Archives for the month of: September, 2012

Perceptions…all OURS  (Part Two)

Perceptions…all OURS. Isn’t there a reality we all can agree on?  We obviously have perceptions that color reality and unless we all have the same one, there will be differences. Whether you are the only one with a perception or a million share your perception it is still a perception.

By definition, perception is our conception of our internal or external world. There are many definitions that also include giving meaning, interpreting and understanding as part of how perception is defined.  But I will limit the definition to the conceptions we have, for starters.  The meaning and interpretation of what we perceive are a separate aspect and these can change and do comprise our understanding of things, but our perceptions will always begin and be limited by the apparatus/equipment doing the intake of information and that we cannot structurally change although we do make functional adaptations.

For example, a dog’s ear can hear pitches the human ear cannot and we do not have a dogs ear so we will not be able to hear what a dog hears and thus perceive sound differently than the dog. The fruit fly’s vision is different to human vision due to the kind of eye it has and we cannot see how the fruit fly sees.  So if we stick to our human apparatus/equipment as the one that ultimately limits our perception, then we can begin to appreciate what we can control and what we cannot control in our perceptions. We have been clever enough to make adaptations to our apparatus to enhance functional capacity, such as eyeglasses or microscopes to improve eyesight or hearing aids for heightened auditory capacity and microphones to make our voice louder, but our natural apparatus has limits.

Our brain apparatus has the capacity to only pay proper attention to a certain number of stimulus (we do not control this aspect)  and the rest get put on the back burner. For instance if you notice your surroundings, you cannot grasp it all at once.  You will see there are more things to note than you can note.  This has to do with how our brain functions and the structural and functional aspects of the senses we are using (we cannot control) not our intelligence. I do not have eyes behind my back so I cannot see the entire scope of what surrounds me. Thus the intake begins with the capacity of the apparatus.

So clear on the limitations of our apparatus, then let us move forward to the other aspects we can change and control.

The next thing that greatly impacts how and what we perceive is our attention. This willful act of attention is often  overlooked when people talk about perceptions.   Whereas, I have five senses physically, I may or may not engage all of them and may or may not engage them to full capacity and that will impact what I perceive.  Our perception range is greater than our ability to what we can pay attention.  What WE pay attention to in the vast selection of stimulus WE can control.  So we know there are sounds out there, that we tune out, things behind us we cannot see etc. etc. and we get to pick what we tune in or out.

The attention, meaning and interpretation we give to what we perceive, is the changeable part.  It is in this arena where conflicts or problems are brewing and why they can be negotiated or illuminated with more information and education and best yet solved.  We though, have to own this part of perception and call it totally our own.

So now between our human apparatus form to glean perception and our attention that selects, we begin to see how perception is so unique to us.  Then our human need to make sense of all this stimulus interprets based on past knowledge or experience and further gives meaning to it all also based on knowledge or experience which all come from the PAST.

If we begin to understand this, we can really be better ambassadors in this world and practice more respect and diplomacy toward other beings when we feel threatened by differences. It is indeed another view, we all have one and no one has the total view on anything.  We can begin to let go of the need to be right and argue our way through things, let go of our defensiveness, we can learn from each other, teach each other.  We can actually begin to understand this inevitable difference as functioning human beings and improve how we communicate to avoid misunderstandings and conflict and build better relationships in the world. And everything is about relationship in this life, our relationship to others, ourselves, things, and the highest power (God).

If there is anything we can change is our perceptions and isn’t this a powerful gift and tool we own?  PERCEPTION…ALL OURS.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Advertisements

One Event, Two Stories, Facts, PERCEPTION, all ours.

Part One

Sunday afternoon, two women come into Harrods of Knightsbridge for afternoon tea.  They find their way to the Georgian Room on the fourth floor.

Seated, after waiting for a few minutes, one woman gets up to go the ladies room. The other woman orders two Earl Grey pots of tea and the high tea selections of food. The Crystal chandelier, the floral arrangement mid room and the automatic piano add to the ambiance.

Shortly, the waiter brings the tea and food and they begin to chat. Within a few minutes two women dressed in long black attire with their heads covered with black veils pass by and get seated. They have dark eyes, olive skin. Four dressed like them are waiting for a table. A table behind the two women has eight seated around the table. They begin to notice more arrivals and more tables with the women dressed in black. They all have dark eyes, olive skin, some are tall, others are younger, some with more makeup. They also notice over three tables with only men seated around them. Each table seats eight. They all have dark eyes, olive skin, some are tall, others younger, some with moustaches.  They continue to observe and count the tables with individuals dressed like the women and resembling the looks of the men.  Over 14 tables are occupied by these individuals, 10 tables are empty and 3-4 tables have other guests with different nationalities, non Arab of course.

Four light colored skin men dressed in beige suits pass by turning to all sides. Each has a coiled wire behind their left ear. Soon another suited man passes by with the same coil behind the left ear and also looking in all directions.

There is one woman dressed in the same long attire and veil but hers is lilac in color.

Fewer tables with individuals dressed in attire that does not call attention are occupied.  The faces of all the individuals have unique and changing expressions. There is movement of people around the restaurant including the waiters, guests, and men dressed in suits with coiled wires behind their left ears.

The waiter comes to the table and one of the women asks “What is going on?” The waiter replies.

What do you think is going on?

STORY ONE

It was a cloudy Sunday afternoon, a bit ominous with a chill announcing a change in the autumn season fast approaching. A visitor to London takes the resident daughter to High Tea at the famous Queen’s store, Harrods of Knightsbridge. It is perfect for this kind of fare.  The Georgian room on the fourth floor is opened later than usual. Today it is opened and serving tea until 7 p.m. They are asked to wait until a table is secured for them. They are escorted to their table.

The mother leaves to go the Ladies Room, while the daughter orders Earl Grey tea to go with the tea service. When the mother returns, the tea service has been set at the table with fine linen cloth. They begin to delight in conversation and the beautiful array of tea sandwiches, scones and sweets. Rose petal  and raspberry jam sit alongside the dish with the clotted cream.

Suddenly as the mother looks up to notice the grandness of the room, two Arab women dressed in their traditional black long gowns and veils pass by.  They have dark eyes who do not make eye contact, olive skin and dark black demarcated brows and lipstick on their lips.

She takes note that there are four others waiting to be seated. She turns to look behind her and notices a table of eight women all dressed in the same black robes and veil.  They all have dark eyes and do not make eye contact, olive skin, and dark brows They comment about the Arab lifestyle and how women are treated and how harems and multiple wives are acceptable if given the same lifestyle.  They comment on whether they are related.

The mother notices that there are three other tables with Arab men sitting around also having High Tea fare, but with other drinks on the table.   None are eating out of the tiered tea food service. All have dark eyes and hair, with olive skin, some taller than others, some younger, some with moustaches.  Some are texting on their cell phones and looking beyond those at their own table.

More tables are noted with women dressed in black attire with veils. There is one woman dressed in the same attire with a veil but her color is lilac.  There are more tables with Arabs than with non Arabs at the restaurant. It is noteworthy that there are a total of 14 tables filled with Arabs, 10 tables are empty and about 3 0r 4 have other nationalities. None smile or have eye contact with the rest. The tables ,now empty, reflect it is getting later in the afternoon past high tea time.

The crystal chandelier, the huge fresh floral arrangement mid room and the backdrop of piano music, pale against the signs of possible tensions.

Four English or American men dressed in beige suits with the coiled ear piece that guards or secret service men use pass by slowly, each looking in all directions without moving their heads. Another security man dressed the same follows and does the same thing.  He is talking into a mouthpiece that is barely visible.

The women start getting preoccupied.  They notice other non Arab guests looking preoccupied but pretending not to be.  Immediately, the mother and daughter try to have nonchalant conversations of an exit plan of safety. They talk about the recent uprisings in the Arab world and how social media and texting supported the success of the takeovers. The mother talks about her new phone and the new alarm that goes off when there are weather warnings and the phone becomes unusable until one confirms and accepts the “alert signal.”  They talk about government tracking for security reasons. The resident daughter states she is unaware of the new technology in the phones.

The two try to smile at the women who do not respond.  The Arab women take their purses and some get up. The waiter finally comes to the table and the mother asks.  “Is something going on, we just saw security pass by and things feel tense.” The waiter replies.

What do you thinks is going on?

STORY TWO

It was a perfect afternoon for High Tea in London. The weather was a bit chilly even though the sun was still out. The feel of autumn was in the air.

The young daughter knew her mother who was visiting London loved High Tea at Harrods. They walked in with confidence, having been there each year for the past twenty years, knowing they would go to the Georgian room on the fourth floor.  Having no reservations, they were thrilled they were seated in less than five minutes.

The young waiter from Guadalajara, took the order of Earl Grey and tea sandwiches, scones and sweets from the young daughter,  while the mother went to the recently renovated powder room.  There was an excitement about being at Harrods again.  The crystal chandelier sparkled, the immense fresh floral arrangement of hydrangeas and iris’s in a stunning pewter vase  sat on a table mid room adding to the elegance of the room and the invisible piano man tickling the ivories in lieu of the traditional harpist complemented the not forgotten charm of High Tea at the Queen’s Store.

Two beautiful women dressed in traditional Arabian clothes, the abaya and shayla, passed elegantly by in their long black gowns. The veil wrapping their head made their dark round eyes and stunning black brows stand out against their olive skin.  Their lips were colored in red.  They looked around the room and noticed there were four more women equally beautiful waiting to be seated, while a table of eight behind them was graced with more of the beauties. There were three other tables with men only.  The black, stunning eyes and hair with their olive skin reminded the mother of Omar Sharif. Some were older and taller, perhaps all related. They sat apart from the women true to their traditions they thought. They looked past their table as far as their eyes could see  There were 14 tables filled with these lovelies and their counterparts and about 10 now empty and about 3-4 with other nationalities. One dressed in a noticeably different color than the rest. Her color of clothes was lilac.  She had never seen so many beautiful Arabian women all in the same room.

There were other tables with non-Arabian guests, including theirs. They were non distinctive by comparison. They noticed how the men had Perrier at their tables and had very trendy mobile phones on hand. The men were not eating the tea fare, but were chatting among themselves while the women drank their tea. They wondered if High Tea was something they too had in their country with all the globalization and diversity of cultures everywhere.

Four mid age white, men dressed in beige suits walked through the dining room, each wearing a communication device behind their left ear as when they are trying to coordinate security. They all looked around with their eyes without much head movement trying to be discreet.  After the four left the dining area another man, looking like the chief of security came through and did the same thing.  Other guests were looking around the room.  Something of importance was to happen.

Both the mother and the daughter looked at each other with excitement. The waiter came to the table and the mother asked. “What is going on?” He replied.

What do you thinks is going on?

Here are the facts:

The waiter replied, “This is an annual affair.  Many from the Arab countries who are of course wealthy come to spend Ramadan in London.  It is over now and they will return back to their countries soon. But, they all come to High Tea and this is why we stay open even later than usual serving High Teas.  Today, though the Prince of the Arab country is here in the room with us.  You see he is sitting over there.

These are his security guards not Harrods security guards. Things are monitored from cameras for the store.  You rarely see security walking around the restaurant.  These families come every year for a change of weather and pace. The women are beautiful aren’t they?”

to be continued:

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Credit for you or who? Credit where Credit is due.

Do you give credit to whom it is due or do you take credit even if it is not due you?  Secretly the desire for glory can drive some habits that keep us small inside.  We often use the phrase…”s/he wants all the “sun” or can’ t share the spotlight.

But how much credit, how much time shall we give those who have earned or achieved something?  Have you ever paid attention to yourself and what you do or say when someone is sharing something of theirs? Do you even listen or is it patronizing listening?  Does your own unacknowledged desire to have some “sun” make you underhanded and you off handedly change the subject, quickly interrupt, not really listen, or look bored or hijack the moment to give yourself glory for something or pretend you were instrumental in their achievement behind their back?  This is not an uncommon experience if we are honest and observe behaviors, yet one we can do something about if we really want to grow and move to a higher consciousness that allows each of us to be our best self.

Acknowledgment and gratitude are the antidotes.

Acknowledgment that these demeaning behaviors are lying layered underneath the facade of being happy for someone’s achievement or success is a step in the right direction. Taking ownership of these behaviors gives them light and gives us credit for being honest. In surfacing these, they will no longer control us from under the facade, and by acknowledging these behaviors exist in us, this allows us to have a choice. This awareness will thwart them from  automatically showing up and by being unaware  keep us small or show us up as small.  Afterwards if we realize it, we feel bad about what we did or did not do. The challenge once brought to awareness is to then identify what triggers this so that you can preempt this behavior.

It is amazing to see how great it feels to truly acknowledge someone and their efforts or achievements. It opens your heart and makes it bigger with generosity.

Gratitude is the second antidote. In gratitude we can truly appreciate someone else’s contribution to the world and give real credit.  Anyone who has ever achieved anything in this world knows it takes effort, resolve, discipline, talent, intelligence, desire, and a host of wonderful attributes. Gratitude would allow us to be thrilled to know someone who can teach us to strengthen our own attributes for contributing to this world.

It is really a sign of how big you are inside, when you can give someone full credit for what is due them and just glow in their delight as you give them some of your light.  Be a light in the world, yours and others, the more light we give, the higher the consciousness we can achieve…

Give credit where credit is due, and begin by giving credit to yourself for reading this and considering this information as a step in the right direction of contributing to the next evolution that begins with yourself. Credit for you or who? Credit where credit is due.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

The Green Eyed Monster or the Green Eyed  Teacher

Ever heard of the green eyed monster called jealousy or envy? Ever courted him/her and found yourself feeling either thrilled to be his/her friend or a bit saddened for leaning too much in the direction of the proclivity?

Have you ever experienced someone’s jealousy or envy?  Whereas there will be some that will say, ” I am so jealous of you, but in the right way.” Others will not even say and actually take action when they feel threatened by the jealousy unleashed in them.

It looks like this if you are the kind that thwarts their success:  You downplay, minimize, criticize, ignore, actually do more serious things as in sabotage their path and goals by throwing a wrench on the path, called gossip. You might even tell some lies or incomplete truths or offer implications that are shady. You are filled with this feeling or emotion and it actually is poisoning you.  Rather than release it by understanding its operable dynamic in you and the choices it offers you to handle the situation, you REACT and take action mindlessly with your free will and feel justified or happy something bad is going to happen to them or will happen to them… thanks to your efforts which  you call or describe as “being smart and strategic”.  You think they will not find out.  You make your plays. You make yourself right by making them wrong. You take action, you act on your jealousy to hurt someone else.  You become the green-eyed monster. Why?

Because you feel threatened. You are not happy they get the light of attention you want. Perhaps you have worked just as hard to earn it and you did not get it, they did.  (the promotion, the boyfriend/girlfriend, the prize, the published book, the winnings. )  Why are you having these feelings? Because you wanted this for yourself!  Doesn’t everyone want the success story (whatever your definition of it is and doesn’t someone get it and we often do not?)

That is why you felt jealousy in the first place.  It is a teacher of what you want for yourself.  But did you know that some of us never realize this and never use this feeling as a teacher, a green eyed teacher. Jealousy, as with all feelings are teachers. They teach us about ourselves, our values, what we want for ourselves.  These feelings are a gift that just are, they make us human.  Everyone has them whether they admit it or not.  It is the fabric of our makeup and the feelings  have no moral implication in their existence, only in their actions. Certainly our cultures teach us how to express these feelings or even how to own them as real and part of the human experience.

But jealousy does not have to be acted upon against another human being. Sometimes we do it with intention, other times unintentionally and other times unconsciously, but the result is the same, we hurt others, and in the end we really feel small inside behind the facade we create that we are better and smarter than they.  We know how to throw dust over their glory or luminosity. A skill to be sure, but used not to heal yourself, but to hurt others and advance only yourself. Hardly the mark of one with a higher consciousness of unity, where we think of how fortunate they are they have been given this success on their path and just because we only see a part of the glory does not mean it isn’t wrought with challenges. Why do we want to add to their burden?

So rather than be reactive to jealousy, be mindful and proactive and FIRST accept it as a teacher that can show you what you want, rather than act to hurt someone so you can feel better.

When we see it as a teacher, as all feelings are, ask yourself:  What is it in that situation that I want?  How could I also achieve that?  Do I need more skills, vision, talent, connections, humility, intelligence…what do I need to achieve what I say I want?  How do I get this?  Who could I ask to mentor me or teach me?  You might be surprised that often the one you feel jealous about could be the very one that could teach you the steps to his/her success, unless they are greedy.  But I can assure you, a really evolved being always has the desire to  teach and take others along for the educational ride.

