Chapter 2 (final), part 16, Perception and Focus, Beauty.

Focus: When you focus on life in a negative or positive way, you become like a moth to the flame. One perception of your life can affect all other aspects. It’s like the old woman watching the six o’clock news. She locks herself in her room because she lets the media dictate her whole perception of reality. She does not go outside and feel the breeze, nor does she notice the roses in the neighbour’s garden. Fear takes hold of her, and whilst she focuses on the pain and torment in the world, she misses the beauty in each day.

Perception: There is no reality, only your perception of reality. And interestingly enough, your perception can change if you truly want it to. You can see a homeless person on the streets and focus on all of the torment in the world, or, you can be thankful that so many people in the world are not homeless. Your emotions and thought processes can trigger you to apply one of these scenarios. Your mind can then either be inspired or deflated by these thoughts. The same example applies to everything you focus on throughout your day. Your perception is then your truth, not THE truth, just your truth.

When we truly grasp that there is no reality, but instead only the perception of reality, it is then that we can begin to understand that we create our own limitations and beliefs. And once we grasp this, we can begin breaking down our limitations by simply being aware that they exist. We can then remove them one at a time.

So if life is truly based on our own perception and focus, then why don’t we all focus on beauty and create that perception within our daily life?

Like anything worthwhile, making a positive mental change within ourselves is not an overnight job. It takes time, mental strength and many failures before we notice significant differences within our own psychology. Every day brings new challenges and frustrations for us to navigate. Yet this does not mean that we can’t see beauty more regularly.

By being present (living in the moment) and witnessing our emotions as they arise, we can begin to understand our triggers. When negativity or painful emotions appear we can then see them for what they truly are. The next step can be to ask ‘is this a reasonable response based on my own belief system?’

When we ask questions such as this it is important not to place any pressure on ourselves to come up with answers. It is also important not to place time restraints on ourselves to achieve a goal. Life is a process, not a destination. It will take as long as it takes, and acceptance in this knowledge will achieve so much more than any type of self-pressure.

As a personal recommendation…

Throughout each day stop for a moment, take a deep breath and focus on something beautiful. It doesn’t have to be a sunrise or a flower. Beauty can be your first sip of a coffee, the feeling of a chocolate on your tongue, the water from a shower, or a feeling within yourself that you appreciate. And as you repeat this pattern, it ends up becoming more common to see beauty in each day without the effort of trying.

This all being said, life is not easy and some days are harder than others. Yet trying to better ourselves is an incredibly healthy and evolutionary response. Beauty is more visible with regular self-love, self-appreciation and acceptance. As expected, on certain days (especially in the western world) it doesn’t always work. But the more you practice, the more present you will become within each day. It is also easier to bring yourself back to what I call ‘ground zero’ which feels like complete presence.

So to finish…

How you perceive your life creates what you focus on, and what you focus on reinforces the way you perceive your life. You have the power of your own reality at your fingertips. The answers to questions such as ‘what is the meaning of life?’ are contained within the eye of the beholder, not within Wikipedia or Google. Means such as blogs and guru’s are just information to help you make your own decisions. You define your own beliefs and your own reality. So how would you like to perceive your reality today?


Chapter 2, part 15, Perception and Focus, Sit with it…

When we are rushing we are not ourselves. When we are filling in our time (rather than experiencing it) we get caught up. When we are on our phones we can become isolated, no matter how many Facebook friends we have. And when we don’t listen to our emotions, we neglect our inner reasoning and peace.

The more space and time you give yourself to think, the more time you can guide your thoughts.  By feeling your emotions, listening to your inner self, and expressing how you really feel, the mind is less controlled by the ego, and your inner truth can become visible. Now I am not saying that life is that simple, but these are great first steps to a healthier mind. This leads to a focused and more controlled perception of your reality.

Most of the time frames and pressures that we foresee in our life are not created by society, but ourselves. Let’s take running late for work as an example. Regular emotions such as worry, fear, doubt and anxiety over being late for work, are far worse for the human body than any slap on the wrist a boss can give. The pressures to achieve, accomplish more, be the best, and to make a name for ourselves should not be pressures at all. Self-challenges are supposed to be fun, otherwise what is the point? We believe that such things are a means to an end and that it will all be worth it ‘someday’. But when is someday?

Rather than working towards the chance to have freedom, peace or security ‘someday’ we must realise that someday is today. There will always be the next bill, the next asset, the next financial gain, superannuation, savings, aiding the kids, troubles, hardship, working through old age and so on and so forth. Things such as goals, plans, errands and chores are natural no matter how old we get. So as long as we live, it is natural to strive for more. We need to be at peace with this natural aspect of life rather than planning for when it all stops. It is not an item or a thing that you are seeking, it is a feeling. And feelings are available in the present, not in a plan.

The majority of life is not the end game. It is not the win and it is not the final success. In fact, these celebrative times only take up .01% of our life. The other 99.99% is within the journey. If we focus too much on where we’re going and where we have been, then we miss where we are. The present moment is where we live and it is our only true reality. So it is unwise to constantly focus on what emotions we want to obtain in the future, but instead, it is worth accepting that those emotions belong in the now.


Chapter 2, part 14, Perception and Focus, Letting Go.

