How To Change Perceptions to Step in a New Reality

Photo Credit Pixabay

In brief: Today, I’m looking at how to change perceptions to step into a new reality, a path that chose me, ten years ago. My career for more than two decades was focused on changing perceptions. Until it wasn’t. Seven years ago, I stepped back from my career for a lot of reasons, some I had control over, others I had no control over. I landed on the path of unknowingness, a place where perceptions become unrecognizable. It was scary as hell. My “perceived life” of travel, luxury, and a robust client roster came to a screeching halt. And yet, coincidentally, it was mirroring my personal life. I now don’t believe in coincidences. I think all things, good and bad, arrive at the perfect time, in perfect harmony for soul growth.

Below are a few lessons I learned in the unknowingness. I thought it was a timely topic considering our pandemic world, where the “unknown” seems to be ruling our days.

Just Stop

Stopping was the key in seeing how distorted my perceptions had become.

I had to just stop. I’ve always been a “busy” person. Hell, I grew up with a mother who said, lazy people, are synonymous with failure. Geez, you hear that enough times as a small child, and your ass is in gear 24/7. This “perception” had become me until I stopped. If I hadn’t, I don’t know where I would be now. I was trying to be something I wasn’t. Trying to keep up with it all; being a perfect Mom. No such thing. Working to meet ridiculous deadlines, and when the deadlines were meet, a new question was asked, ‘what’s next?” Really. That’s it? On top of it, I was attempting to live a fairy-tale Cinderella-inspired marriage. Tip: Leave the fairy tales to Disney. What happened; my ego-conditioned self ran headfirst into my higher self. It was the crash and burn moment that literally made me stop.

If you live in a constant state of hustle, the pandemic is forcing a hard stop. During this time, ask yourself, what have you been stopping yourself from doing? If your routine has been drastically altered, what is that showing you? Does all of your busyness help you forget if so, forget what? I counted on the busyness of the situation to blind me from what I knew deep down inside I had to change. The hustle worked for a long time. Until it didn’t. I will tell you this, if you stop long enough, the answers will come. Stopping and stillness is the place to start. Also know, once you ask the question, you’ve opened the door to an awakened life. So buckle up and enjoy the journey.

Out of Control

Having to stop helped me realize how out of control my spending habits had become. OK, I’m thrifty, to begin with. Growing up, we didn’t have much, but we managed to scrape by. So I’m not the person who’s in the salon, getting blowouts, mani, pedis, it’s just not my nature. Note to self, why don’t you like being pampered; time for introspection.

Anyway, what I would do is shop, and buy hundreds of dollars of clothes that I didn’t need. UGH. Or I’d buy and return stuff online. It became an unhealthy addiction, one you don’t realize until you stop. Addictions as I’ve come to understand them, soothe unbearable life circumstances to protect our emotional selves from turning within to look at our greatest fears. The ironic aspect of all it was my deepest fears weren’t really mine. They were perpetrated by childhood beliefs and cultural conditioning — somebody else’s ideas of what I should be and do.

For example, my marriage was in a downward spiral, so shopping was one of my distractions of choice. Alcohol was another. When I stopped, I had the realization that I was drowning myself to be something I wasn’t. Wearing Armani, Chanel, Rolex… I was told I needed these things to be “a hitter.” I feel for it all, hook-line, and sinker because that’s what I learned. Until I un-learned it. WTH. To hit what? To strive for what? Unhappiness. Ego-driven, livin’. Money in the bank that buys what? I found the whole ordeal to be a game of distorted capital consumerism. Playing the game of distorted capital consumerism, and my idea of life was, and is, very different. Not judging, but the values don’t align. I wanted more out of life than chasing some far-off dream about a “perceived” life of happiness. I needed to stop and gain control over my life situation.

Back In Control

I want to be clear here, I now believe we’re never, really, in control. It’s a long-held idea cast upon us by our country’s cultures. In the US the culture of consumerism leads us to believe if you get the car, the house, the partner, the kid, the job you’ll be happy. And today it’s even more out of control. Now it’s I need a million-dollar home, the $100,000 vehicle, a career that brings in millions, a few kids, and the lastest “it dog”. How’s that working? Think about it. We live in the unknowingness of the everyday. It’s arrogant for us to assume we’re in total control. Today’s pandemic paints the real picture. Do we know how our day will unfold? No, we don’t

After shedding the stuff, I thought I needed to be happy; I’m relearning for me, it’s all in the little things. I know so cliche, but it’s true. I’m writing this post sitting on my front porch watching the Cardinals play. Watching them fascinates me, as does most things in Mother Nature. I’ve always appreciated Mother Nature thanks to my Dad, but today it’s not merely a cursory thing. It’s the majesty of it all, with the realization of how our lives are intrinsically linked with Mother Nature. And when you look at how resilient Mother Nature is, it’s mind-boggling. I know I wouldn’t be as gracious as she is. Even as the fires swept through Australia and the millions of animals where lost, Mother Nature kept on. She didn’t claim to be a victim. She surely could of. She didn’t get angry or frustrated. Mother Nature took each day as it came and dealt with what was before her. No complaints. No judging. Only witnessing. One of my spiritual practices is to look for Mother Nature to help change my life’s perceptions. FYI, Mother Nature never disappoints.

