Sensory Perceptions

by Marlene Buffa – 

Rich with sensory perception, our human experience allows us to take in and assimilate the world around us. Unlike the rainbow portraying the very basics of color schematics, the real world vibrates with a truly unlimited spectrum of possibilities. Not limited to merely seven colors, we bless our eyes for bringing to us a full-color array that changes with alterations of light and perspective. Similarly, we bless our Creator for showing us precious bits of digestible life, all the while we fully comprehend that more than we observe and understand exists in our grand gourmet of choices. 

“Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” –Antoine de Saint Exupéry, Le Petit Prince

Our relationships with one another bring far greater depth and complexity than the limitations of sensory observation allow. Like the grand earth and all its vibrations, those around us –ourselves included – put forth a limited range of who we are, for others to see. 
Now, the two elements of the human equation – what truly exists compared to what our limitations allow us to perceive and what we put forth for others to see vs. their ability to see it – add a doubly variable basis for establishing, forming and maintaining relationships with one another. 
Who are you, really? 

Over the years, various psychological studies hypothesize we use about 10% of our total brain capacity. That, alone, astounds us by demonstrating we rarely dare to exert the other 90% of our capability. What comprises that inert 90%? Mystical, elusive and often fearful traits popularly bear the reputation of that unknown brain store. 

The notion of true genius rests in people demonstrating perhaps a larger percentage of brain usage. But what if genius had nothing to do with the filing cabinet of facts and figures, and more to do with connecting to spirit for intuition and understanding of that we do not see using merely the ten percent? 
Additionally, we must also understand that like the limitations of the spectrum of sensory perception and the 10% of human brain usage, who we truly are as a physical being reflects a mere fraction of our true selves as a spiritual being. 
When we consider the wide range of non-physical experiences our soul carries forth, these bodies – or vehicles – merely experience the possibilities limited on the earth plane. As we ponder our spiritual existence, our mind stalls as the magnitude overwhelms us. Like gazing at billions of stars in countless galaxies, our limited awareness barely comprehends the full breadth of our spiritual truth. 
Understanding the human limits 
Like living within our means financially, we quickly learn that our human bodies constrain us in many ways. Subject to the limitations of the law of gravity, for instance, mankind overcame his avian desires by building airplanes and other modes of aviation. The myth of Daedalus and his son Icarus exemplifies failed attempts at human flight independently, at will. 
Similarly, we understand the restrictions of spirit as captured into the human experience. Like seeing birds in flight and knowing that mobility is impossible for us, we get loving glimpses of spirit at work in our life and believe that, too, eludes us. Thus far, technology sidesteps or never considers the spiritual or invisible component to our earthly experience, and therefore fails to account for the spiritual component at work in human lives each day. 
Multiple ports of entry 

The news media proves effective by using several modes of sensory input to convey a story. For thousands of years, the spoken word prevailed as the primary source of information from person to person, and generation to generation.Then, somewhere along the timeline, the written word emerged, lending a second component to communication. 

Ever since Gutenberg, the printed word reigned as the staple of information exchange. Five hundred years later (give or take), recorded audio began as Edison brought the phonograph to the general marketplace. 

From there, various regenerations of audio media integrated into our culture and now we enjoy personal systems, satellite television and more. Researchers over the years learned that the impact of an intended message intensifies when the message is presented using more than one sensory receptor.

That means that if you get your news on television, for example, you see it and hear it. Therefore, the news’ ability to reach you is greater and your ability to receive and remember it, is greater, too. 

Add to the visual pictures, the scrolling bar along the bottom of major news channels, you engage in reading, watching pictures and colors and hearing. A triple whammy to hit your brain! As of yet, the transmission of smell, taste and touch is not possible, but when that occurs, the retention ratio will skyrocket! Think of the scratch-and-sniff ads in your favorite magazine. Why did they do that? It wasn’t effective enough to let you see and read about a perfume. Once you see, read and smell, presumably, you’re hooked! 
The illusion of what we perceive. 

In high school, a wise teacher once told our class, “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.” Looking back, I realize her direction not only addressed the unreliability of gossip and hearsay, or even the media for that matter, but also spoke to our interpretive abilities as limited by the human experience. 

