PERCEPTIONS are a wonderful key to personal growth because you will only be able to recognize in your reality whatever your point of reference is. It is your BELIEFS about your life that act like a fence – it keeps what you like/understand inside and separates whatever you don’t want on the outside. Then it gets confusing – we want something very much but believe we are not worthy. Guess what you get? You are right – ZIP – nothing. One cannot put opposing thoughts and emotions out there because they neutralize each other.
The dictionary defines PERCEPTIONS as: “mental grasp of objects, qualities, etc. by means of the senses; awareness; comprehension; insight or intuition, or the faculty for these; the understanding, knowledge, etc. got by perceiving, or a specific idea, concept, impression, etc. so formed.”
One example is religion – one tends to include everything in one’s life according to a creed or a set of rules/ideas promulgated by that specific church, synagogue, or mosque. All else is suspect and excluded, as are any people who do not believe the same identical way. Many then are urged from the pulpit or lectern to proselytize (to try to convert a person to one’s religion). In other words, others must act in accordance with your personal beliefs. The only problem with that is that GOD DID NOT MAKE US LIKE PRINGLES!
Each one of us is UNIQUE – as in one of a kind. We are a special blend of our positive and negative traits.
Some people are unable to look at their clothing choices, personality reactions and interactions, or even look at their reality clearly. They do not trust their own judgment to decide on what to wear, what to say, or how to act in given situations. Some people, particularly women, are put down so long that they begin to believe they are actually worthless, wrong, and hopeless. This sometimes happens to men, too, however. Lack of self esteem prohibits growth, absolutely.
In personal growth classes, we are given a form to appraise our personal attributes. Many times, I have seen others turn to their coworkers and ask them how to answer…Are they friendly? Are they personable? Do they dress appropriately? I was always amazed that self-evaluation is impossible for them. After the years have come and gone, however, I find that it all boils down to BELIEFS and PERCEPTIONS. Some of these were implanted in us by an authority figure when we were very young and unable to separate the good stuff from the bad.
“So what do I do now?” You might ask. The answer is really quite simple. You must be ever watchful of your thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Personal Growth books, teachers, workshop leaders, etc., all may have a piece of learning that is right for you so you can analyze your life in order to begin modifying your reactions, words, and thoughts – dispose of those that are not in line with who you are today. When you catch yourself asking, “Why did I just do that?” Do not blow it off. Look at it. Think of other ways you could have done something differently. Do not think, “Well, that is just who I am, and it is too late to change now.” It is NEVER TOO LATE!
If you want to test how you feel about yourself, go to a mirror and study your reflection. Do you immediately start criticizing what you see there? Guess where those comments begin…from long ago and far away. The question is: Do you want to change that reflection? All you have to do is ask that question of yourself. Awareness that a change is needed is the beginning of it. Then you take a class, buy a different outfit, or make a list of what needs changing. It is not hard. You just have to take that step. Are you willing?
Our world is changing so fast. Information transmission has never been this good. News travels around the world in minutes. When you hear it, you have an inner reaction that is based on both your BELIEFS and PERCEPTIONS. Do you ever think about it from a different PERSPECTIVE? Do you buy into what the spin doctors are putting out? You must know that these people are in every political arena in the world. So think through your reactions before you send money, write a letter, or talk about it. WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT, YOU BRING ABOUT! DO YOU REALLY WANT ALL THESE NEGATIVE SITUATIONS TO GET WORSE? YOU ARE EMPHASIZING WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT!
Sounds crazy, does it not? You can pray for others and ask for guidance and comfort for them, including all others. You can take whatever action you deem appropriate for those caught in disasters, which seem to happen daily now somewhere in this world.
Life unfolds before us daily with each choice we make. Do you want to stay in your squirrel cage, just running around in a circle and getting nowhere? Or do you want to get out of that cage and begin anew. IT IS YOURS TO CHOOSE!
Just because you bought into your points of reference and perceptions at a very young age, does not mean you cannot change them. It just takes more effort. Are you willing to look at your daily life to see what needs a change in perspective?
I was taught from the beginning that I could never do anything right. It was always about being wrong. (Do you know anybody who parents like this? Of course, you do. It is as normal as apple pie.) Until I was 19, I actually believed that. Then I learned to ice skate. I could do something right! This was a life-changing event for me. From there, I have learned many things, done many hobbies, and had lots of adventures. I am grateful that I learned that I could change. I am ever aware, even now, of things that I need to change. I make a plan to achieve that end, and put it into action. Life is not static. All you have to do is look at the natural world to see how the seed becomes the plant, blossom, wilts, and goes to seed. If you are taking personal responsibility for your life, you can institute a plan to begin today to make a difference in your life. Are you willing?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: adventures, beliefs, blessings, choices, choose, comfort, difference, God, guidance, journey, life, metaphysics, negative, New Age, New thought, perceptions, personal growth, personal responsibility, point of reference, prayer, religion, right, seed, self esteem, static, thoughts, Truth, understanding, unique, willing, wisdom, wrong
You have probably heard this phrase for many years: Are you going to TALK the TALK, or WALK the WALK?