Before we go forward I would like to tell you a story…

There was once a young boy in a school yard who had other students standing around him in a circle. They were laughing, pointing, and making fun of him. Maybe it was because he looked funny, had been a geek, or maybe he was just different. Regardless, there he was.

As the masses poked fun at this boy he began to cry. With his head in his hands those around him felt a certain type of victory yet they still kept picking on him. The boy had nothing left to defend himself, yet it was here that something wonderful occurred.

Within the boys soul something shifted. He didn’t know what it was nor did he understand it. Instead, he simply felt the change, and this is all that was required. Slowly the boy rose his head to witness all of those around him.

Rather than asking questions the boys mind went silent. He simply witnesses what was occurring whilst the emptiness, humiliation, anxiety and torment moved through his body like the wind. He could now feel the emotions, though they did not belong to him anymore.

As the boy looked around he began to recognise the faces of those making fun of him. They were not faces of individuals at peace, nor were they free. The faces were filled with hate, anger and rage. But over what?

As the boy looked deeper into the children’s expressions he witnesses their inner torment. They were reflecting their own inner pain outwards to him. He himself was reacting to the other children’s projection of themselves.

Although the boy understood, this knowledge was not provided to him by thought. The present simply was. He was as much in control over it as he was his own heartbeat.

As the boy continued to look around the group, watching their pulled faces and random expressions, he began to laugh. He didn’t know why. He was not laughing at them, he was just… laughing.

The audience were suddenly at witness to something they couldn’t comprehend. Some of the children were frustrated and ran over to push the boy, yet the boy didn’t react. He continued to smile without malleus or hate.

The group around him, one by one, began to disperse. They were no longer getting the reaction they required. Eventually everyone that was around him had left him behind, and yet the boy felt less alone than he ever had in his entire life.


I have had a few discussions over the past week about what I wrote regarding control. The main object of thought was that there is no control. Instead, once we relinquish the idea that control even exists, the pressure valve can release and the mind can relax. It is at this point that we stop trying to take on the whole world. We break down the barriers in our mind which make it all seem too much. And finally, we start to focus more on the immediate things that we can actually affect.

Once again this is a reflection of perception. Our reality has not changed, yet our mindset has. Taking control and releasing control are in many ways the same thing. Whilst we get wound up in other people’s projections we can forget that we have our own. We need to let go of the idea that we can control everything, and it is only then that we may realise that we actually do…


Chapter 2, part 13, Perception and Focus, Control.

Now that we have gone through all of the basics, it’s time finish this chapter up…

There is a lot of research that has been done on how we feel during our darkest moments. These can be moments of depression, anxiety, frustration, fear and so on… The interesting part of these studies is that most people feel a lack of control over their life during these times. And this is where I find our psychology very interesting. How is it that we can feel a lack of control when it is us and only us that is in control? At any time we can quit our job, leave our partner, tell our enemies to bugger off, eat, sleep, party, have fun, read, travel and so on and so forth. And yes, there may be consequences for our actions though at any moment we can make these decisions… Can’t we? So if this is the case, and we have so much control over ourselves, then why is it that so many people feel that they are not in control over their life?

If life is not our own then it must be controlled by others… Right? It must be our bosses, our landlords, our parents, our partners, the taxman, our dogs, our cats, the kids, the governments, the laws and everything else in society that dictates our life. We must have zero self-control and be walking around like ants, following in lines, ticking the boxes and taking orders. Well… Although life can feel like this sometimes, at any moment we can take that control back. And why can we take the control back so easily? Because other people never had it in the first place! The power has always been our own.

If you feel that a situation or another person has control over you it is because you have chosen to allow this to happen. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t know that we are relinquishing our control to another most of the time, yet it is something that we do quite often. In fact, in many ways we have to do it to exist.

When we are young we have to rely on our parents, and as we get older we at times rely on our friends. When we enter into a relationship we have to have faith that our partners will be there for moral support, comfort and security. Though the rabbit whole does not finish there… Later on a relationship can become our everything and we can lose our identity, our self-love, and then we see the relationship as being something we can’t lose. When this happens we have now applied too much control onto another.

This lack of control can also be adapted to things. Our job becomes our security and we can’t think of living without it no matter how bad the work is. We fear losing our house, our possessions, our pride, our prestige and whatever status we believe we have obtained. It is easy to see how one can lose control when one is so reliant on so many things. And as these things become more intrusive into our life, we no longer own or possess these things, they own and possess us.

In situations such as this our focus becomes narrow. We now don’t look at taking the control back but instead to running the gantlet. The race is about maintaining what we ‘think’ we have and what we ‘think’ we need to be happy. Of cause this is combined with the local news startling you with fear every day about losing more freedom, and adds on TV and radio convincing you, that you need more possessions and security. And now, if the ground becomes a little shaky in any area of your life, your idea of power and control is shattered.

So how do we get the power back? Well, as stated before, we never lost it. We simply gave responsibilities of our lives to other people and other things. Much like a boss does when they have too much work and need to delegate. The idea that these people and things have power over us is nothing more than a perception. It is true that they can be emotionally manipulative, but at any moment we can chose our own direction. This gives us our power back. Therefore, the first step is to simply decide that you are in control.

Another technique for getting a hold of your own perception is to simply apply the brakes. That’s right! Stop for a second and breath. I will talk more about this in the next blog where we really ramp things up!