Perception really is everything, our perception of life and situations is usually the precursor to our behaviour. You often hear people saying that they are the product of their upbringing, they are who they are because of the messages given by family, society, and institutions whether that be school or church or anything else. You often hear them saying that they are a result of what has happened to them; and I completely agree.

However, once we recognise that we are somewhat a product of our past, we then become responsible for who we become, how we behave from that point on. We may be the creation from our past, but it is up to us as to how we are, who we are, and what we are for the rest of our tomorrow’s.

We can blame our past for our pain, but we are fully responsible for taking ourselves through the healing process to a better future and a better version of what we currently are.

Our perception really is everything, if we choose to not find and offer forgiveness to those who have caused us pain, we separate ourselves from them, separateness suggests inequality, inequality causes a divide, where there is a divide there is no peace.

In reality: we all carry scars from the past and it is our beliefs and thoughts that guide our behaviour; those that hurt us were also suffering, they also are or were a product of their life.

When we can see that we are all one, and that we have all endured pain on some level of existence, we are more able to embrace oneness. When we live from a state of oneness, we can live from a state of peace. When we live from a state of oneness, we live from a state of wholeness because we recognise the God in ourselves and in every person we encounter. When we can change our perception of others and find the spiritual aspect in each person, we reach a place of grace, grace permits us to overlook the aspects of the individual that have not yet evolved into a higher state of being.

Perception is everything. Perception affects how we see the world, how we live in the world, how we treat the world. It affects the respect we hold for things and our beliefs for how we should treat people, things, places, and other sources of life whether that be of the animal kingdom or plant kingdom.

Our perception is the key that governs our daily walk. If we can change our perception we can change our behaviour, if we can change our behaviour we can change of life. When we can change our own life, we can help others to change theirs too.

During a vacation on the river Nile, I became acutely aware of the expectation of Muslims to frequently stop what they were doing and pray; I believe I am correct in saying that it is normal for Muslims to pray five times a day. I personally perceived Egypt as oppressive, not the act itself but the fact that my perception was that it was not done necessarily through personal choice but through expectation.

However, I can also see how making people take time out to be somewhat accountable for their behaviours in such a way could, perhaps help them to think more about their daily actions. What drawing the people to prayer was doing was enforcing mindfulness upon the people, to some degree.

What I can take from that is that if we all were to briefly stop every hour and check ourselves, check our thoughts, our actions, our feelings, our words, our state of being; if we all were to stop briefly and become mindful of ourselves, and act upon what we find in accordance with love, compassion, grace, and forgiveness, perhaps we could improve on our own life dramatically. Perhaps by becoming acutely aware on an hourly basis we would slowly start to perceive life differently, perhaps we would start to perceive each other differently, perhaps we would access more love, more compassion, and more peace.

Perceptions really are everything. We behave in accordance to how we perceive the world around us.

I encourage you all today, to build a regular routine to check out your own perceptions of life, of people, of the circumstances you find yourself in and change those that require changing; check out your perceptions of life, love, and one another.

Always Walk in Peace – Kenzo