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Friday, October 11, 2013

Perception

Photo: Taylor Baranova
I've spent much of my life trying to be realistic. Also, trying to manage my expectations so as not to be disappointed, to find satisfaction in my current situation and to, essentially, 'take it where I can get it' because "life is what it is". I've always believed that magic happens to other people, that I can only fantasize but never realize amazing possibilities. That I simply am not enough because other people are better at anything I could ever hope to achieve. I have always believed that the best I can hope for is the opportunity to work hard enough at doing something I hate, that I can afford at least a taste of the things I have a passion for. Having that psychic baggage has given me a view of reality that isn't realistic at all, but actually PESSIMISTIC. It's not a perspective that provides energy for great things or for change. It is a perspective that has kept me small, kept my thoughts small, kept my expectations small. In short, not helpful in any regard. And I know better.

And what is reality if not perception? What gives us the energy to do great things? Certainly not by believing that great things are beyond our reach. Most definitely not by focusing on managing nothing more than the minutia of our day to day lives. There is a proverb that goes "If you aim for the moon you may reach the top of the highest tree, but if you aim for the top of the tree you may never get off the ground". It sounds about right to me. It also implies that we have some power over the direction we take. That was perhaps the most difficult lesson to learn: I have power. I have been told by so many people in so many ways (some subtle, some not-so-subtle) that I don't have any power, that my opinion isn't worthwhile, that I don't have a right to my beliefs for one reason or another (and how DARE I be offended by that!). Learning where my strength comes from was a real breakthrough, and I had to learn it for myself in my own way and in my own time. The truth is we don't need someone to tell us what we're worth, we don't need pieces of paper to tell us that we're smart, we don't need money to have influence. A truly powerful person, though they may have those thing, doesn't NEED them to own their place in the world. It's a work in progress for me, but I've shed the worst of it.

I believe this idea can be taken a step further. Not only do we create our reality through perception on a philosophical level, but likely in a tangible, physical way as well. Several years ago I was introduced to Dr. Masaru Emoto's research on the effects of emotion on water molecules. It was a unique perspective on how the energy we project into the world acts on the world around us. Super cool :-) It's old news at this point but still sticks in my noggin as a reminder. Again, a work in progress for me.

One of the difficulties in 'changing shape' is that it makes the folks around us uncomfortable. Sometimes those who are the closest have the most difficult time. We don't just see ourselves as singular entities, but by who we are in relation to others, at least on some level. When those others evolve, it can be genuinely difficult to accept and assimilate the changes, sometimes to the point of outright refusal. I've seen this played out occasionally and it's weird, but common enough that it appears to be a legitimate pattern.  I feel lucky to be, and to be surrounded by, flexible, secure people who are amenable to positive changes in other folks. I feel all kinds of observy right now :-)

I guess this post was my long-winded way of saying if there is anything you want to do (well, anything that doesn't cuase harm to yourself or another, hehe), do it. Don't wait for the stars to align, align them. Don't wait until you have more time, make time. And I say this as much to myself as to you. I know sometimes the things we want most don't always pan out, but it doesn't mean failure. It means hammer at it some more in a different way. Don't let it go because you are distracted by the day to day. DO IT. :-)

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