Tag Archives: purposeful perception

Owning Your Uncool

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool. Lester Bangs, Almost Famous

There is a great scene in the film “The Holiday” when Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, is so distraught over hearing the news of her ex’s engagement that she starts breathing in gas from her stove as she is getting ready to light the flame for a cup of tea.  She then realizes what she is doing and scrambles to open the window, finishing the moment with a mumble to herself, “Low point!”

I love this scene because it reminds me of our humanity and the vulnerability we carry in our hearts that result in situations in our lives that really are “UNCOOL.”  It makes me laugh every time.  The scene has become an unfailing reflection of my own relationship foibles.  As I have opened this article with a quote that I also love, from another film (yes, I am a cinematic nut job), I can’t help but refer to it over and over again in my own life.  A lot of getting over our self- judgments that usually result in some misguided perception about who we are, is about owning those moments in our lives where we really do hit those “low points” and seriously act “uncool.”  Iris’s goofy attempt at poisoning herself with gas from her stove qualifies as one of these moments for me.

There has been a lot of talk over the past week about Miley Cyrus’s performance at the MTV VMA awards, and it has been funny to see many people’s reactions here on WordPress with the weekly writing challenge incorporating it as a guideline.  Most people don’t want to give any energy to the topic and the hype of this pop performance dilemma.  I totally understand it, as a person myself who has always rejected in some way through my own musical snobbery such mainstream musical gunk- which is why I have always related to the main characters in Almost Famous.

But I can’t help but notice that even those that don’t want to give any energy to the event still do by feeling the need to make their statement.  When I finally had a second to actually watch the video, I found myself laughing out loud- really.  Why?  Because here was a person engaged in one of those “low points,” one of those “uncool” moments where her immaturity outweighed whatever it was she was trying to do on that stage.  To me her performance was no different than a bunch of 13 year old awkward boys or girls having a sleep over acting outlandish about sex, a topic they don’t know anything about but want to be “cool.”

In my heart, I can’t help but be grateful that I now have enough wisdom to honor Cyrus’s process of growing up amidst all the labeling on this planet and the continuous blubbering over one concern to another regarding pop artists and what they are teaching our kids or what they say about our society as a whole.  In the end, we have to all own our “uncool” moments for what they are and love ourselves because there is nothing else left that is real but that love.  One day, I’m sure Ms. Cyrus will own her “uncool” also and be a person she herself can fully love rather than seek the hype surrounding celebrity marketing and drama.

Remembering to be grateful for what we have rather than what we don't have.

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To!

How easy is it to forget about all the wonderful we have in our lives and focus on what we don’t have?  My inner “Stubborn Suzy” rears her pretty little head again and wants things a certain way in order to be “happy.”  But often times there is a greater plan taking place and it is impossible to know all the moving pieces taking place so those big miracles can happen.

"Love is like oxygen!" Moulin Rouge
“Love is like oxygen!” Moulin Rouge

Yet.  There is often this part of me that wonders…why do I have an innate desire to do something that is NOT happening?  Maybe it is happening, just not as quickly as my flowering ego would like it to happen?  But sometimes there is this part of me that feels like Ewan McGregor in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge.  That scene where he talks about love, and exclaims “love is like oxygen,” yet no one around him gets it, no one will believe him.

In the end his character suffers a painful fate when the person he finally gets to sing his love song to dies in his arms.  There are moments when this is how I feel as life changes, and these little aspects of myself have to be let go into that abyss of the unknown.  They die, and I must love and accept them so that they can make that transition.

WHY?

Why do we feel so wired to do something, yet feel like it is not going anywhere?  Why does it feel so difficult to just let go?  My “Stubborn Suzy” feels angry and wants to throw a temper tantrum.  She just wants to tell the universe to bugger off.   She wants everyone to know that it really is her party, and she can cry if she wants to.  What is it that my “Stubborn Suzy” really needs, right now?

Honestly?  I just don’t know.  I’ll have to simply try and have a little faith in the way my heart feels, and that eventually its creations will surface in a form I will recognize.  And my  heart will again sing its love song.

REFLECTION EXERCISE

What are you grateful for today?  What area in your life have you felt resentful about and wished that it were different?  Ask yourself what aspect of yourself feels like it should be different and why?  Write for 5 minutes about what you have accomplished, and how that is contributing to the “bigger picture.”  Remember, it is impossible to see all the surprises the universe has in store for you, just have faith that they are on their way.  Love yourself big!

