"The only difference between a weed and a flower is judgement."
-Wayne W. Dyer
I have found that by what we are taught as children forms our perspective on most things in life. If we are taught dandelions are a weed and must be destroyed, we will have a negative perception of them and perhaps not realize their amazing medicinal benefits. Red roses have become the trademark symbol for love, however if the thorns are not removed, they can prove to be prickly indeed! So how do we change our perception? How do we open our minds and hearts to other possibilities and points of view? By simply doing that-opening our hearts and minds. And by listening. Let me repeat that. By listening. So often in our chaotic lives we tend to multitask and do not fully pay attention to any of the tasks that we are doing. We check our social media while we eat breakfast and watch the morning news. We ask our partner how their day was, but our minds wander to what to make for dinner instead of fully engaging and being present. We all seem to be in such a hurry to get to the end result without even knowing what the end result is. We wake up in the morning and go through the motions of our day without checking in with ourselves, not fully living to our potential or going to a job that makes one feel dead inside because that is what we were led to believe. Work 9-5, have a title attached to your name, have a family, buy a house with a white picket fence, drive a nice car, vacation somewhere tropical for the two weeks out of the whole year that you manage to get with your benefits, if you're lucky. Keep up with the Joneses, be in debt, work towards that golden dream of retirement where somehow magically your life will suddenly be easy and carefree and in the meantime, ignore yourself, your dreams and what you truly want out of life. Missing important milestones because you had to work late, not telling your child you love them because you deem those words to be vulnerable and you equate vulnerability with weakness, not doing something because you felt embarrassed or insecure or unloved or unworthy. We carry so much emotional baggage around with us that we stuff it all deep down inside of ourselves where it festers and causes physical and mental illness and impacts how we perceive the things in our life to be. We use sarcasm and being defensive and a whole array of other negative coping mechanisms to deal with ourselves and others instead of digging deep, taking a deep breath and figuring out the root of our issues. We have knee jerk reactions to situations and convince ourselves that we are right in our negative convictions instead of pausing and trying to see another side of the issue. Maybe your waitress that day who was snippy and forgetful had a fight with her partner and still had to show up for work. There are always different perspectives or points of view to take into consideration if we just slow down long enough to pay attention to them. So let's do just that. Let's slow down, be mindful, recognize how we are feeling, be compassionate, learn from each other, appreciate another perspective even if it does resonate with you. You never know when another perspective may indeed change your life.