In each and every moment we have power over how we choose to show up, how we choose to respond, and how we choose to generate our future. We are co-creators of our experiences and what we are seeing in our outer world is actually a reflection of what is happening within us. We might not realize it, but we are absolutely more powerful than we allow ourselves to believe.
There are many beautiful quotes and sayings about this idea from some of the most wise and influential thought leaders. Here are just a few of my favorites….
“Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness” – Eckhart Tolle
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – David Thoreau
“The world that we perceive is a reflection of our own states of mind and reveals our own level of consciousness.” – Prem Prakash
“The world exists as you perceive it. It is not what you see, but how you see it. It’s not what you hear, but how you hear it. It’s not what you feel, but how you feel it.” – Rumi
It can be easy to read these beautiful and powerful words and feel this deep sense of connection and inspiration, almost like these thoughts are being spoken directly to our souls. We can experience these as “a-ha moments” and feel as though our whole world has suddenly shifted, vowing to be different from that moment on.
And then life happens…
We are out in the world and as life would have it, we are disappointed by someone’s actions. We have one of those days where everything seems to go against us, or we bear witness to an unspeakable tragedy. Just like that, we are relating to life and the world around us in the ways we have grown accustomed to, and those wise and powerful thoughts that spoke deeply to our souls become forgotten. If we are not focused on a conscious existence, it could be years before we once again wake up to our inner power to influence our experience in the world around us.
I would like to share a very powerful experience from my own life that helped me to truly understand exactly what this all means.
After the Parkland shooting, I couldn’t seem to shake the sadness and fear that had settled into my mind and my body. As the single mom of a ten-year-old boy, I found myself feeling anxious, concerned about our safety throughout our day to day interactions. As each day passed, I could feel myself growing more and more tense and closing myself off. I felt distraught for the families that had lost loved ones, hurting for the children and adults that survived the incident, and angry at the world that this awful event had even happened. I could feel myself being pulled down by the weight of it all and existing in a place that did not feel good. As a person that is accustomed to seeing the beauty in the world, I now began to see all the ugliness everywhere I turned and well, it downright scared me.
One day, I was walking my usual route to work, lost in those ugly thoughts about the world, shielded by self-produced armor around my heart. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man next to me and in a split second, he swung the large bag of bottles and cans he was holding up toward me and at my head. I managed to pull myself back out of the way just in time to watch the bag swing less than an inch in front of my face. I was startled to say the least. My heart immediately began to race, I could feel myself shaking, and I heard my voice inside my head urging me to move away from this dangerous city.
The dialogue in my head went something like this…
“OMG… That man almost hit me and I would have been seriously injured. What am I doing here? Why am I living in New York City and putting myself in danger? See, this is just a confirmation that I need to get out of here. The universe is trying to wake me up. Now it’s a hefty bag of bottles and cans, next time it could be so much worse.” And on and on the thoughts went….
Well, I had one thing right, the universe was definitely trying to wake me up, but not in the way I had immediately assumed. By the time I made it to my office, I had begun to create a completely different understanding of the experience and what it had to offer me. Just as in every other moment of my life, I now had a choice to make. I could make a decision that life is scary and ugly, using this experience as proof, and continue to close off my heart and my world in fear. Or, I could see past my fear of what I know in the deepest part of my soul and wake myself up.
I chose the latter – to wake up and be grateful for this jolt to my system and a reminder that I do not choose to participate in my life from a place of fear, but rather from a place of love. This man was not there to prove to me the ugliness of the world, he was there to wake me up out of the fear and ugliness I was creating within myself and to show me the power of my thoughts and the experiences I was co-creating. This man was my gift and I was flooded with gratitude for his presence.
I took this as an opportunity to pull myself out of the trance I had allowed myself to fall into and to again begin consciously and open-heartedly engaging with the world. I focused on the beauty around me and deliberately opened my heart to the people in my path. I reminded myself that I live in a universe that is safe and abundant and recommitted to my pledge to participate joyfully in the world as a source of love and possibility. As a result, this is exactly what the universe has reflected back to me, this is the world I see.
And so, as I was saying… In each and every moment we have power over how we choose to show up, how we choose to respond, and how we choose to generate our future. We are co-creators of our experiences and what we are seeing in our outer world is actually just a reflection of what is happening within us. We might not realize it, but we are absolutely more powerful than we allow ourselves to believe.
With love and joy,
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