Not meaning to second guess or inspire doubt in what we believe we know for certain, let us remember to keep a healthy perspective when taking in information of any sort. Spirit knows no limitation of any kind. Our higher self recognizes things on more than a physical, human level – it sees what Antoine de Saint Exupéry, says “is invisible to the eye.” 
The spiritual connection within us, when trusted, acknowledges what is essential – whether or not our ability to perceive it exists. When our awareness of the illusions comes to light, our ability to thrive peacefully increases along with the connection to Spirit and the Infinite. We are human beings struggling to move forward in a world with built-in perception restrictions. We are so much more than our human limitations! 
Remember what is essential to you, take a deep breath and trust that your higher self senses all and shows you the truth.
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Moving Beyond Struggle

 

by Marlene Buffa – 


Struggling. Our culture believes that emerging victorious from a struggle is commendable. The outcome seems irrelevant, yet many times focus is bestowed on the process, rather than the result. We look at adversity and challenge ourselves to overcome it. We look at adversity and generate respect and honor to those who rise above it, in spite of all odds. 

Struggle seems to have no limitations: if someone reaches a goal through struggle, we rally around him or her as a hero, a triumphant example of perseverance and persistence. When someone is enveloped by struggle and adversity consumes him, we see struggle as the victor and we rally around him or her as a victim. In either case, “struggle,” not the individual, remains the radius around which we measure our personal growth.

Yet as we further examine the outcroppings of “success,” we find the result of success lies in personal fortitude. What is fortitude but a different face of faith? True success and strength lie not in the constant struggle with life, but in the power of knowing that life supports us and the humility to accept the lessons put in our path. 


When I’m faced with a challenge, I take a deep breath and ask myself, “Do I trust God?” Yes. “Do I trust Life?” Yes. God didn’t put me on earth to get beat up by life. I trust that God intends the best for me and the lessons along the way are just means to an end. Sure, I encounter hazards, heartbreaks, even hiccups along the way, but overall, I see these as challenges and choose not to “struggle” my way through them. 


By surrendering the struggle, the worry, the tension, the anxiety and turning the situation over to God for my greater good, my faith rewarded me. I found it a LOT harder to hold faith rather than concentrate on struggle. It’s mental work. It’s work on a soul-level – perhaps the most difficult work we perform. When everything I hold dear screams inside of me, “wait – think of what you must endure to achieve this,” I turn to the most difficult teacher of all, the power of my faith.


I bought a Christmas ornament last year. Just one. A red sequined “ruby” slipper like Dorothy’s in the Wizard of Oz. This dazzling ornament, alone on my tree, sparkles in the light, reminding me I hold the power all along. 
Like Dorothy’s, my slipper represents my ability to use my talents, my mind, my creativity and most of all, my faith to get me through. It’s symbolic of faith and most people carry their own symbols with them all along and don’t know how to use it. 


True strength of your character comes not from struggling. Struggling indicates you do not deserve the good things life offers you. You feel you must do penance in advance for good to come into your life. If good things in your life constitute your desired results either through struggle or faith, then dare yourself to deserve the good without pre-payment!


Faith and trust. Two very difficult concepts for our guarded personas to accept. If you trust God and Life enough to provide for your needs, then struggle is unnecessary. Move beyond struggle. Give it up. Release “struggle’s” hold on you. It doesn’t serve you. Grow into your faith and the fruits of your desires blossom forth. After all, you deserve it! 


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Exercise for the Spirit

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by Marlene Buffa – 

Puzzles exercise our mind. We all know that keeping our minds stimulated increases our knowledge of the world we live in and contributes to our sense of well-being and fun. An active, healthy mind, hungry to learn more and explore new ideas enhances not only ourselves, but those around us. Physical workouts improve our bodies. The ancient Greeks developed the Olympic Games to demonstrate their physical prowess. Some 2500 years later, we still move in perfect form to create the physique we desire and sweat to the satisfaction of a job well done. 
 We clearly understand the need for practice and reaching beyond our current state of well-being when it comes to mental and physical inertia. But when our spiritual life – that less tangible, invisible, subjective and mystical part of ourselves – suffers from stagnation or neglect, we consider a self-imposed regimen of psyche rut-wrenching as unsophisticated or garish. Equally as important as our earthly experience benefiting from focused exercise, our spiritual journey blossoms under the tutelage of our attention and action.

