A U-TURN in Perception

Turning off the engine

One of the key aspects in making lasting changes in my life involved changes in perceptions. I had and indeed have my ideas and concepts about life, happiness, love, success, myself and the world around me. And when asked 'what is the single most upsetting factor in life?' I would say the fact that things don't work the way we want and that people do not act the way we would like them to; their ideas, beliefs and concepts are different to ours.

So when I encountered difficulties with people or situations I would spend a lot of time being upset, frustrated, judgemental or even aggressive. And there seemed to be certain patterns of thinking and behaving that I would repeat again and again, which in turn would annoy or frustrate me with myself - not a great way to be. The questions were always 'what can I do differently?' or 'how can I make it work better?'

So I read books and attended seminars to learn more about communication, conflict resolution, psychology, relaxation, meditation and spirituality and to explore new ways and find new solutions. I was keeping myself busy and was always doing something new, always on a project trying different ways.

And then I started to train in 'Time Therapy' (stepping out of time through observation; being present in the moment) and I learned something extremely powerful:

* Bigger shifts happen when I stop doing and start being still instead.

* The easiest way to become still is by starting to observe without re-acting to what I see and feel.

What do I mean by not reacting? I mean not describing, explaining, judging and analyzing all the time in your mind. Instead stay objective. See what is without personalizing it.

This was a major U-turn in perception for me, one of many to come. Doing less I started to achieve more.

By turning off the engine once in a while I could focus more effectively on where I was right NOW.

Taking 'Time' out

Most people I come in contact with lead busy lives and often feel that they do not even have time for coaching sessions. They would like to see a difference in their personal or working life, but never seem to have enough time to actually deal with it. Does that sound familiar?

For years I was 'busy' too and my thoughts and emotions, beliefs and concepts were running my life, like an engine runs a car; they were the cause of anxiety and stress. At times I felt trapped like being possessed by some outside force, always reacting to someone or something, but in truth, often to my own internal world.

So taking 'time out' by becoming still and observing my emotions and thoughts without immediately reacting to them was not easy at first. But with practice I started to gain more self-awareness and realised that I had found a powerful tool to act in accordance with my own values.

Once my internal world shifted, the external world around me also shifted. People started to act differently towards me and new solutions appeared, apparently from nowhere.

Observing in this way is like looking at a tree without calling it a tree. At first this is tricky, because the mind is addicted to activity and wants to describe, judge and analyze everything all the time. This is the mind's way of feeling secure, seeking refuge in knowledge. The mind wants to know; it wants to put things and people into boxes and put labels onto them.

And while this can be useful for dealing with practical aspects in life, it can be a big roadblock to being in the moment and to letting go of past experiences and future fears.

Observing with awareness is like driving on a highway with more Space and Freedom to maneuver. It is one of the most powerful tools you can acquire. It will help you to feel more focused, centred and present in any situation, feeling alert and calm at the same time.

How can YOU learn to make your U-turns and Step out of Time more easily?

Here are two exercises, which will help you become still, connect to your center and act from within...a very enpowering way of living.

1 - Observing without judgement. The next time you are going for a meeting with someone (business or pleasure), just observe how you feel, your body sensations and your thoughts. Avoid describing what you see in your mind or judging it. Remember, like looking at a tree without calling it a tree or judging it to be beautiful or ugly, good or bad; just acknowledge 'what you see'. In other words keep an open mind and see what comes up. You may be surprised.

2 - Looking into the mirror. This is another exercise you can practice daily. It is especially useful before an important appointment or meeting. It helps you relax and become calm and centered, it helps you create Space.

Have you ever observed your image in the mirror? Not just a quick look, but really observed? Have a go today and you will start to understand the transforming power of observation.

* To be able to observe your whole face you have to be at a distance from the mirror, you need to create space between you and the mirror. In essence all observation with awareness creates more space, more openess.

* To really see, you need to stand still, stop doing.

* To get a glimpse of what lies beyond the physical face start looking at your reflection without any description and any judgment and then slowly defocus from your face, start to look at the space around and behind your head and stay like that for some minutes.

The next time observe the person opposite you in this way. Look at the space around them and you will learn to see beyond the obvious and read between the lines.

Do these exercises daily, especially whenever you feel restless, upset, anxious and stressed or when you need to take decisions or find solutions. They will help you snap out of being trapped in 'time', past or future and come into the present simply by being there.

With my best wishes for your own U-turns in your perceptions.


Author:. Christiane specialises in coaching Executives and their teams with managing change, achieving their objectives and developing their soft skills for lasting success.She is an EMCC accredited Leadership Coach & Mentor with a professional background of over 25 years experience as Senior Manager in internat... Go Deeper | Website

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