It has been used to explain the difference between someone who wants book knowledge so they can seem erudite and able to TALK the TALK, but when it comes to actually living what they have learned, they do not want to WALK the WALK, or make it personal by applying it to their own lives. One example would be someone who can talk about food, but is unable to fry an egg or make a meal. Until you pick up a cookbook or a recipe, nothing works — it is as meaningless as having a menu on a raft in the ocean, but no food at all. How about one who uses all the right personal growth words, yet still lives as though none of it applies to that person? We hear the words, yet the music that should accompany them never happens. It is obvious that two different things are happening here: WORDS vs. ACTIONS.
I once had an advanced math teacher who was the professor of his division. He could talk the principles and be very exacting in his English, but he could not convey the essence of what he was teaching to most of his students. I ended up in the Math Lab to find the teacher who could help me understand the principles of the problems. It was useless to me unless I could apply the knowledge I was attempting to acquire.
Have you ever been talking with someone, and they are speaking words that are English, yet they do not communicate at all in such a way that you can understand it? You can hear the words, but they do not make any sense to you. It might as well be a foreign language for all the good it does.
These are just a few ways of how we can get caught up in the sound of our own voice, yet never check to see if we are actually being heard and understood by our audience. (Forget Active Listening Principles as they are fast becoming a lost art.)
Personally, I have met people who can talk Religion in many forms, Protestants of many kinds, Catholics, metaphysics, New Thought, etc. They love the sounds of their own voices so much that they never consider whether or not they are actually communicating. They are reiterating some creed or dogma as though it was the only way to Heaven. Never mind that many others differ on just exactly how that will happen. Never mind that each person has their own definitions and points of reference. Just keep hitting your audience over the head with your words, hoping some of it will sink in so they can come to your point of view (whether or not it is good for them). TALK, TALK, TALK!
I have attended many workshops, sought after many teachers of varied personal growth subjects, done symposiums, heard lots of lectures from people of note, and spent a small fortune in doing so. I say to you that it is all for naught unless one actually USES whatever it is he/she hears with the best of one’s understanding — put the words into your heart and mind. Act from that new wisdom that is created when the head and the heart meet. The product of that meeting will influence you the rest of your days. WALK the WALK!
If you hear a great sermon on Sunday coming from the pulpit, think about it long after the church doors close. Do not just go on your merry way and do as you please. Make a list of the ways that you can apply those good words to your life, and then do it. WALK the WALK!
Ernest Holmes, the Founder of Science of Mind, stated that you can only fly as high as your roots grow into the ground. In other words, your mind can fly up to the ether, but your feet have to stay on the earth. You cannot over-reach in your zest and enthusiasm but must stay grounded in utilizing what you have learned in your every-day life. You have to realize where you are, and take the steps to grow into whatever else you are attempting to achieve. If you are a Caterpillar, you will have to go through the Cocoon stage before you can become that beautiful Butterfly! Take each step, one at a time, in the direction you need to go. WALK the WALK!
You are the captain of your ship, whether you want to be or not. You sail your ship as no one else can. If you TALK the TALK but do not WALK the WALK, you are rudderless in your journey. Is that something you want to do? Doubt it. You never get anywhere when you do that. That is usually accompanied by feelings of being out of control of your life and hopelessness, wondering if anything will ever get better. ANSWER: Nope, not till you change your attitude.
Read your books, go to the workshops, take the lessons, and listen to wisdom in any form. Just know that you are the only one who can make a difference in your life, and no one can do it for you. You cannot send your valet to the gym and gain muscle strength thereby. You have to do it yourself. It is no different in learning new ways to interact with your world, respond to others, and live a more fulfilling life. That is why you get on your computer, looking for good words, or read books, etc.
PERSONALIZE whatever it is you are seeking by looking for ways to use it in your day-to-day living. You can TALK a good game, but can you WALK it?
Life comes to us every day in many forms, some good and some not-so-good. How you react to what is happening will determine how you live your life and how it will unfold before you.
If you are a SEEKER, be a FINDER as well. When you find something that rings your chimes, USE IT to the best of your ability and understanding. It will change your choices, which will change your life permanently for the better.