Visualize This- Untying the Roots of Perception

Sometimes this picture is the perfect physical expression of how I feel inside.  When I look at this picture right now, I see a beautiful Buddha.  A representation of the creative, divine nature of my being slowly emerging from the lanky, strong root system of an ancient tree obscuring my truth and happiness at this very moment.  That’s right folks, I said it- an ancient tree rooted into the ground with all its might.  Such are my old perceptions and belief systems that give rise to this feeling of helplessness and a desire to run like Forrest Gump from the fire I have created (2 Tom Hanks’ references in once sentence- yes!).  Here I am, wrapped up in feelings that must be connected to a place where my ignorant mind dwells searching for an identity that doesn’t exist like a child playing a game.

I am face to face literally with this part of my existence that is grasping in the form of attachment to some perception of who I am supposed to be- yes this is really how I feel!  This perception is the root I see in this beautiful picture, linked to a feeling of massive overwhelm.  At times I simply wonder why life can feel like this grueling process of emergence when it has the potential to be so simple and easy.  How do we move these roots of obscuration out of way? I hear myself singing the same old song of expectations on how I am “supposed” to be feeling.

It’s Process Time!

When you look at this picture, what do you perceive at this moment?  Start with your feelings and ask yourself-

“What moment, person, or expectation do these feelings link to in my ignorant mind?”

Then breathe in the awareness you have shined into your heart.

Feel how simple it is to love yourself, no matter what you see in the world around you.

Ask to see any barriers you might be imagining between you and your greatest desires and imagine them easily dissolving in this love.

There is an excerpt from a poem by Anne Hillman in the book “365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey” by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon that I’d like to share as it relates-

As we experience and accept
All that we really are…
We grow in care.
We begin to embrace others
As ourselves, and learn to live
As one among many…

Let’s Rock Big Love together everyone, we’re all we truly have on this human journey.

For + Giveness & A Weepie Moment

Opening our mind's doors beyond limiting perceptions through forgiveness.
Opening our mind’s doors beyond limiting perceptions through forgiveness.

Sometimes in our lives you have an unexpected memory pop up, and you have to remember that there are no coincidences in our interactions with others and what they present to you in your heart, especially when there are no words spoken that specifically point to a past experience.  I am so grateful for everyone in my life, as they teach me something new every moment.  Recently I have been talking to a teacher of mine named Cliff Edwards that is publishing a book called The Forgiveness Handbook.  Cliff and I were talking about how forgiveness opens doorways in our lives to new possibilities because it gives us relief to our attachments to the past.  In my work, attachment is a major component to the creation of our limiting perceptions.

As I was pondering our conversation, a song by the Weepies came on called “All that I Want.”  As I heard it I started thinking about a moment in my life where I was told by my ex-husband that he had been having an affair.  That emotion of the past started creeping to the surface in the form of tears even though I thought it was gone.  I was in the middle of some hefty coaching training at the time, so I was constantly in a process, dealing with this giant eruption that just blew into my life without abandon and no warning.  I remember being on a lesson call, and I expressed to all my classmates how much of a struggle it was at that moment to feel forgiveness for the feelings of betrayal I had felt in that moment.  I could barely say the words without my voice straining with emotion, but I remember being told I needed to focus on what I needed at that point in time to take care of myself at that stage of my grief.

I realize now that I have not fully forgiven him.  It was not only for the affair, but it was also for bringing into my life this precious soul, his daughter, and how I didn’t want to hurt her by making a choice to leave the relationship.  I put myself into the situation, but I felt like a victim.  I didn’t want her to feel the pain I was feeling, I didn’t want the holidays to be ruined.  I didn’t want to lose her.  So I chose to stay, and exercise the desire to forgive in an effort to keep my life together.

In the end, it all fell apart anyway.  And in the end, I lost that relationship with his daughter.  But I do realize, that fully forgiving my ex-husband and myself will open new doorways for me and her.  I would have dreams with her, and we would be whispering to one another so that her father would not hear us talking.  When I would awaken I would just pray that her heart was full of the love she deserved and that she could forgive me.  Now, I need to fill my heart with the love I deserve as well, by allowing forgiveness in conjunction with this surrender to be complete.  Our potential in our lives to experience joy from moment to moment is so great.  Through the experience of forgiveness we finally become aware of our greatest potential to live and be loved.  The opportunity to align our self-perception with one of complete acceptance can set us free from the idea that we are not free.

