The 5 Principles of EAP
Principle 4 – When Something Is Authentically Observed, It Changes
Observation is when we can see what is. Perception is when we see what we think there is. Observation is factual, perception is interpretation. When we observe, we see the world as it is. When we perceive, we see the world as we are. In observation, what is observed can self-express, in perception, that which perceives is self-expressing.
This principle proposes the idea that when just awareness and mindfulness are brought to life, life can manifest in its richest expression, no longer distorted by our perception. A very simple example of this is something many of us have experienced. You might recall having a discussion with someone about new cars and they tell you (let’s make this up) that Mazda have released a new small SUV called the GoGo. They describe it to you and maybe even show you a photo on their phone. You declare that you haven’t seen one and acknowledge that they look great.
Shortly after leaving your friend, you hop in your car and head back out onto the roads and suddenly you begin to see them everywhere, well it seems like they are everywhere. It’s like Mazda intentionally popped them everywhere you were going! Of course that isn’t possible. We do much the same in how we relate to other people. When we have a filter (judgement) about who people are and how they behave, our filter only allows us to see people in this light. If your filter is that other people take advantage of your good nature, then you populate your world with people (who I will call actors) who constantly take advantage of you. Your perception becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is why women who have been in an abusive relationship can leave it, only to find themselves in another one much the same. Changing the screen doesn’t change the movie you are watching.
Once we become aware that our filter is creating our reality, we realise that to change our reality, we have to change our filter. We can either do this motivated by our fear of suffering or as a self-loving choice. The fear motive takes willpower and is in most cases not sustainable. People motivated by fear typically find themselves back in the same scenario that they were avoiding in the first place, but often compounded. People motivated by wanting to make more self-loving choices do so because they have gained a greater appreciation of their self-worth. This changes the filter, and invites people into their lives who honour their perception of personal worth, and treat them accordingly. What this means is that the way in which people relate to you changes. Does this mean that the people in your life have to be replaced by those who are more respectful?
Yes, and this can happen in two ways. Let’s use bullying as an example. If your perception was that you were a victim and this invited actors who became bullies in your drama, and you transform your victim perspective to one of self-empowerment (that naturally arises from your improved self-worth) then your reality has to change to match your filter. Let’s just say that the bully was your employer. One of two things will happen, the employer suddenly turns up differently and treats you with more respect, or if they don’t, an opportunity will arise that sees you being employed in a situation that aligns with your improved self-worth. The latter seems more plausible, but I have witnessed enough of these situations to know that the first scenario also happens. The world is plastic to our perceptions.
If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. So if you keep on being bullied, it means that you keep seeing yourself as a victim. It’s our belief about poor self-worth that has to change. Using the Mazda example, it would be like talking to your friend and them saying, do you know that there is a new life experience out there called self-empowerment and that it’s made by self-esteem? And they show you what it looks like, and you really get to see it for the first time. And you then engage in life and because this has now entered your consciousness you begin to see honouring people everywhere. It’s like the bullies have disappeared.
The key here was in becoming aware of a more self-loving filter. To do this, you have to understand what the ‘story’ is that you hold about yourself, which results in the belief that your only reality can be one of victimhood. That’s what we do at EAP, we help people to identify their story of poor self-worth and give them the tools to mindfully shift from being defined by their story to having them see the gift in it, which can be used to make a difference in the world and which builds a strong foundation of self-worth. In this place of being more self-loving, the filter of perception changes from being fear-based to one of kindness for yourself and for others. It’s this new filter that means you get to see the world differently and that might even include the people with whom you are in relationship. Typically they turn up in your world demonstrating very different behaviours. It’s as if they have been given a crash course in kindness and overnight they begin to relate to you differently, generally they are much kinder. If it turns out that doesn’t happen, it’s like they disappear and someone new steps in and takes their place, someone who matches your more loving perception.
This approach to change is called mindfulness. Being mindful is being aware of a more self-loving alternative, which is only possible when we possess a clear sense that we are entitled to a more loving expression of life. It’s this awareness that gives us a real choice between our habits that resulted in our suffering and a kinder expression of life that gives clarity of purpose, inner-peace, joy in how relationships are experienced and greatly improved wellness. It’s absolutely true that when something is observed (free of our perception) it changes.
This Weeks Video
Read More From This Series on the 5 Principles of EAP
Part 1 – Your Body is a Symbol of Consciousness
Part 2 – You Can't Change What You Can't See
Part 3 – Healing is Listening
Part 5 - Transformation Happens Like A Ripple Across A Pond