03 November 2010

Gifts of Character::Perceptiveness

{Fine art photography entitled "In a Pond Darkly" by Canadian artist theeye on Etsy}

"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."
~Hanz Margoulius

Do you know what is real? And is your mind quiet enough to receive that perception?

Perception is based on your own personal reality. My reality is not the same as yours.

What I feel is truth may not be where you are coming from. And that is where misunderstandings arise.

My perception of my own reality can be quite skewed. What I might be going through could be the worst thing that ever happened to me. But it is not the worst thing that could happen. Not by a long shot. Yet our reality persists that the perception remains that it is, in fact, the worst.

Perceptiveness is clarity of insight.

I am lacking a lot of insight right now. Things in my world may be changing. A bit topsy-turvy. Not in a life-threatening sort of way, but in a life-altering sort of way. I need some clarity. I want to be pointed in a definite direction. I am faltering from a monumental lack of insight and a clarity of the situation.

My idea of my creative business is teetering on the brink. One way and I fall off the edge, or perhaps get buried, but the other way I may soar. And when you stare down whatever precipice you are starting from, this lack of focus and certainty is downright scary. Or exhilarating.

Maybe it really is all in the perspective.

[Perceptiveness] being observant of what is beneath the surface and looking for the deeper meaning.

What if I don't want to? What if I feel comfortable in my current state, even though I know that it is sucking the life out of me? Like a still pond where the waters are deep, I see my current reality reflected on the surface. But is that really me? If I train my eye to look deeper, to see past the surface, I can see what my life could look like. But it is dark and scary and unknown down there. It is even a bit distorted. So how do I get myself to dive in, to leave the safety of the known?

When we are perceptive, our understanding is intuitive and discerning.

I have been working through some introspective things lately. Maybe it is fueled by the time of the year when we fold in on ourselves and conserve our energies for the essentials to last us through the cold dark. Maybe these cards are really getting to me, teaching me lessons I didn't know I needed to learn. {Did you even know that you needed to learn them? Or perhaps I am forcing this introspection on you?}

My intuition is telling me to spread my wings and fly. It will be scary. It may hurt. I will fall down and get banged up. But the moment that it kicks in and I can really soar, is the moment that I know it will all have been worth it. {That moment does come, right?}

We slow down into awareness. We perceive the nuances of an idea or a situation.

I have been using the book The Creative Entrepreneur to answer some of the big questions in a colorful and lively way. I had started it two years ago, but I trailed off and forgot about it. It seems a bit frivolous to be glue-sticking and painting and glittering and cutting when there are big issues looming. But it forces me to think about each page, each question. I try not to think on it too much, just go with my gut. The act of adding paint and smoothing paper and finding just the right words cut out of a magazine are forcing me to be more aware of what I am creating and hopefully that introspection will help me slow down into an awareness of who I am, what I am good and and where I am headed. I do hope that it can be the basis for a more traditional business plan. Because my situation warrants that I can no longer go on with this hobby-gone-wild. I need a plan. And that is completely against my nature {the plan, not the hobby-gone-wild}. Fortunately, I have a friend well skilled in making dreams into plans into reality. I will start by asking for her help.

We strive to see what is truly going on.

I was once taught an application of a Native American medicine wheel and how it relates to leadership. Think of it like a big compass rose, complete with traits and spirit animals for each totem. I think that if I step back and use basics of the medicine wheel for the decisions I will have a clear plan:
  • Go East and brainstorm, think of the big picture, pie-in-the-sky thinking nothing is too crazy;
  • Go South and consider all those that will be affected by my decision, who will be a willing partner, whom do I have to convince;
  • Go West and make the plan, write it down, set goals;
  • Go North and start, take the plunge, and get it done.
The Native American medicine wheel is also a great tool for understanding personalities as we can all fit in one of these directional categories, but also perfect for creative problem-solving.

We are thoughtful and considerate. Above all, we offer others the gift of feeling heard and understood. We are mirrors to their souls.

I really like that imagery of 'mirrors to the souls'. One thing that I like to hear from clients is that I somehow knew to put just the right thing in their custom jewelry. I manage to listen between the lines of what they are saying. I am in the midst of creating a special necklace for a good client. She has been waiting so patiently for me to get my creative mojo going again. In my new etching experiments I think that I might have found a way to personalize it for her. There is nothing that gives me more joy than to make something so precious. I guess that in talking this out that this is precisely my strength, what I have to offer the world. I think I can go back to that plan now and add some more crucial details.

