Perception, as I define it in the book, is the unique way we each see ourselves and the worlds around us. So, why talk about perception when we’re learning about affirmations? Well, I go on to say that perception is typically based on an assortment of memories, associations, judgments and beliefs that we accumulate over time. Basically, we are observing the present through the lens of the past. And this isn’t always helpful, as it narrows the vision of our own possibilities.
When I was developing Timothy Tao and the Owl of the Woods, I wanted the message about affirmations to be practical and realistic. As I explain it to the kids in my lessons, I point out that there are things in life that we have control over and things we do not. Perception is something that we have direct influence over. We can always change it if we choose, and this in turn, changes our experience. Our perception evolves as we evolve.
As we all know, problems and challenges are a part of life. We all have those things that are holding us back from reaching our potential. How we approach those challenges often dictates how effectively we deal with them. Coming from a place of “HOW WE SEE” our problems and challenges can open us up to new, and often times, unexpected possibilities. By asking each student to explore their perceptions of problems and create an affirmation based on an alternative possibility, it provides the space and opportunity for a more productive experience to unfold.
Perception is an abstract word and can be intimidating for some educators to teach. Yet, I would argue that it’s no more complicated than learning about photosynthesis. Like anything we learn, it just takes time and effort. For those teachers out there willing to take on the challenge, I’ve written a lesson plan found on the “Resource” page of this website. May a clear perception be with you!