Speaking of Mother Nature

The Pileated Woodpecker Photo Credit: Stuart Run Farms, Virginia

As the pandemic broke, which now seems like a century ago, I was on my LinkedIn page, and my gut spoke to me. So I posted what I was feeling. I posted, “I see the pandemic as a reprieve for Mother Nature. She’ll be able to breathe and start healing. She’ll get a stay from being trampled upon unconsciously, disrespectfully, and with no regard to her natural resources.” I said this because of my career in the travel industry. For more than two decades, I’ve seen first hand how nature is destroyed under the guise of distorted capital consumerism. It’s horrific. It’s heartbreaking. It still is.

To watch an unspoiled island become ravaged by a constant barrage of tourists within a few years is unthinkable. Yet it happens all too often. Travelers visit maybe once or twice — thinking wow, this place is a great place. Yet their unknowingness touches locals as they suffer from the extraordinary burden of 100,000’s of people traipsing their island, bargaining for this and that, overusing precious resources with a little understanding of the culture. Let’s face it; most of us become hedonistic while on vacation. I’m not judging; it’s what we do. It’s a vacation perception. We have to understand our hedonism comes at a price. I hope reading this helps you to rethink your attitude around vacationing. Changing Perceptions, one person at a time.

The pandemic is prompting Mother Nature to tell us ever so gently, “I can’t give anymore.” “I must rest.” “You must stop and appreciate what’s in your own backyard.”

Appreciation for What Is

As the hustle, spending, and excessive drinking — the numbing of the mind, came to a halt, I started to appreciate the “what is.” I found a wonderful group of women who supported me. The funny thing is they were in my own backyard. Neighbors who came to my rescue, supporting me, and helping me care for my son. These women came into my life because I changed my perception about each of them. Yes, they didn’t have the life I had, but neither did I, anymore. It was time for me to see who I really was, and to see them for the wonderful beings they truly are.

I started to walk with a soulful woman, who lived down the street, a person I’d never spoken to before. I thought she’s so quiet. What I’ve come to love about her is she’s beautifully different. She listens. Doesn’t judge. She’s a sage. And honestly, she and I have much in common. To meet her, you would disagree. To know her, you’d agree.

Today, I’ve connected with many women. Another woman comes to mind. She is powerful and oh-so insightful. I hadn’t seen her in six years, and yet somehow, we’ve reconnected. It’s like no time has passed, a connection that somehow never got disconnected. Don’t you love having people like this in your life? I believe when we change our perceptions about self while shedding disingenuous beliefs that don’t support how we want to show up in the world, it prompts life to flow, effortlessly.

How to Change Your Perceptions to Step Into a New Reality

I’ve stepped away from a world I perceived was idyllic, always spouting the mantra, “perception is a reality.” What I didn’t realize in all those years, was the phrase was missing a transformative element; who’s perception of reality are you living?” As the pandemic settles in, and the unknowingness continues, what we all have is our personal reality. In my new knowingness, I believe perceptions can have a transformative impact on how we look at our personal reality. So I ask the question, “Will you see the pandemic as the end of times, full of death, sickness, and the destruction of society? Or will you see this time as a rebirth, a planet reset? Or maybe you see it as a new alignment with self coming away with what’s essential, kindness, caring, and appreciation of family and community. Perhaps you can even change the perception of death as a spiritual ascension to a new life — my belief. And believe me, death is never easy. I lost both of my parents within five years of one another. I realize people are losing loved ones, and all the positive outcomes that will surface doesn’t negate the loss and suffering many are going through. We live in a dualistic world, so pain and suffering coalesce with joy and positivity.

Out of the Ashes a Book Emerges

With the encouragement of family and friends, I realize that I need to share what I’ve experienced during my ten-year time out. One of my biggest lessons was learning that if you don’t understand yourself, life becomes a tortuous journey. What I’ve come to realize is your personality; your distinct way of being in the world was given to you at birth. By the time you reach adulthood, it’s been hijacked by parents, peers, life’s tsunamis, and your country’s culture. It’s become unrecognizable.

I’m not sure how, because I live in the unknowingness of it all, but the book Unpack Your Personality is based on the foundational wisdom of personality typing. I’ve taken personality typing beyond the workplace and given it a lifestyle appeal with supportive spiritual building blocks that I know to be critical to relearning you. If I can reach one person, my tsunami years will not have been in vain for me, and you.

One who is connected to the Energy Stream is more powerful than a million who are not. And two who are harmoniously focused and connected to the Energy Stream brings about a co-creative endeavor that cannot be matched by anything else in all of the Universe.

Abraham-Hicks Excerpted from Los Angeles, CA on 7/26/97

Today, I’m working on a free quiz and developing 16 tiny books written with each personality in mind. These guidebooks will take a deep dive into your exclusive inner guide. It’s only natural that I’ve set up these books in the travel space. I feel we, as human beings, are more open-minded when we travel. Why not carve out space to go within and reconnect. I’ll give you the framework, all you need to do is find a quiet beach, mountain top or out of the way cafe, to tune in and listen to what your inner guide is telling you. Stay tuned because these 16 guidebooks are coming in 2020. Have you signed up to be the first one on the list to take the quiz? If you have an interest go ahead and connect.

One Last Thought

If you do go out for essentials, please show your appreciation for the people who are on the front lines, serving you. Say please, and thank them for being there for us all. Their servitude is helping the world keep the lights on. Stay safe. Be Well. And Know You’re Loved.

Stay Tuned

My radio interview aired on Speaking of Travel part of the iHeart radio network with Marilyn Ball. Give it a listen here.

I’ll be sharing on: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and would love your feedback, comments, and thoughts.

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