The ball is in your court: Do you want to TALK the TALK, or WALK the WALK?
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: attitude, book knowledge, butterfly, Ceterpillar, change, choices, cocoon, erudite, essence, finder, life, living, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, personal growth, religion, seeker, talk, TALK the TALK, thoughts, understanding, understood, uses, walk, WALK the WALK, wisdom, words
Several singers have done the song, “I Believe,” and have done it beautifully. It speaks to my heart, and I believe it is one of the songs that always cheers me up and is always inside of me. The words are:
“I believe for every drop of rain that falls
A flower grows,
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night
A candle glows,
I believe for everyone who goes astray,
Someone will come to show the way,
I believe, I believe.
I believe above the storm a smallest prayer
Will still be heard,
I believe that someone in the great somewhere
Hears every word,
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry,
Or touch a leaf, or see the sky,
Then I know why,
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry,
Or touch a leaf, or see the sky,
Then I know why,
The words are simple, but their meaning is worth pondering. It is truly the “staff of life.” It is the motivator for seeking personal growth.
Have you ever actually asked yourself, “What do I believe in?” I mean the word that resides at the very basic level inside of you, not at the surface.
We get so caught up in the sounds of war drums inside of us that the music cannot be heard. Demands from outside of us badger our mind for our attention. The music that I hear pouring with a deafening din out of the windows of the car that is waiting for a light, for instance. I often ask myself, “How can that person think?” Perhaps that is the key. Maybe that one needs entertained so badly that he/she does not care if his/her own hearing is being damaged, as well as those who are unlucky enough to be close enough to hear it. Is life so shallow that extremes must be exploited constantly? How about the electronic games that take up so much of everyone’s time? Is it worthwhile to sit and look at a beautiful sunrise or sunset, or pause and smell the flowers? Would taking a walk outside to just enjoy the warmth of the sunshine be out of the question? (Of course, I am ignoring that a lot of the nation is currently caught in very cold weather, snow, and ice storms.)
My point is a simple one: I believe at the very inmost level that life is lived from the inside of me outward, not vice versa. Yet I am surrounded in daily life by others who actually seem to think that the outside stuff/activities/whatever brings life to the inside. Hence, you have the thrill seekers, the ones who dance to everybody else’s music but never to their own, and the ones who are never satisfied with their lives no matter how much stuff they own.
As for me, I enjoy all my possessions, but they do not possess me. All of God’s gifts to me are sincerely appreciated. I love living my life every single day for there is something to look forward to doing. I do dance to my inner music, including, “I Believe.” It is a song of faith and hope. I want to believe that good things are unfolding for me, always.
My life has been less than ideal for most of my life. I have endured so many sadness-related occurrences that many people will have the good fortune to never see. Yet I would not let the bitter root enter, as from The Bible’s exhortations, for it consumes all one’s energy. How, you may ask? Because I believe that my beliefs are the driver of my life, not the outer circumstances that can wreck havoc and mayhem.
My question to you is: Do you believe? I am not talking about what the local minister is saying to you. I am asking you to look deep within you to the core of your being. Is life challenging to you? Are your days harried and impossibly busy? Perhaps you or someone you love is facing a health challenge. Is that all there is?
Hope, love, trust, and faith all go hand in hand. You cannot have just one of these. It must be all. If there is none, how can you hope your life will change? You cannot build a skyscraper without the right footing or base. What I am asking you to look at is your footing or base. You are the architect of your life. Are you willing to look deep within to see what your beliefs really are? It is your life, after all, nobody else’s. Are you willing? You can increase your personal power incrementally exponentially if you will but ask yourself what changes are needed. God’s blessings on you as you journey.
Are you aware that you may possibly treat yourself without the same consideration you would freely give to a friend or loved one?
Oftentimes, we are far more critical and certainly less forgiving of our foibles that we are of others. We “get on our own case” and beat ourselves up over some perceived shortcoming.
We need to raise our awareness of these instances. Why? Because they stunt our personal growth. Self condemnation is the worst beast to tame.
If we see something that needs to be corrected, by all means do it. If there is something we can do to change an outcome, go for it.
But in the meantime, learn to be gentle with yourself. You are here to learn lessons, just like everyone else is.
Are you willing to be open to the idea that you can learn to be gentle with yourself?
Your personal growth depends on it.
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: awareness, change, choices, consideratin, corrected, critical, foibles, forgiving, friend, gentle, learn, lessons, life, loved one, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, personal growth, self condemnation, shortcoming, stunt, thoughts, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom