Are you wearing tinted specs? Rather than wait for a shipwreck or a robbery or financial ruin, let’s do a bit of DIY lens testing right now. Try looking at whatever you see as your reality from a different angle or even totally reversed.
You will never know you are wearing shades, unless someone persuades you to take them off, even for just a second.
Why take them off?
To see how bright, ordinary-extraordinary life really is.
And if you don’t?
In my sailing days I knew a couple who claimed they always got a storm. And so they always did. On one sea crossing, while the rest of us complained of no wind, they said that they had such a huge storm they were knee deep in water below deck. We used to joke with them about not leaving port on the same day as they did, in order to avoid bad weather at sea. Unfortunately, they were the only couple I knew who disappeared at sea, without a trace during a massive storm. Our thoughts really are that creative.
And here’s the caveat
Our thoughts really are that creative even when we don’t want them to be!
Take my mother, for example, who was a constant worrier. Mum would stay up half the night worrying about her children, about other family members or staff or friends’ problems, their or her finances or whether the sun would come up tomorrow. I once told her that worrying about me was tantamount to stabbing me in the back. She was horrified and deeply hurt. She thought praying for something bad not to happen was helpful. I just couldn’t convince her that worrying about something you don’t want to happen is like watering the weeds in your garden in the hope that they will stop growing. It was only years later that I figured out why this didn’t make sense to her. My mum saw herself as separate and at the mercy of a divine power rather than as a unique expression of source, even though she was pure love and the kindest person in the world.
It’s easy to point fingers at other people–my mum, my aunt who deeply feared a robbery and then found herself locked in the bathroom while thieves ransacked her house before making off with their loot in her brand new car, or the sailing couple lost at sea in a storm–but if I’m such a master of manifestation how come my life isn’t perfect? How come my husband ran off with another woman when this was never even a twinkling of an idea in my mind’s eye? Our own storm-tinted specs are more difficult to recognise, particularly when the shades are subtle or the lenses utterly reflective.
So how to catch a glimpse of our own lenses?
Rather than wait for a shipwreck or a robbery or financial ruin, let’s do a bit of DIY lens testing right now. Try looking at whatever you see as your reality from a different angle or even totally reversed.
One way is by using Byron Katie’s enquiry process – four questions and a turnaround – to investigate whatever you imagine to be reality.
How does this work?
Ask yourself these four questions:
- Is the story I am telling myself really true?
- Can I know for sure it is really true?
- How do I react as a result?
- Who would I be without that thought?
Then turn the scenario around to see if that is perhaps even more true.
Here’s an example from my own life
About ten years ago, while going through a marriage meltdown, I put myself through hell with anger and blame and shame, by telling myself that my husband had betrayed me.
Two things helped me pull out of the nose dive
The first was was Katie’s four questions. By doing ‘the work’I saw the lens I was looking through didn’t serve me and found another perspective that was actually truer and far more empowering.
In this case, instead of my lightning bolt lenses: “My husband betrayed me”I tried on a few reverse perspectives such as, “I have betrayed him”. Then I tried on “My husband hasn’t betrayed me”, and I also tried on “I have betrayed myself”. (Actually all of these lenses are true from a higher perspective but I wasn’t quite ready to admit that to myself at the time.) The process helped me own up to something that I instantly knew to be truer: that I had in fact betrayed myself over the years and his behaviour was an honest mirror of my own self betrayal. Seeing this put me back in the driver’s seat of my own life. It not only freedmefrom the downward spiral of blame and shame,I could so easily have made my life an absolute misery and attracted all sorts of negative experiences into my life as a result. Fortunately I didn’t choose to stay with those stormy lenses.
The other thing that helped me was hand analysis because this put everything into the perspectiveof mysoul’sagenda.For example, I wouldn’t be able to share this story with you right now if I hadn’t ridden the storm and come out to tell the tale.
So how did I betray myself?
I still remember the first incident as starkly as the landscape that caused it,which is why returning to Brisbane this July is going to include a sacred pilgrimage. While thereI plan to recover a crucial piece of my soul left behind at the Glasshouse Mountains nearly 20 years ago.
We were sailing around the world and were moored in Redcliffe for a few weeks for boat repairs. While there, I became mesmerised by the only geological blip on the horizon. The mystical Glasshouse Mountains. I wanted to visit this startling rock formation and photograph it at sunrise, which is the magical hour for taking photos. We decided to rent a car overnight and go and camp there for the sole purpose of my getting my pics. In the morning, as I was climbing out of the tent, Peter, who was my Swiss boyfriend in those days, grabbed my foot and wooed me back into the tent with his gorgeous smile, “Oh no, let’s rather go later. Let’s be amorous first. “We had a wonderful time but the result was I missed the opportunity to take the sunrise pictures I had intended. I could so easily have said, “Sleep a short while longer. I’ll be back in half an hour.”But I didn’t. Result was I felt deeply frustrated for not getting the shots. I didn’t realise it at the time but this was the first step down a gradual slippery slope of putting my own wants and projects on hold in the hopes of keeping the relationship. In fact, the opposite was true. I was no longer living the fiery, self possessed side of myself that he had been attracted to in the first place.
What has this to do with creating your own reality and storm-tinted specs?
If we stay with the storm-tinted specs we never get to see the miracle of how life happens for us, not to us.
Usually it is only in retrospect that we realise that what we thought was the worst thing that could ever happen turns out to be a blessing in disguise. If we switch our storm-tinted specs for rosier ones and expect miracles, this is what we get.
If something bad happens to you, always look for the hidden opportunity. Ask, “How is this helping me rather than hindering me? ” Obstacles are really growth opportunities in disguise. Whenever we set an intention or goal we are immediately given the next step. If it’s a big step we tend to think the step is a wall or a barrier rather than what it it really is: a stepping stone or a rapid growth experience.
Ask yourself, “How is the universe plotting on my behalf?”Expect miracles, not mayhem, and this is what you will manifest. Become an ‘inverse paranoid’.
Jena Griffiths is an internationally acclaimed hand analyst and an IIHA faculty teacher with degrees in psychology, geography and education. On her trip to Queensland, she will also be visiting Glasshouse mountains one sunrise.
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