David mentioned my lack of blogging tonight. I guess that kinda goes to show just how busy I've been lately. I'll give myself a slap on the wrist and make sure to get my priorities straightened out forthwith! Goodbye housework... hello blogging! (Although I think there are probably some who come to my page, see the long entries, groan, and click on someone else's! To them the lack of new blogs is probably a blessing!)
I've been reading the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" because it was recommended in a talk I read. It's funny how things come along that help you understand more clearly the same things you've been pondering. This book has done that with my questions about perception versus reality.
Here is one excerpt that really puts things into focus:
" As clearly and objectively as we think we see things, we begin to realize that others see them differently from their own apparently equally clear and objective point of view. 'Where we stand depends on where we sit.'
Each of us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are
objective. But this is not the case. We see the world, not as it is, but as we are, or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe ourselves, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms. When other people disagree with us, we immediately think something is wrong with them. But.. sincere, clearheaded people see things differently, each looking through the unique lens of experience.
The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experience, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture and a far more objective view."
It's been interesting to slowly work my way through this book. It's reminded me of things that I've let slip (such as trying to live proactively, rather than reactively) and it's shown how the principles we live by help influence our effectiveness as people. I'm only halfway through the book because I'm taking my time and trying to digest it bit by bit. I wish I could say that I'm seeing all sorts of improvement and that I'm growing by leaps and bounds, but I seem to be in a slow phase of development right now. I'm working hard to stay on top of things and improve different areas of my life and sometimes that leaves less energy for the personal growth that I'd like to be seeing.
In other matters, I've found a few great cookbooks at the library and have found that, contrary to a long held belief, I actually ENJOY cooking! BUT...the key I've found is that it has to be COOKING and not just heating up processed and already prepared foods. I enjoy washing and peeling and chopping and cooking fresh ingredients, and I love trying out new recipes and flavors. (My family isn't always as enthusiastic about this... there have been many comments about being human guinea pigs, and I try to keep a frozen pizza on hand for those meals that they absolutely won't eat!) But all in all, I'm enjoying cooking. I've been working on incorporating a lot more fresh and whole foods into our diet, which is not easy or cheap. On the days that I accomplish it, though, I can feel the difference. I have more energy, I feel better physically, and I feel better about the way I'm treating the body God gave me. Wish me luck as I continue on this road of discovering new foods and healthier living!
Speaking of the wonderful blessing of bodies- one of the neatest things we've done lately was to go see "The Bodies, The Exhibition" at the Museum Center.
Now, before anyone gets into a tiff and starts spouting about the ethics of the display and where the bodies came from... I had no idea that there was any controversy about this when I went to see it. I have since learned that the bodies may not all be from people who voluntarily donated their bodies to science. I'm not sure if that would have stopped me anyway (gotta be honest) but at least it made me more aware.
As far as the exhibit went though, it was amazing. We went on a snow day and there was hardly anyone at the Museum Center- a definite plus when seeing this exhibit! We watched the IMAX movie on the human body, which was also well worth the time. My daughter actually came out of it and commented that she learned more about the human body during the 45 minute film than she could be taught in 2 months of health class. We then went downstairs to see the Bodies Exhibit.
My family and I are not squeamish, in the least, so the thought of seeing real human bodies and all their parts didn't bother us. I was impressed with how well the bodies were preserved and displayed. There was a quiet air of reverence for the people whose bodies were on display. Each person in there was quietly studying the anatomy and complexities of the human body. It wasn't gross and it wasn't done distastefully.
Being a very visual person, this helped me to more fully appreciate how my body is put together and how perfectly all of the organs work together. Since I have no aspirations of being in the medical field, this was an unheard of opportunity to be able to study the human body. I'm not saying that this would be for everyone, and I'm sure there are those out there who are wondering what the heck is wrong with me, but I truly enjoyed the exhibit. I'd go back again if it wasn't so dang expensive! My husband and daughter both came out of it with in agreement with me. It was awesome.
You know what else I've found out lately? I'm not nearly as concerned about other peoples' opinions as I used to be. That's not to say that I don't enjoy hearing other opinions... just that I don't feel bound to live my life a certain way in order to obtain their "good" opinions of me. I like this feeling. It's a feeling of freedom, to be secure in my own self, comfortable in my own skin. I'm not afraid of being judged or being rejected. I'm happy being ME (most of the time!) I wish I could share this feeling with everyone. Especially some of my sisters who I see struggle with self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy or fear. How much higher could they fly if they could let go of worries about how other people perceive them? How much lighter would you feel if you could soar above it all??