“Things are not as they seem.

Nor are they otherwise.” 

  Lankavatara Sutra



If you want to find more moments of inner peace and happiness in daily life, it may be time to explore the power of your perspective. Is it limiting you? Is your perspective allowing you to expand your understanding of your meaning and purpose in life?  Or, can it do both at the same time?

To explore this question, try out the following guideline:

Approach your perspective as a decision about how to look at things.  That means, examining your point of view; or the view that you point at any situation, circumstance, happening, thought, emotion, or sensation.

In the midst of everyday life, we can easily forget that how we perceive something is how we give it meaning. And when something has meaning for us, it usually has power-  either for us, or over us.

The current trend is to change the meaning, which is cool.  But don’t overlook that regardless of how you view something (or make meaning of it), that ‘something’ remains what it is – an event, happening, circumstance, situation.


What we meet along the road is what’s there.  How we perceive what meets us along the road creates the meaning and purpose we assign to it and then, have to live with.

For example, a pervasive belief in our culture, relentlessly perpetuated by advertising and marketing, is that to be happy, you mIMG_20141214_134302ust be accepted.  And to be accepted, you have to be seen as beautiful and slender if you’re a woman, and as wealthy and handsome if you’re a man.

There are at least 5 ways to perceive this:

  1. Accept this and strive to be perceived in this way.
  2. Accept this and give up, assuming you can never succeed.
  3. Reject it and strive to prove it wrong.
  4. Ignore it as irrelevant
  5. Accept it’s both true and not true and walk the razor’s edge. Do what you can to meet the general societal standard while simultaneously holding the perspective that you are much more than how you look or how much money you have.

In other words, the event or circumstance, thought or emotion, has a life of its own which doesn’t actually change because of the meaning you make of it, i.e., brilliant, stupid, irrelevant.


But what does change is YOUR RELATIONSHIP to it.

So the benefit of consciously assigning meaning to things by purposefully deciding on your perspective, or how you’re going to view it, is threefold:

  • It grants you the freedom to step back and realize more deeply that we all live in our own private worlds which we actually create at the moment by our perception.
  • It also grants you the power to take this step by realizing that your perception of things is not the final truth about them. There is always more to discover.
  • And finally, this newfound freedom and power create an untapped reservoir of hope and clarity which generates new depths of motivation.

Thus, things are what they are, and simultaneously, they are what we make of them. 

This Conclusion Requires The Ability To Live With Paradox

So our ‘problems’ can be both real and illusory – depending on how you choose to view them.  The wisest choice is to view your ‘problems’ as both reality and illusion, giving you maximum freedom to navigate their solution with creativity and courage.

It has been said that the ability to hold two opposing thoughts in your mind at the same time is the key to moving through life with greater ease, clarity, and comfort.

This comprises the paradox of seeing the truth of two opposing viewpoints simultaneously and being able to discernballWithLights

the difference between ‘what is’ and how you create its meaning. Doing this invites those wonderful moments of peace, serenity, and calm.

But once again, this does not result in inaction. Rather, it evokes the beginning of the ability to be fully engaged in the world, yet separated from it in a healthy and mindful way.

The door to greater joy in daily life can open – even amidst the battle of opposing perceptions, each dueling the other to win the prize of your conviction in its undying truth and reality.

Give it a try and let me know your experience.  Meanwhile, may you enjoy exploring how things are not what they seem, yet are also not otherwise.

Much love,


free images courtesy of www.morguefile.com