The Practice of Perceptiveness

I strive to have accurate insights.
I observe carefully.
I cultivate awareness.
I nurture my intuition.
I am thoughtful to the needs of others.
I seek to see others fully and fairly.

© Virtues Project International
To order your own set of Virtues Cards, visit Virtues Village LLC.

What do you think?

  • Is there something that you are struggling to see for real in your life?
  • What veil of misunderstanding is keeping you from seeing with clarity?
  • If you were to break the surface of your life, and dig down deep, what might you find?
  • Have you ever had a lack of understanding with someone because your perception was clouded?
  • What is holding you back from a deeper awareness?

Do tell!

Enjoy the day!


Unknown said...

AHHH The "P" word! I am trying to teach my daughter that that plays the largest role in all of your relationships business or personal. Others perceptions, whether good or bad are how we connect. If I perceive you to be a good person, then I want to know you further but if that perception is negative I won't strive to make an effort. That is a hard lesson because it can and does make our choices difficult. Oh the human mind what a strange place to visit!

Alice said...

Another thought provoking post, and on a subject that I struggle with constantly. I grew up in a family that believed if you couldn't do it well, or if there's a chance you might fail or look stupid, you are wasting your time and might as well not even try.

It comes a no surprise that with every new idea I want to try, or any change that I must make-or that is forced on me, my world is turned upside down. I worry about being good enough, or wonder if it will actually work, or how I will look to others if I fail, or will I make it through emotionally, especially if I fail.

It's taken me a while to be comfortable with the potential to fail. And in doing so, it makes the success seem even more grand. It's a freeing sort of feeling--this idea that it's OK to fail--even though it still doesn't come easy.

I don't know what you are going through right now, what decisions you have to make, but from what I can see here--you are a strong, talented woman and I'll bet you can meet it head on and wrangle it into submission!

I love the beautiful photo. The leaf looks as though its on the verge of a change, and timidly dippint its toes in the water.

Juli Cannon said...

Erin, you speak to my soul.

I am facing a major life decision as well and I've been soul searching for months. Knowing the right answer doesn't make it an easy choice, especially when it contradicts the ideals of a True North.

Thank you for sharing this timely message.

Mellisa said...

Although I'm positive that you'll soar immediately when you take that leap, there are droves of us here to push you up until a wind current grabs you :)

Riki Schumacher said...

Wow, Erin, wonderful post. I love the Native American medicine wheel explanation. That has great impact on me. My perception is they lived a slower life, making time to appreciate their relationship to other humans, animals and nature. Maybe that is what has gotten away from us in our current society. We don't make time to get in touch with anything, for the most part. So how can we be inspired? I'm trying! I'm aware, and that is a good first step. For me, the holding back of deeper awareness is listening, taking the time to really listen. I'm always on full speed, trying to get something done, instead of stepping back, and letting life show me what to do.
Hugs, Riki

Lance said...

You DO soar already!! I know that, and I very much believe in you, and in what you are creating. Indeed, you do have a gift...the gift if seeing more deeply than just the surface. And that is so represented in what you create.

So, to you today...I say "go for it"! Soar even higher!! Believe in YOU!!

...and know that I do...I believe in you...and the amazing beauty you are creating. And know also that I'll support you in any way I can...

High fives!! You're touching upon something deep in your soul...and that is beautiful...

mairedodd said...

listen to your gut... when you lie in bed at night in the stillness are you contented or unsettled?

stregata said...

Perception - such a strange thing. Have you ever noticed how most women do not really see themselves when they look into a mirror - they only see what they perceive to be their imperfections...
Starting out on an unknown path is scary - but how can we find something new on a path that we have wandered so often, we no longer see it?
Mary Jane has good medicine to offer: listen to your gut - deep down inside, you already know what you want.

rosebud101 said...

Right now things are all right for me. I'm not in turmoil or strife, so I feel that my perceptiveness is all right. However, what I perceive may not be truth. Hmmmmmmm. Maybe it's time to look at things and begin to move forward so as not to become stagnant.

Yeli said...

I would love to answer your questions. Do you mind if I answer them by blogging about them in my blog? I love this post!


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