Daily OM for January 13th – Making Life Yours

Making Life Yours
Perception

by Madisyn Taylor

A simple shift in attitude can help us recognize the hidden potential for fulfillment in every event.

There is no secret recipe for happiness and contentment. The individuals who move through life joyously have not necessarily been blessed with lives of abundance, love, success, and prosperity. Such people have, however, been blessed with the ability to take the circumstances they’ve been handed and make them into something great. Our individual realities are colored by perception—delight and despair come from within rather than without. Situations we regard as fortuitous please us while situations we judge inauspicious cause us no end of grief. Yet if we can look at all we have accomplished without dwelling on our perceived misfortune and make each new circumstance our own, the world as a whole becomes a brighter place. A simple shift in attitude can help us recognize and unearth the hidden potential for personal and outer world fulfillment in every event, every relationship, every duty, and every setback.

The universe is often an unpredictable and chaotic place, and the human tendency is to focus on the negative and assume the positive will care for itself. But life can be no more or no less than what you make of it. If you are working in a job you dislike, you can concentrate on the positive aspects of the position and approach your work with gusto. What can you do with this job that can turn it around so you do love it. When faced with the prospect of undertaking a task you fear, you can view it as an opportunity to discover what you are truly capable of doing. Similarly, unexpected events, when viewed as surprises, can add flavor to your existence. By choosing to love life no matter what crosses your path, you can create an atmosphere of jubilance that is wonderfully infectious. A change in perspective is all it takes to change your world, but you must be willing to adopt an optimistic, hopeful mind-set.

To make a conscious decision to be happy is not enough. You must learn to observe life’s complexities through the eyes of a child seeing everything for the first time. You must furthermore divest yourself of preconceived notions of what is good and what is bad so that you can appreciate the rich insights concealed in each stage of your life’s journey. And you must strive to discover the dual joys of wanting what you have. As you gradually shift your perspective, your existence will be imbued with happiness and contentment that will remain with you forever.

The Daily OM

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Daily OM for March 28th – Seeing Inside

Seeing Inside
Sight Versus Vision

Vision comes from within and shows us how to navigate the realms of thought, feeling, and emotion.

Sight is the ability to see the physical world while vision is the gift of seeing beyond it. Sight enables us to take the physical world in so we can participate in it with knowledge. It brings us pleasure through our eyes, which perceive the colors and shapes of all the myriad expressions of nature and human beings. It helps us feel in control, allowing us to see what is coming toward us, which way we are going, and exactly where we are standing at a given moment. We are able to read signs and books, navigate the interiors of buildings with ease, sense and perceive how a person is feeling by the expressions that cross her face.

As anyone who has lost their eyesight can tell you, though, there are things that are clearer when you cannot see the world through your eyes. One of the reasons many meditation instructors advise sitting with the eyes closed is because we automatically become more in touch with our inner world when we are not distracted by the outer world. It is in this state that vision becomes our mode of seeing. Vision comes from within and shows us how to navigate the realms of thought, feeling, and emotion. It enables us to see things that aren’t yet manifested in the world of form, and it also connects us to that part of ourselves that exists separately from the world of form.

As we age, even those of us with perfect eyesight will generally lose some of our acuity, but this loss is usually replaced with inner vision. This is the time of life when we are meant to turn inside and take what are sometimes the very first steps of a journey that cannot be traced on a map. We call upon intuition and feel our way along a path that ultimately carries us beyond the realm we can see with our eyes and into the land of spirit.

Stress Is Not What You Think

Stress Is Not What You Think

  • Ed and Deb Shapiro

Ironically, the holiday season can be the most stressful time of the year. Imagine you are trying to squeeze some toothpaste out of a tube but you have forgotten to take the top off. What happens? Deb actually did this in one of her most unaware moments and the toothpaste soon found another way out through the bottom of the tube and got all over her. It will force a hole in the side or wherever is the weakest point.

Now imagine that the tube of toothpaste is you, under pressure and beginning to experience psychological or emotional stress. But you don’t take your lid off, as it were, by recognizing what is happening and making time to relax or deal with your inner conflicts.

So what happens to the mental or emotional stress building up inside? In her book, Your Body Speaks Your Mind, Deb shows how eventually it has to find a way out and if it can’t come out through the top, as it were, by being expressed and resolved, it will come out somewhere else, whether through your digestion, nerves, immune system, behavior, or sleep patterns. Repressed or ignored stress can manifest as depression, addiction, or anxiety; projected outwards it can become hostility, aggression, prejudice or fear.

We have built into our physiology a fight-or-flight response that enables us to respond to danger if, for instance, we are on the front line of a battle or facing a large bear. The battle may be with your teenage son and bears tend to come in a variety shapes and sizes, such as impatient and angry holiday shoppers. Seemingly unimportant events can even cause a stress reaction, as the brain is unable to tell the difference between real and imagined threats: if you focus on your concern about what might happen it plays as much havoc with your hormones and chemical balance as it does in a real situation.

Recent studies show–as if we didn’t know–that job dissatisfaction, moving house, divorce, and financial difficulties are at the top of the list of known stressors. But we all respond differently to circumstances: a divorce may be a big stressor for one but it may be a welcome relief to another. The difference lies in our response, for although we may have little or no control over the circumstances we are dealing with, we do have control over our reaction to them.

In other words, the cause of stress is not as much the external circumstances, such as having too many demands and not enough time to fill them, as it is our perception of the circumstances as being overwhelming; and our perception of our ability to cope, as when you feel stretched beyond what you perceive yourself to be capable of.

