What Katy Louise Did...

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Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.

Friday 3 September 2010

The world is not the way you think it is

How can you drastically change your life for the better? Well, I’ve read about many ways in which to do this but it was only this morning, in literally a split second, that I really understood how to do it. You see, I’d arrived at work in a mood. I got out of bed later than I wanted to, had a shower and had to really rush breakfast, and ended up being five minutes late, unable to get a parking space in the place I normally park. I arrived under a cloud, so to speak, feeling a mixture of emotions from annoyance to anxiety and confusion – all before the day had even really begun! However, it was a comment made by my colleague that totally switched my perception. She has this thing about writing words down and hearing them said aloud either on the radio or by someone else in the office at the same time – a sort of synchronicity thing – and it just happened again. So she told me, excitedly, and added ‘it’s going to be that kind of day!’ which she meant that in a good way – a kind of magical, synchronistic day. And in that instant I understood what I had learned on the Landmark Forum months ago, which had been repeated in the book I just finished reading yesterday – Happiness at Work, by Srikumar Rao – which is this: it is your perception alone that determines your experience of life. In other words, no one else is experiencing today in the exact same way you are. Only you have your unique thoughts and emotions and subsequent reactions. So to me, this morning was ‘bad’ as I had been in a rush, I didn’t have time to do my hair properly, had to rush breakfast, felt annoyed at myself for being so disorganised, and my head was full of thoughts about my personal life – still trying to work out what to do. Whereas my deputy editor was obviously having a whole different version of today, as she seemed buoyant, enlivened by her little synchronistic moment, and guess what, she even just complimented me on how nice my hair looked, when I had been thinking how horrible it was as I didn’t’ have time to straighten it. So even my perception of my hair was totally different to that of another person!

Your view is unique and not ‘real’
My point here is that if we only experience life through our own ‘lens’, we could, if we wanted, choose to take a different view. Events in our lives may occur to us one way, but occur completely differently to another person. This is true – always. Take the example of a rainy day: for a farmer desperate for water on his crops, this rain would be ‘good’. For a family planning a picnic, this would probably be ‘bad’. For a saver, the low interest rates are ‘bad’ but for someone with a tracker mortgage, they are ‘good’. There is always a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ interpretation of the same event, depending on who you are. And it’s the case with everything. And even if there is a general consensus that an event or thing is ‘bad’, that same thing might in turn lead to ‘good’ consequences later down the track, meaning it wasn’t so bad after all, i.e. losing your job (bad) only to be offered an even better position by another company later on (good). The Landmark Forum teaches this exact thing; that life is just life, and it’s your perception of events that makes you feel the way you feel; change your interpretation and you can change life dramatically. Because your view of events is not ‘real’ it is just your view.
So, I suddenly realised that perhaps I could change my perception of today and focus on the positives: the sun shining, the fact I do have a job to come to (and a car that works) etc. Or, if changing your thoughts seems too hard, then try this: pretend to be an actor for the day (Srikumar Rao says we are all actors anyway, playing a role) and decide to act like someone you would like to be, with whatever traits that person would have. And see how this works.

Practise makes perfect
I must admit, I just got dragged back into negativity on realised that one of the large features in the magazine we are currently being put together has been designed ‘wrongly’ (or maybe that is just my interpretation!) and this is because the person who wrote it didn’t make clear enough notes on the top for the designer, and ultimately this is my fault for not realising they had not done it. So I have asked for small adjustments to be made, rather than it to be all resigned as there is now not time. So this on the one hand is annoying, but on the other, does it really matter in the grand scheme of life? No. It just goes to show that you can do your best, but some things are out of your control and it’s easier to let them go than try to change them to your liking. So, for today I aim to be a person who is pleased with and appreciative of everything!!!

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