Present perceptions affect present experience; present perceptions affect past recall; present perceptions affect future manifestation. Freedom lies in how you choose to perceive, right now.
In a typical day, we devote a good bit of time thinking about what is happening to us, as it occurs. We also relive the past, ruminating on past events or interactions. Likely we also imagine or dream about the future. Much of our lives—past, present, and future—is lived in our heads.
As events happen throughout our day, we think and evaluate. What do we like? What don’t we like? What do we want more of? What do we wish was different? We often spend more time thinking about what is occurring than we do simply experiencing it.
We also invest a considerable amount of time—at least most of us do—reviewing our past. Sometimes we recall an experience with pleasure and relive it, savoring its nuances. More often we trudge mentally through something we found unpleasant, remembering all the details and poring over what happened, what was said, what should have been said, and how we wish it had been different. Although what is going on in the present may be perfectly fine, instead we choose to place our focus on the past, robbing ourselves of current enjoyment.
Many of us also posit the future, sometimes dreaming and picturing what we wish for in hopeful and affirmative visualization. Perhaps more frequently, we project present fears into future negative outcomes, worrying about all the things that could go wrong or turn out badly. Our trepidation about what might happen shifts our attention from an acceptable and likely enjoyable now into an imagined unhappy time that may never occur.
In this mental machination, whether about past, present, or future, perception is king. Our beliefs create our thoughts, which dictate how we experience. What we believe—I am lucky; I am ill-fated; I never have enough money; the world always takes care of me; people are basically good and kind; people are essentially selfish—creates a lens through which we view our entire life, from start to finish. The greatest influence on the nature of our existence is our beliefs and the perceptions that arise from them.
Let’s spend a few moments in conscious connection with our inherent divine nature—our sharing within—to explore how this plays out for us personally. We will begin with a series of slow, rhythmic breaths as we picture a golden sphere of light in the center of our chest, housing the divine inside of us. Inhalation feeds and strengthens the light; exhalation shines it out brightly on us and our environment. We’ll continue until we feel calm, focused, and easy, signaling conscious connection with our sharing within.
We will think of a negative belief we hold, the first one that comes to mind. We probably wish we didn’t house this belief, but somehow it pervades our thinking anyway. Perhaps we believe that other people are basically selfish.
First, we’ll review what’s going on around us right now. Perhaps we are waiting for a return phone call from someone and have been for some time. It’s not much of a stretch, based on our belief that people are selfish, to think that the individual knows we want them to call, but feels our need isn’t important.
Then, we will look at a childhood event, one we found troubling. Perhaps we desperately wanted a particular toy, but our parents never bought it for us. It isn’t difficult to believe that they selfishly chose to buy things for themselves, rather than gratify our desire.
Next, we’ll think of something we want very much for the future, but need the help of others to achieve. Perhaps we want to fund a small business with a Kickstarter campaign. If we believe that others selfishly won’t want to contribute to our success, we will shape our future to match our belief. When eventually we don’t get the desired funds, we will see it as justification for our belief in the selfishness of others.
Now, we will explore how differently past, present, and future can appear, if we believe people are essentially good and kind. In the present, we understand that the individual who owes us a phone call has a good reason for the delay—perhaps they have been ill. Looking back to childhood, we may understand that loving parents made a choice they felt was overall best for us, even if it made us temporarily unhappy. Visioning the future, we trust that generous individuals will be attracted to invest in a sound, well-presented business plan, and we do our best to communicate our dream in a favorable way.
Finally, we will compare the different versions of our past, present, and future. Which versions are more attractive and emotionally fulfilling? How would we rather live? We have the free will to choose our conscious beliefs and thereby craft the nature of our existence.
Divinely unique and beautiful reader, what do you choose to believe right now? Please share…