What you believe will color your every thought, word and action. As cell biologist Bruce Lipton says in his book, The Biology of Belief, “Our responses to environmental stimuli are indeed controlled by perceptions, but not all of our learned perceptions are accurate. Not all snakes are dangerous! Yes, perception “controls” biology, but… these perceptions can be true or false. Therefore, we would be more accurate to refer to these controlling perceptions as beliefs. Beliefs control biology!”

In other words, believing that it is your work, family or lifestyle that is causing you stress and that if you could only change these in some way then you would be fine, is seeing the situation from the wrong perspective. It is the belief that it is something out there that is causing the stress. And, although changing the circumstances certainly may help, invariably, no matter what you do, it is a change within your belief system and perception of yourself that will make the biggest difference.

Try It Yourself

If you find yourself feeling stressed, take 10 minutes to breathe more deeply. Most people who are tense breathe short, shallow breaths into the upper part of their chest. If you take slower breaths and deepen your breathing into your belly, the stress will dissolve.

Then find an affirmation that works for you to shift perceptions and belief patterns and to reinforce your strengths, such as: “My mind is at ease and I am capable of doing everything,” or “With every breath I am more relaxed and flowing through my day with ease.”

What is Absolute Truth?

What is Absolute Truth?

Author: Disciple of Oghma

Absolute Truth is the purpose and quest of life. Whether people seek truth or not (and why) quietly motivate our society. Do they seek it for personal enlightenment? An enrichment of their lives? To spare their children the hardship and pain they have spent in an attempt for it?

Do they seek financial and social prosperity? Seek to use it to dominate? Or ‘guide’ others in a quiet attempt at self-flattery? Or do they flee from it? Numb them to the soul’s cry to understand the world and its place there in? Is it as Mark Twain said, “Most people’s lives are a prolonged effort not to think?”

So what is absolute truth? Does it exist or is it a creation of man to complicate his life to make him feel superior to animals by possessing something they do not?

Animals live in the now. Hunter and prey instinctively understand their place and find fulfillment in it never seeking to step aside from it. Are they wiser? All these things are aspects of truth. Some wrap Truth in myth. In an attempt to Quantify it and break its meanings down to a base level so as to convey their understanding of it to another. They wrap it in fable obscuring it. Repeated over time the story itself is emphasized and the meaning faded. Then the wrapping becomes the bone of contention. Others reject the truth because the fables veracity is disputed.

Instead of seeking the truth behind the symbols it becomes an excuse to quarrel over whose story is accurate. They each side feels superior and treats the others with snide unkindness. Does it really matter if the world sprang from one man and one woman, or if god dipped a sword in the sea and the drops that fell became land, or if slime turned to fish who grew legs?

We cannot prove beyond doubt any one fable as true for no verifiable witness remains. The truth is that the land is here and was here before us and will likely be after. It is an unnecessary argument. This only truly matters to Organizations that financially thrive off of domination and control of people by the means of defining their realities and perceptions. Such organizations do have helpful side affects but peace granted by slavery and the personal refusal to accept responsibility is at the heart of evil.

So what is truth then?

Truth is Perspective. Your thoughts, feelings, and emotions are just as your perceptions sight, sound, smell, taste, touch little more than data in the form of electrical impulses in your brain. So your perceptions shape your reality.

If one person perceives blue as green is his reality different than another’s? The other can adamantly explain the error of perception but to the color blind man the meaning has no distinction. In his reality, blue IS green. Is he wrong? Why? Is his perception of reality any more or less worthy to exist? Who has the right to demand he attribute meaning to his reality that is in contrast to his perceptions?

Some perceptions are commonplace possession. Killing is wrong. Love is right. Even then the perception of those complex meanings vary quite a bit. For order and balance to exist there must be commonly accepted norms. But on small personal matters considering others perceptions can be a learning experience and quite enlightening.

So the absolute truth? Truth is perception. So perception must be reality. Our civilization and the world we live in and our understanding of it is based off of our shared and jointly accepted perceptions of our world.

Although there are anomalies. Consider emotional ideal of Love. Everyone and no one agree. Everyone feels it but no one can describe it. Is it a need to project attractive ideals, needs, and perceptions on a person? Is it a shared need for one person to be all you think you need? A bond based on need? It is all of and none of these things to all people.

What is a name and why do we feel compelled to apply one for everything? Is a name a summation of a person’s hope and dreams? Outstanding qualities? Like or dislikes? If so why is it applied by parents to a child?

Why is the name not something the child seeks as they come into their majority? Is it a means to apply authority over or bind them to us? To name something you have quantified it? You know it and understand it and now it has no other value beyond its recorded purpose? No and yes. It is all based on personal perspective.

Then it is your choice whether to consider it or accept preconceived notions. To allow others to think for you and decide what reality envelops you. To let them decide if your life decisions should be based on the decrees of their perception of god (s) . If there is an absolute truth gospel given by the creator (s) and if you do or do not follow it your life will be affected for good or for ill.

The belief in God is not absolute truth. The perception of god and relationship with him, her, and/or them is a limitation of understanding that you place upon them. The limitations of name, story, and exhortations of lifestyle are tools to help people understand and develop their relationship with their creator and their world. They are not a tool by which to measure another’s developments and relationships.

Such things though perceived as absolute truth are not. Absolute truth is simply the understanding that people’s realities are the sum of their perceptions and the conclusions they draw from them. If their conclusions differ from yours it is your choice to review them and in effect review your own conclusions of reality. No ones opinion is more valuable than another and no one has to agree with anyone else.

In the end of such sharing is the complete reality. An interwoven conclusion of shared perception. A shared dream.