If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is- infinite. ~William Blake
Perception is the way that you view our lives and that you make meaning. The way we perceive the experiences in our lives defines how we feel about them and creates our reality. So why not create a good one? With practice of the following 5 steps you can be on your way to shifting your perspective and living a more satisfying life.
1) Realize that your perception is a personal thing and no two people have the same one.
Many of us have difficulties realizing that perception plays a part when we get into disagreements with others. We want others to believe and see our truth, because we all want our truth to be heard. When we discount others perceptions we begin to create a rift between ourself and the others. We are trying to be “right”.
In actuality both of your perceptions are true, there is just a difference of opinion. We get into trouble when we begin to believe that our perceptions and opinions are the truth. We are not allowing others to have their own experience. This creates strife, because we are telling others that their perception does not count.
So how do you stop the fight? Let go. Agree to disagree take your ego and pride out of the equation. As yourself is this worth it? What am I trying to get from this conversation? Will this matter in 10 years? Think about it. It is your choice.
2) Work on seeing the glass as just having water in it.
It is said that you are an optimist if you see the glass half empty and that you are a pessimist if you see it as half full. Both of these perceptions lack equanimity for the situation. The glass of water just is. Our definitions of things help us to make meaning in our lives and defines our relationship to that thing. When we begin to attach to things being good or bad we feed into our judgement which creates suffering for ourselves.
When we are able to detach from seeing things as being positive or negative we are in acceptance. Then we can see life as just being as it is. I know that this sounds like a head trip. Practicing non attachment can help one to stop the roller coaster of feelings that you are a bad or good person because specific things happen to you. Non attachment allows one to see things just as events in the flow of life. Remember good and bad things happen, without one we would not be grateful for the other.
3) Using situations that are difficult as way to grow and learn.
Every human being has struggles in their life. It is just that the circumstances are different but we all suffer at times in our lives. As we discussed in the previous point when we attach to meaning to why things are happening we create suffering for ourselves. When something challenging happens lean into it and face it. When we do this we get to fully experience the range emotions and the lessons that we are meant to from that specific situation. If we avoid situations they will persist. If we wallow and do not look for the silver lining lesson we will remain stuck.
By using difficult situations as a lesson and a catalyst for change we do not have to repeat the same dilemma again. For the next time you will be able to recognize a similar experience and make a different decision. Facing the pain now will help you later and give you a new perspective for the next situation.
4) See what you have instead of what you do not.
In today’s consumerist society we are told that we do not have enough and that we always need more to feel satisfied. I am trying to sway you away from this way of thinking for a moment so that you can see what you do have. Make a list of the basic things that you have in your life. Eg. clean water, a place to live, food, people who love you, a car. Realize that these are the gifts of your life. Practice gratitude for having these things in your life. Make a gratitude list for the next week and write 10 new things down each day. See how your mood and perception of life changes. When we practice gratitude daily we do not take our lives for granted we see them as the beautiful jewels that they are.
5) Define what is morals and values are important to you.
One of the best ways to shift your perception is an exploration of what your morals and values are. These things define your life and help you to have a compass for where your going and help you when you are feeling rudderless. So when was the last time that you defined what your values are? If it has been a while, take a look at this worksheet and begin to define what is important to you.
Let me know what you discover about yourself! If you have any comments please comment below and if you have any questions please contact me.
Have a blessed week!