By Patrick Herbert
Your perception of the world around you is what dictates how you feel about the world around you. It is the difference
between dancing from place-to-place or simply moving from place-to-place. Moving from place-to-place is certain to get you to your destination; however, dancing from place-to-place is celebrating every physical, mental, and emotional process that is involved in getting you there. And it feels good.
Perception, for the most part, is dictated to us. Narratives form stories in our mind and where those narratives come from is important when it comes to establishing our perception. Negative stories will give us a negative view of the world and positive stories a positive view. Regardless, we seek to limit the impact of the external narrative in order to establish a more harmonious internal narrative that is of our own creation and under our own management and control.
The external world happens, but it happens within our mind. This is where the difference is made. Every moment, narrative, and event presents an opportunity to see it one way or the other, and we want to be certain we calibrate the internal representation of this in a way that is most beneficial to us.
A shift in perception is usually all that it takes; however, sometimes it isn’t so easy. Typically as events around us manifest, we experience an immediate emotional response. There are many elements at play here going right back down into the primitive brain fight-or-fight response. Emotions that accompany these various states are often uncomfortable and, without sufficient self-awareness, can cause people to react impulsively for that is the entire purpose behind their existence.
You might read an article and it might piss you off, but it doesn’t have to. Someone may make a comment that offends you, but it is truly your choice to be offended or not.
Think on the time someone may have made a political statement that did not align with your own political disposition. You might have felt a negative surge of emotion, and you may have felt an impulse to react in a negative way that would only lead to more negativity: a negative plus a negative is an even greater negative.
All of it, from beginning to end, was happening in your mind. Your awareness, the observer, was passively engaged as if watching a movie while your body began responding emotionally. We want to move that awareness from passive involvement to active involvement.
When we learn how to drive we learn a very efficient way of minimizing the effects of motion: hitting the brakes. This same tactic can be applied to gaining control of our emotional response. Prior to the impulse to simply react, we can condition ourselves to essentially hit the brakes and not react. This is a way to recalibrate ourselves, for it gives us enough time to allow negative feelings to dissipate. Once those negative emotions have lessened or passed entirely, we can form a more calm and rational response to catalyst.
One potential tactic to accomplish this could be to simply smile in the meanwhile. A smile carries its own energy, and has the potential to neutralize volatility. It sets others at ease, as it is a natural human physical expression to signal contentment. Internally, that may not always be the case; however, we can use this as a braking mechanism to give us time to shift our perception and find the silver lining.
There is a silver lining in everything. It is there, often unseen, and one must look for it. The search for the silver lining is what takes our perception from the “glass-is-half-empty” to the “glass-is-half-full”. We can find the positives in everything. They are there, you just have to look for them.
Perception management is the key to contentment in a world seemingly designed to propagate the illusion of misery. Once we take control of our own perception, those seeking to manipulate us lose control. It is also the secret to living a harmonious life.
Gaining control of our perception leads us directly into a better, more fulfilling, existence that is independent from material expectations. Certainly you can want all of the money in the world, and there is truly nothing wrong with that. Money, at the end of the day, is just energy like everything else. But if you do not have all of the money in the world, and that reality is the driving force behind a negative perception of the world that you experience, then you will engage yourself in a negative feedback loop that will perpetuate until you are able to break free.
Breaking free is easy, for it is merely a shift in your perception by discovering the silver lining to your own reality. It is there, you just have to bring it into your awareness. Then you will discover the true meaning of contentment and happiness, and you will be uninhibited and free to dance from place-to-place physically, mentally, and emotionally.