It’s so easy to miss the simple fact that everything we take in via our senses and subsequently give meaning to, is happening inside of us. We don’t start each day with a blank sheet of paper, we already have a lifetime of beliefs and experiences which colour our individual perception of reality. I’m using the simple metaphor here of different coloured glasses to explore the potential impact that knowing this has on our experience.
We often get caught up in what is happening around us and believe that how we’re feeling is caused by our circumstances. When this happens we experience ourselves as having a distinct separate identity – there’s a real ‘me’. Metaphorically, we’re looking at the world outside through the frame of our ‘me’ glasses; I like to think of these as being red. When we are wearing these red ones, questions unconsciously arise within us, such as ‘what about me?’ / ‘why is this happening to me?’. We’re likely to feel insecure, angry or anxious, or perhaps overly excited and revved up. Things matter. It’s personal. We tend to judge people or things as good or bad. We might not realise it, but from this perspective our options tend to be limited by what we already know and as a result we might feel trapped by circumstance. Does this sound familiar? I reckon so.
On the other hand, there are times when we are simply at ease with life and not caught up in our own thinking. There is a natural flow to life and we stay connected with what is – there’s a sense of ‘we’ that is so much more powerful and grounded than the illusion of ‘me’. Metaphorically, we are looking at the world through ‘we’ glasses; I like to think of these as the green ones. Subconsciously a different quality of questions arises within us, such as ‘how can we work together to achieve better or more?’. Things don’t matter, because nothing is personal. We glimpse the potential of what we don’t know yet and feel free and excited as we explore the world around us. At some level we get a sense that our psychological system is in balance just doing its stuff and we don’t feel compelled to manually interfere. We are at ease with whatever illusion of reality our thinking is creating in that moment. Does this sound familiar? I reckon so.
It’s so helpful to recognise that as human beings we are always looking out into the world through a set of these metaphorical glasses. The colour changes in the blink of an eye; so fast in fact we may have a sense of two very different competing internal voices, often attributing one to the head (red) and one to the heart (green). When we are hit with an insecure feeling, we don’t need to do anything other than reflect gently on the coloured glasses we are looking through in this moment. When we acknowledge them as red, we can try not to judge but instead listen carefully for that gentler more heart-led internal voice, it’s always there. It’s the voice pointing us back inside to our innate, infinite wellbeing and to re-connecting with the potential that exists in the next moment.
Let me share a personal example. Several years ago, my boss at the time decided to leave the business we were working for. I had really enjoyed working with him over many years and I knew he had my back. When he said he was going I was immediately caught up in my own thinking and actually said “what about me?” My glasses in that moment were definitely of the red, ‘me’ variety. On reflection the alternative reaction, which I would have preferred, is to have explored how he was feeling about leaving a business he had successfully developed and had been with for decades! A completely different quality of interaction and experience.
Unfortunately, at the time, I had no idea that the human psychological system worked inside out. In that moment I believed that his leaving the business could make me feel insecure and vulnerable. I had lost sight of my innate wellbeing and completely missed the potential of the unknown. I suffered needlessly.
Imagine the freedom and joy that comes with knowing that this is how the human psychological system works. The only question we really have to ask ourselves is what colour are my glasses. I invite you to give it a go right now. How are you feeling as you read this? If you are sensing new possibilities and potential in what I’m pointing to, it is most likely that you are looking through green glasses. If, on the otherhand, you find yourself caught up in some aspect of what I’m saying then consider the challenge that you might be looking at this through red glasses!
If you are curious to explore this further you could read about it in my book, “More than you think”.
You could stay in touch with me through regular monthly updates by signing up for my newsletter here.
We run retreats sharing this information in Weymouth, Dorset. I also offer one to one coaching over Zoom or in person.