Here’s a thought I’d like to share…
Decades of research have proven that expectation is a powerful force. It acts on our perceptions much as gravity acts on light, bending them in ways that are measurable by others, but, at least to us, imperceptible. Not only do we tend to see what we expect to see, we also tend to experience what we expect to experience. ~Joseph T. Halliman from Psychology Today
David and I have been chillin’ in Austin, TX, for the past several days. Even on vacation, we’re both early risers and love our morning coffee. This morning, we went to this cool coffee shop called Mozart on Lake Austin. Our trusty guidebook called it “one of the most tranquil spots in the city.” It sits right on the water and has all these cool outdoor tables. As we’re parking, we see this sign that says “Lake Austin Meditation Center – downstairs.” Such a perfect place for meditation! We’re intrigued, and enamored. How cool – the water, great coffee, outdoor areas to gather, and a meditation center!!
David goes inside to order our coffee. I grab a seat on the lake-side. As we sit and chat, we see turtles start to swim toward the area where we’re seated, we lean over the rail to watch them, and we also see these huge fish – they look like three-feet long coy, but I’m not sure what they really were. We’re both just soaking it all in. It’s all kind of idyllic. Ahh…vacation.
We take our time drinking our coffee and hanging out. As we get up to leave, I decide I want to go check out the meditation center. I already have all these cool visions in my head about what it will look and feel like inside. I go down the stairs to the entrance and see this big windowed room with people sitting around a conference table in business attire. It puzzles me but doesn’t stop me. I reach for the door, but before I open it, I see “meditation by appointment only.” Now I’m really puzzled! — Really? By appointment??
I take a step back and read the entire sign. There’s a name, then under it, “meditation consultant.” (Hmmm?? – I’ve never heard that term.) Then another name, and again, underneath it, “meditation consultant.” I’m starting to pick up on something not quite right about all this. It was the title under the third name that finally called me back to reality… it read “attorney/mediation consultant.”
ME-DI-A-TION not med-i-ta-tion!! This was a law firm specializing in divorce mediation! Just guessing, but I’d say there was little to no meditation going on here.
Because of the lens of vacation, personal bias, and perfect setting, I saw what I wanted to see! Had I not gone up to the door, I’d still be certain that there was a wonderfully quaint meditation center right on the edge of the Lake by the coffee shop! Not a bad notion, just not a true one.
It’s an understandable enough mistake, and it did provide us with quite a laugh, but how many times do we see what we think we’ll see or what we want to see? How often do our biases blind us to what’s really right in front of us?
So, good news and bad news here; the good news – we can practice having an attitude of gratitude and joy and see things through that lens; the bad news – we can practice negativity and scarcity and that will be the lens through which we view our lives.
In my life today, I would have more of a need for a meditation center than a mediation center (thank Goodness!), but think about it, what if someone really did needed a mediation center? They might have been quite relieved to find it in “one of the most tranquil spots in the city!”
Wishing you clear eyes, an open heart, and the ability to laugh at your own delusions,