I am guilty of being very hard on myself.  I know I am not alone in this regard.  So lately I have been playing with the ‘what if’ questions.  Noah St. John is a big fan of these, because asking yourself ‘what if’ automatically opens the door for the universe to provide you with answers.   Try it – your mind will search for answers.  He prefers the ‘why is’ method, calling it afformations, but ‘what if’ is also a lot of fun to play with! 

We often set goals for ourselves, or new dreams or intentions for activities that we feel we should do in order to find more peace and joy in our lives.  I believe that peace and joy already exists and it’s really a matter of shifting our perspective in order to become more fully aware of its presence.  Perspective is a choice.  We have to be consciously aware of what we are perceiving and then we can consciously choose to continue perceiving that which we’ve become aware of, or if it’s time to direct our attention to somewhere/something else.

For example, every morning I sit out on my balcony enjoying my morning coffee and the peace and quiet of an early morning sunrise before the world wakes up and starts its busy-ness for the day.  This morning was chilly, but not unbearable.  And here was my view:

The sun doesn't wonder if it's good enough - it just rises and sets...

Ah what a beautiful site….and yes, I am playing my current favourite card game on my ipod and watching the cats explore the balcony and my attention is on many things, but I am alone with my thoughts at the same time.  I often am hard on myself for not fitting in more dedicated time to meditate – but what is meditation but being alone with our thoughts and becoming aware of them, and then becoming aware of the spaces in between our thoughts?  So why does meditation have to be only about me lying or sitting quietly with my eyes closed?  Perhaps maybe these mornings on my balcony are also meditation?  What if I’m already daily meditating through this practice and I don’t need to be hard on myself for not sitting quietly with my eyes closed?  What if you’re already doing the things you set out to do, but because you’re not doing them in the way you think they ought to be done, you don’t give yourself credit for doing them?  I’ve decided to claim this time as my daily meditation time, and since that is now the case, I am an avid meditator for sure!  🙂
Ok, back to the point about perception…so I see a beautiful sunrise a lot, well whenever the clouds decide to part enough for the sun to come through in all its glory! 
But if I choose to perceive something other than the sunrise, and to reflect on the sun and whatever else is going through my mind, this is also in my field of vision:


I could spend my time perceiving the energy surrounding a neighbour’s backyard.  I do hear them come out sometimes and the female seems to be in a very angry state most of the time.  But who am I to judge?  As a human though, I do judge.  I do see things and then try to make sense of them in my mind and in relation to my experience and I know from pack rat extraordinaire experience that having a backyard like this does not make me feel very good.  It is overwhelming and I always feel as though I have ‘so much to do’ bc it obviously needs to be dealt with.  In fact, for me, having too much junk around is usually a sign that I am not keeping up with the pace of energy and challenges that come my way and instead have decided to check out and forego dealing with it.  As a Taurus though, I do love all things material and there are aspects to surrounding myself with things I love and things that make me smile that are conducive to ‘clutter’ if you will.  There is a fine line between clutter and chaos, but if you look at any IKEA picture for how to make the most out of small spaces, you will know if you are ok with surrounding yourself with organized chaos, or if it’s important to you to keep your surroundings bare.  I personally find joy in a sink full of dirty dishes, because it usually means that a great meal was shared with many.  Or pictures all over the fridge, because those are the people you love and cherish.  If it’s important to you, then keep it within your field of vision,  if it’s not, then don’t.  Pretty simple right?!  I’m digressing however…
Back to perception.  I could sit and stare at my neighbour’s backyard and get caught up in the energy it represents, or I can choose to perceive the sunrise and the energy it represents.  Perhaps both are equally as rewarding for me to experience, but for now, I choose the healing energies of the sun rising and setting – fulfilling its true purpose and blessing billons of people everyday with its healing powers.
Is there a ‘backyard’ in your life that you see daily with your 60,000 thoughts a day?  Is there also a ‘sunrise’ in your life that you are aware of, but perhaps not focussing on?  Are you aware that it is your choice of what you will focus on?  Are you aware that both exist all the time in every moment we encounter?  It’s not about positive thinking, for we cannot positively think the ‘backyard’ away.  Nor do we want to.  I believe the backyard is there to provide us with an opportunity to ask ‘what if’?  ‘What if there is a sunrise for me to enjoy as well?’ and lo and behold there is!
So as we embark upon a month of holiday parties, the year 2011 ending and a much touted 2012 starting, I hope to be aware of the sunrises and to revel in their beautiful gifts, and to thank the backyards for leading me to the sunrises…
And to not be so hard on myself for not ‘doing’ or ‘being’ enough.  We’re all human.  That’s the beauty of us and this life experience.
May the sun rise for you and your loved ones today and may you feel it rising within and share that vibration with all whom you meet.