Exercise

Close your eyes, and ask your heart to reveal to you a moment in time where you need to still forgive.  It could be anything- just trust what you see, experience the emotion and remember- you are not alone.

Visualize This- Turning Yourself Inside Out

Each person we meet contains a part of our wholeness.  If you look at a picture of the earth from space- how do you perceive it?  It is luminescent, blue, white, brown- a glowing ball in the middle of space.  From afar you can’t tell that it literally contains everything we experience in our physical world every day- streets, cars, mountains, people, houses, trees, oceans, rivers, little flowers.  Yet every one of these things is a part of the earth’s wholeness.

In thinking about this picture of the earth from the viewpoint of outer space- look at others around you.  Think about your own existence.

How is each person in your life like the earth in this picture?

How much is contained and experienced in their life, that makes them who they are, that you simply can’t see with your naked eye?

Now look within.  Look at your own life and how much you have going on in it.  Everything you see and feel, they experience in their own heart and mind.  We are all a microcosm of the macrocosm.  Our perceptions are fragile, they are not who we are nor are they who the other person is…they serve as tools to navigate and learn.  The foundation of your being exists in what you can’t see from the outside, it is what you see from the inside- always affecting the whole.

“LET’S ROCK BIG LOVE!”™ Jessica
A celebration of our desire to love ourselves Big!

 

Monthly Peace Challenge- A Vision of Peace to Behold

How can a photograph inspire a purposeful perception?  How can a photograph inspire a new vision of peace for our world?

In September of 2004 I had the privilege of experiencing an amazing day in our Nation’s Capital- Washington DC.  I grew up in northern Virginia, and at the time was working downtown at a higher education non-profit.  I was a year out from a divorce and my life was finally settling while living in the District.  This one particular morning DC was abuzz with a slowly unfolding plot.  The opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian was about to take place and the “Gathering of the Nations” was about to open up a door to peace and beauty on the post-summer Mall rarely experienced there amidst its normal chaos of traffic and partisan politics.

A magical day of festivities was planned.  As I walked down the street to my office that morning, you could feel it coursing through your body like adrenaline only it was pure joy.  My heart felt like it could leap from my body.  Like a window was about to open to a new manifest destiny as the Nations took DC by storm.  Representatives, families from the entire Nations’ tribes were gathering in their ceremonial dress on 14th street, passing me by with a pride they have always deserved.  The Washington Post had posted a picture of a sunrise ceremony and blessing that took place next to the museum and you could already see the sunlight rehearsing for a show that would move my soul later that evening.

The beginning of the magnificent sunset on the Mall the day the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.
The beginning of the magnificent sunset on the Mall the day the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

An eclectic, free concert in the evening was planned featuring Lila Downs whose earthiness just exudes in the movement of her body and the sound of her voice.  As I walked down the Mall on the sunset’s cusp, I felt so grateful to be a part of this historic event.  As me and my friend waited for Lila Downs’ performance, the sky began to dance.  Soon it was like an explosion of light amplifying the energy of the day and illuminating life.  Every part of my being knew it was a result of this sacred energy that was brought to DC for this unique and uplifting occasion.

The 2nd stage of this magnificent sunset.
The 2nd stage of this magnificent sunset.

It was a peace that our own Nation’s Capital should strive for every moment- if not for themselves, but for the people of our country that have to endure the reality of our current economic plight every day.  In the Bloggers for Peace writing challenge this month we were supposed to write a letter, but really this is a short prayer and meditation on peace for not only the US and its government, but for all governments in our world.  I can only hope that the memory of this landmark event and the picture of its beauty prays in the earth of the DC Mall and emanates itself into the hearts of those visiting and those that live there.  A garden of tolerance and compassion is readying itself with a purpose.  In my heart I will continue to strive to project a vision of this peace to our world, slowly giving rise to perceptions that are rooted in awareness rather than ignorance.

What has this post inspired for you?  What new, purposeful perceptions about your present moment can you now use to create awareness in your life?  Please let me know!  I truly value your inspiration as we journey together.