited self.
It ends the physical and emotional suffering.
If you’re able to cultivate this practice and make it part of your daily way of living, not only will this time of lockdown be far more bearable – maybe even a time of celebration for all the time you now have to facilitate deep inner healing – when we finally can leave our homes, then you’ll have a magnificent skill to help you enjoy life more fully.
Right now, as we’re holed up in our homes, we have been gifted the perfect opportunity to practise letting go of the judgement.
To let go of the perceptions we hold.
Our world needs less judgement and much more love.
Much more presence.
For that is how we will move forward in a way that allows us – and our planet – to heal.
Please share your questions and experiences below.