The early hours of the morning bring with them a quiet serenity that sooths the psyche and nurtures gentle optimism. At such moments the relentless drive of mid-day accomplishments seems miles away. This quiet serenity is the sacred space where connection with spirit seems particularly accessible and appropriate. The struggles, divisions, and tensions of accomplishment have not yet awoken so the space they normally occupy in our consciousness are available to accommodate the infinite vastness of creative reflection. In this space of quiet contemplation the aspirations of the soul have room to expand and play. Not bound by Doing, they dance across my consciousness whispering the promise of potential, of wonder, of hope, and of the interconnected nature of everyone and everything in the universe. What a moment to be aware. Without the burden of distractions that will shortly and inexorably follow, a precious gift of gratitude is offered by the Universe as a balm to the frenetic pace of Doing that dominates so much of our daily life.
If we are to grow into our better selves, that self capable of creating and experiencing greater connection and genuine happiness, then we must first recognize and accept the degree of conditioning that has hampered our growth up to now. From our earliest stages of development, when we were first exposed to language and the familial, social, and cultural influences of the people who raised and educated us, we have been bombarded with messages of what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, what is acceptable and unacceptable, ad infinitum. The reality for all of us is that we have been conditioned into our view of ourselves, each other, and the world through the lens of the social environment we grew up in. Yet it is precisely this social environment which is our first and most influential hurdle to overcome on our journey toward reclaiming the life we yearn for.
What are you choosing to focus on today? Are you focusing on all those aspects of yourself that are inadequate, under developed, less than, or are you focusing on all those aspects of yourself that you appreciate, value, and respect?
What we focus on is what we see. It is the lens through which we view our self, others, and the world. What we focus on expands to fill our entire field of vision whether negative or positive, and that focus generates the stories about us, others, and the world, that determines our experience.
It surprised me to discovery that we have far more power to determine how we experience our life than we may have previously thought. It turns out that our experience arises not from conditions themselves but from our interpretation of those conditions. Every person, event, or situation we encounter generates a story in our mind based on our particular point of view. This point of view is based on our past experiences, expectations, feelings, and perceptions. The way we interpret the conditions we encounter determines our experience. For example, if we perceive the world as a dangerous place then we will tend to feel more fearful and feeling fearful puts us on guard when encountering others and wary of trusting them. If we perceive the world as generally safe we feel more open and optimistic and these feelings result in us being more curious and welcoming of others when we encounter them.
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