How We Frame Things

Everyday and every moment, we have a choice around how we view ourselves and our world. There is no doubt we have correlated many of our perceptions from influential words and beliefs from our earlier years with family and others. In fact, very unconsciously, we frame our understandings and beliefs about ourselves, the world and other people based on these earlier influences. It’s almost as though we’ve become hard wired to see the world and ourselves through the lens of what affected us most growing up.

A little inner work (or sometimes a lot) and a great deal of awareness can elicit a perceptual shift in our mind, and often remove much confusion in our lives. Meditation, in my opinion, can be the greatest path out of self-imposed suffering and skewed perceptions. It is also a path into greater clarity and awareness around choices. We can begin to see from the centre of our pure self; not the self that sees through the eyes and heart of past wounds.

Psychotherapy can also be crucial to clear the mind/body and heart of the beliefs that hamper us or simply no longer work. Like clearing a river of debris that restricts its flow and clarity, we can work to clear the obstructions of living life from our own truth.

I’ve always enjoyed reading meditation teacher Frank Kinslow, and he offers what he calls The Rule Of Two – two simple axioms of insight that he says have guided his adult life:

1. Life is Harmony – there is always order in the universe, even when there appears to be none.

2. The World is Not as I See It – It is impossible for us to know, feel or perceive everything for every given situation and therefore our comprehension has to be incomplete.

These are actually ancient concepts from the early wisdom traditions. He says these two simple rules persuaded him to loosen his grip and let life pass by like a meandering melody. Our lives, like music, should be free to flow. Holding onto people, ideas and things disrupts the flow and ruins the melody.

A couple of weeks ago I was finishing up my level 2 class where we had been practicing awareness through breath, motion and staying curious about our moment to moment perceptions. I asked the students to go into their day with choice about how they see even the most simple things. It was one of those snowy, cold days and I invited them to go outside and either see “#**##!! more snow” or the beauty of the snow falling. To jump into their cars and see “OMG, I hate driving in this stuff” or “I can get in my car and drive and see beauty everywhere”.

I can look out my window and feel tired of winter, or look upon the living, dynamic field of life before my eyes. We all perceive differently the same scene, we all experience an event uniquely.  Start where you are right now. What choice will you make?

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