A truly generous person has a mind of abundance and knows there is room for everyone and that everyone has their own gifts to give and will desire you develop yourself to the maximum.

It is true though, that because each of us are limited by the 24 hours of the day and no one has a minute more, not all may be available for one on one teaching, but this is not a reflection of your worth or inability, but the choice of how they make themselves available to more, ( for instance, seminar, classes, webinars, blogs, books, conferences, etc) they try to multiply their gifts for the many.

Be an alchemist….next time the feelings of envy or jealousy surface, see if rather than becoming the green eyed monster, you can turn them into the green eyed teacher of truths for your growth and evolution.

Ever heard of the Green-Eyed Monster or the Green Eyed  Teacher.?  Which one are you? Are you a Green-Eyed Monster or a Green- Eyed Teacher?

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Gatekeepers

Are you a gatekeeper?  Have you ever looked around and paid attention to how many gatekeeper positions exist?  If we start with the highest place to go to, assuming it is a place, the pearly gates have a gatekeeper called St. Peter. And if we go to the netherworld there are also gatekeepers called devils by some, who let us in if we are blacklisted.  But, let’s face it, these gatekeepers whether real or mythological are not the ones that make it or break it for us in this lifetime and external world.

Try calling the President, not difficult to know there is not only one but a trail of gatekeepers to get to the top,  they are tiered and numbered. Try calling someone you don’t know, even if they are not important as in the case of the role of President and even there you run into a series of questions or machines.  Gatekeepers are everywhere.  They sometimes are in the form of machines and some are in human form acting like machines.  They serve a purpose.  Who gets in and who does not. They have criteria that must be met for us to get in if they are strictly objective. However, we do know that in the exercise of power, some let you in just  because they know you or are related to someone they want to know.

In every world, whether it be business or personal, there are gatekeepers.  We are a gatekeeper ourselves. Think of when you shut your phone off, do not answer the door, bolt the door, connect your friends to each other or not, relay messages or not. Think of how you feel with the sense of power you get when you let someone in through the gates on your own criteria or when we make exceptions to the criteria we should follow to let them past the gate.

In the external world, the gates and gatekeepers are too many to count. We navigate them daily, some of us lose ourselves just to get in through some gates and gatekeepers as is often the case with power, fame or fortune. We sometimes sell out for power, fame or fortune.

Yet, fortunately,  we are the only gatekeeper to our inner world.  We are the only ones that can enter that world, explore it, learn from it, clean it, heal it, expand it, keep it small and tight, or large and bright.

Sometimes, when we trust someone, we let them into this very personal world. We become vulnerable to them in trust. We also become prey for betrayal.

It is this inner world where we have our personal power, not given by roles, fame, prestige, money or criteria of the external world, but by our birthright of being spiritual beings in this human experience.

Some of us fear going past this gate into our inner world, thinking we will only discover the “prodigal” shamed, unacceptable, ugly, worthless, loveless self.  But, this is only that, a “thought” turned belief, about ourselves shaping our self concept and feeding our self-esteem . One we created or learned, albeit, with the help of early caregivers who were the first mirrors of our self and from which we got the raw material to birth our first self concept and sense of self and self-esteem. But we do not have to carry that self-concept into adulthood.

Fortunately, we leave childhood physically by chronological age, unfortunately, some of us never leave it emotionally or psychologically. None of us leave it unscathed by the milieu of our upbringing whether it was a good one or not, but we do leave it with the freedom to re-invent ourselves or better yet, to rediscover who we really are underneath all these thoughts that keep the gate closed to the endless power of our true spiritual self.

If we want to evolve to higher consciousness, we must go past this gate and past these blockages of our fears and thoughts and beliefs of who we “think” we are and enter the realm of being.

Entering our birthright of being a “being of light”, one in the union of the one spirit from which all life comes. But we must go past the gate. Criteria: fearlessness, courage, desire to come home to love and being and living in that interior space of light and love. For only from this place of transformation can we transform and heal others. Are you a gatekeeper?

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com