dawnbrown@perceptionshift.com |
613-728-0887

Dayshift: Start Where You Are (Smashwords Edition)

Dawn's latest book is filled with gems that remind us that personal growth is a lifelong endeavor. By accepting the book's daily invitations to increase our awareness, ...

Read More

Dayshift: Start Where You Are (Amazon Edition)

Dayshift: Start Where You Are (Amazon Edition)

Dawn's latest book is filled with gems that remind us that personal growth is a lifelong endeavor. By accepting the book's daily invitations to increase our awareness, ...

Read More

DayShift: Start Where You Are is filled with gems that remind us that personal growth is a lifelong endeavor. By accepting the book's daily invitations to increase our awareness, we can build powerful habits that create lasting results.

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to you own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
– Marcus Aurelius

Reality doesn’t bite, rather our perception of reality bites.
– Anthony D’Angelo

We cannot choose our external circumstances but we can always choose how we respond to them.
– Epictetus

 

I came across research reported in the December 2008 issue of Psychological Science that showed that intent affected perception of pain. So if someone bashed you on the head with a tennis racket, the experience of pain was greater if the blow was perceived to be intentional.

Volunteers were given tasks that involved activities like colour matching and number estimation. And they were given another task called “discomfort assessment” that involved a brief electric shock to the wrist. They were told that this last task would either be selected by their partner sitting in the next room or randomly by the computer.

When the volunteers were under the impression that their partners were inflicting the shocks to them on purpose, they rated the shocks as more painful than the ones selected by the computer, even though the intensity was the same!

I flashed back to when my daughter was around four years old. We were horsing around and I accidentally hit her. I saw the flash of pain in her eyes and I was alarmed. But in an instant it was gone and she was laughing. She knew we were playing and that the hurt was not intended.

Weeks later when I found her playing with a delicate ornament, I held her hand and took it from her. She wailed in agony cradling her hand. Bewildered I pointed out that I had barely touched her. She replied that I had had a dirty face. That was kid talk for an angry look! Just the thought of my being angry was enough to create a feeling of physical pain.

Perception is an interpretation, not a fact. And this is how it creates our experience. This doesn’t apply to only painful events. That’s how sugar pills work. We perceive that they will cure and that thought is powerful enough to create healing.

In other words, it is not what happens to us but our perception of the event that creates our experience. Recognizing our ability to shift our perception is crucial to our experience of happiness. We can make a conscious choice.