Perception Matters And How It Changes Everything

Kayla Becker loves to serve and inspire others as a friend, school teacher, yoga instructor, success coach and more. I have known Kayla as a contemplative friend for quite awhile now and truly love the beauty of her heart. The wisdom in her article about truth versus perception in seeing can easily be applied to how to see God and His children with an awakened heart. Thank you Kayla for your service to God and His creations! Blessings, Bonnie

Kayla Becker, guest blogger

One of my first mentors always talked about beach balls

As a metaphor

For how people see a situation.

Depending on which side of a beach ball you are standing

You will see different colors –

If you are standing on one side of the beach ball,

You’ll see the colors green, orange, and white

And if you are standing on the other side of the beach ball,

You’ll see the colors yellow, blue, and red.

And as my mentor told me,

Each person is right

Regardless of what they see –

Because they can only see what is in front of them.

And it’s what we currently know

That is guiding our reality.

Whatever side of the situation – of the ball – we are seeing

Is our truth.

I think about this analogy often when I am working with my clients

Because it is often our perception, our truth,

That is impacting us –

For better or for worse.

Sometimes it’s our perception of ourselves –

“I’m not good enough”

“I’m not where I want to be”

“I always mess up”

“I’m going to fail”

“I don’t know how to get over this”

“I don’t fit in”

“No one understands me”

“I can’t figure out how to change (fill in the blank)”

“I’m such a (loser, screw up, disappointment, hot mess, black sheep…)

And it is these perceptions –

These “truths” –

We have about ourselves

That keeps us stuck.

And other times,

It’s these big, looming thoughts we have about being





Being all alone

That frightens us the most

Because of past experiences

And memories

That holds us hostage

In our own lives.

And when this happens,

We need to pick up the beach ball

And examine it.

We need to turn it to the other side,

Flip it around,

Turn it upside down

And see what we see …

And that’s one of my roles with my clients –

To help them see and explore something different,

So, they can decide for themselves.

Because sometimes seeing something different is really hard

Especially when we’ve believed something about ourselves, or others, or a situation,

For so long.

Because many times

Those are the ones that are causing us the most anguish

Because they are so ingrained in who we are,

And how we see ourselves…

And when we’ve believed something for so long

It becomes a “truth”

Rather than a perception.

If you’re seeing only one side of the beach ball,

You aren’t seeing the whole thing clearly

And that’s a problem.

© 2023 Kayla Becker

Write to Kayla Becker

Being Grounded in the Presence

A big brown bunny quivers deep into the green grass with fear remaining still in front of our garden. Not even 10 feet from him, our terrier Rascal had just been let out into the yard, but was totally focused on the yard next door and the fence. It was a chilly morning, sun shining brightly on the lawn, bouncing off the aging oak tree. The rabbit loves the cracked corn left in the grass and like us, is drawn into temptation.

Lately, I have had several occasions lately to wonder if I really was being present, attune to God’s Will. Decisions of consequence to me right now. A far away conference to attend, a class to take, giving up the question to God. Can I do this?  I have prayed about it now, darn it. I am trying to take it back again. Think of blessings. Joys. Be grateful. Knowing His Presence is always with you no matter what.

The Holy Spirit inspires me with insight sometimes, to be present to seeing as perhaps God sees. From “above” (i.e. knowing what could happen and seeing his children and creatures in the darkness of their world.) I really don’t see Rascal as evil or darkness, but to a rabbit, he could potentially tear his long-eared friend apart. And Rascal loves chasing rabbits, but the bunny seemed so scared.

My thoughts drift to the Scripture readings I did earlier in the day that we can count on our Lord to watch over us. The Bible says, ” the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

Our bunny, quivering in fear of impending events, seems like he could have been you or me in our wilderness of Lent as our Lord remains vigilant with us through our little trials.

My heart races. Rascal’s cataracts dim his vision, but his sense of smell and hearing are excellent. From my perch, I watch as he sniffs about in the yard, oblivious of the impending danger. He rolls over in the grass, enjoying the day.

I open the door a crack. The sound turns Rascal’s head toward me while a new creature steps into the adventure. Ralph Jr., the squirrel, doesn’t see Rascal either, and ducks under the wire fence and confidently scampers over toward the oak tree.  Word of our yummy cracked corn must have spread around the neighborhood.

God provides so many blessings to us. We could be aware of his goodness. I yell out, “yum-yum. Rascal, come on.” Just a second or two of diversion as he looks at me, considering his fun in yard versus his treat. Then, his ears perk up. Rascal turns as he hears something moving in the grass and barking loudly, he jumps toward the flying gray fur. With a split second to spare, Ralph Jr. makes a successful leap into the tree. The bunny watching carefully, hunkering down, disappears quickly under the fence. Rascal continues with his assault on the tree for a while, but decides the treat in hand is worth more than a squirrel in the tree, so to speak and heads for the door.

Sometimes, we don’t escape our troubles like the bunny, though. There is not always a happy ending. But whatever happens, I have a deep and growing sense of trust in God’s Presence in this moment. Jesus hand on my shoulder gives me peace and calm. That doesn’t take away the confusions and temptations, but He is my Rock through them. His Presence lies in, around and through us. Though we can be in difficult situations, we can be above them, as I was above the unfolding drama.  Perhaps, it is good to have the insight to be awake, aware of others’ dangers, and be Christ’s hands and feet in this world.  Knowing that our love for others can make a difference.

The Father takes care of his children. He gave up His Son’s life to give us salvation from all our sins. We may tremble, quiver and hunker down in the grass, or make flying leaps without knowledge of what will happen. But the Light of God’s Presence will warm and hold you firm. Be grounded in God’s Presence, we will make it through.

I offer many practices to get grounded in God’s Presence in the beginning of the day. Today I offer just a start for you. Before the day begins, in that moment list in your mind, or in a journal, a gift from God that continue to bless you. Savor this gift: a family member, a pet, time with friends, a walk-in nature, gardening, music. Continue this practice five times a day. Give gratitude for what you see as a gift from God, just for you. When your feet hit the floor, remember to be present and look around for God’s Presence holding you strong. When you fall, and we all fall, just look up and thank the God who is helping you through this moment.

Another thought is to wake up to a beautiful piece of music that you love, savoring the harmonies that God created in this music just for you. Google your choice if you wish. I prefer soft guitar and piano music. Or, take in several deep God-given breaths breathing in the deep love of God and breathe out the Love of God for the World.

© 2023 Bonnie L. Smith-Davis