Life Experiences are Coloured by Perceptions

It isn’t always easy to see situations clearly, in the moment – in the now.  Our life experiences are so often coloured by the past – our upbringing, culture, education, nationality and so on. If you are watching a school quiz in which your son is taking part, your consciousness may be clouded by anxiety, nervousness and a strong desire for your son to do well. If you are a driver hired to collect the boy after the quiz, you won’t be interested in the results of the quiz, or how the boy fared, you will probably wish it over soon so you can go home.

“Pure awareness becomes coloured by our thoughts, emotions and expectations.”  Susan Kaiser Greenland.

Remembering to be present helps us to become aware of these influences that cloud our thinking. Learning this during our formative years can prevent much needless suffering.

Here are some responses from Grade 11 girls (16 years old) who completed the How to Live in the Now course, and read the book, Living in the Now.

‘In the beginning I was doubtful and couldn’t see the logic in the theory, but was willing to try. The book has taught me to experience life fully and the exercises were surprisingly effective, especially using the senses to come into the present. I found that I obsess about arguments and over-analyse events hours after they have happened.’

‘The senses exercise helps me to sleep as I do it every night before I fall asleep.’

‘I don’t feel this book has changed me as a person, but it has given me tools to change some situations and the way I can handle them. This gives me less stress and helps to completely relax me.’

‘I was having a fight with a friend and I was so angry. I decided to detach myself from the situation and think about where she was coming from. I could then send a calm message and we sorted things our really quickly.’

It is so gratifying to know that people are helped by practising mindfulness and living in the now. So excited to discover that mindful education is being talked about and practised in the USA, UK and Australia. 



About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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