Stretch your form 

Nothing gets you going in the morning like a good stretch. Just take a look at your pets. When they arise from a nap, they take a moment to stretch and enjoy the feeling of their muscles reawakening to the world. A reaching leg or arched back motion momentarily changes our pet’s appearance, yet the body remains self-contained. Our spiritual stretch ignites within us the quality of staying within the comfort zone of our spiritual form while extending the reach of our beliefs. 
 Take a quiet moment in the morning or evening or even during the day, to stretch your spirit. 
 Reach beyond what you believe to consider the status quo of dare to formulate new ways to relate to your creator. Spirit lives inside of you. You – the magnificent, unique creation of God! Allow yourself the elasticity of your connection to the Infinite and tickle the boundaries of your beliefs with the flexibility of possibilities.

Push Out 

Fitness trainers tell us weight exercise consists of pushing and pulling motions. When we push things away, we strengthen and lengthen the muscle fibers associated with that movement. By pushing out the heavy ideas of our tired, old beliefs, we strengthen the core of our spiritual structure. And, for every push, there exists a return motion, in keeping with the laws of physics. 
We steadily and smoothly move out ingrained notions of dogma and doctrine which no longer serve us, while these beliefs return to us in a transformed state. 
 We build up our ability to not only more easily push away these ideas in the future, we gain the ability to control how this thinking affects us from now on. 
 In pushing away, we distance ourselves from ideas which no longer serve us and in the reactive process, the ideas return to us and more likely to conform to our newly found spiritual strength. Push out limitation, lack and unworthiness. Welcome back the energy of those concepts as possibility, abundance and deserving.

Pull In 

In keeping with the laws of motion (and of physics), when we pull in new ideas, we keep the balance by cycling out old notions, as well. During your day, your mind notices and records thousands of things. Probably 90% of what exists goes unrecorded in your conscious mind. Your perception, glorious and unique, takes in just about everything, but your mind can’t possibly process it all. 
We can only take in and assimilate a small amount of “what is.” When we pull into our spirituality the blessings we see, we replace the cloudy day with feelings of gratitude. 
 The cloudy day still exists, we merely shift the negative focus to a benign “given” in our world. The very exercise of inviting – or pulling in – positive things in our world allows for a strengthening of our awareness and recognition of the beautiful world around us. Our earthly minds handle only a small percentage of what we pull in, why not make it good?

Push Up 

Gravity. Thank you Sir Isaac Newton. Our human bodies are pretty much weighted down to the earth. Sure, pole vaulters, daredevils and others scratched the edges of dear old gravity, but the truth of its retraction ultimately wins out. Our heavy, tired beliefs weigh us down while we drag our feet to the beat of their somber hymns. We realize by pushing ourselves up, we acknowledge and use our spiritual power to rise above our old thought patterns. 
Soaring with our earthly tethers, we rise above the smog of polluted thoughts which cloud our happiness, all the while remaining grounded in our very human form. 
 Life invites you to view loftier opportunities you can’t see while held down by your gravity-burdened vantage point of anxiety and blame and negativity. The Universe unreels the kite strings and allows you to explore further beyond what you ever dreamed possible to see your glorious life in a new perspective – that of possibility and opportunity. 
The irony is that everything on earth stays the same –the act of pushing yourself away from the gravity of the life you resigned yourself to live – frees your spirit to see things you couldn’t possibly notice while on the floor.

Breathe 

Push, pull, soar, expand – all these spiritual calisthenics! When life comes at us (sometimes with a vengeance), we move with adrenaline-like speed through our spiritual growth, leaving us panting and gasping for understanding. Just as our bodies require oxygen to process our systems and sustain and promote growth, our spirit needs the air of life to facilitate our souls. 
Inhaling and exhaling – we need both – whether deliberate or unaware, provide the movement of invisible fuel for the constant furnace of our existence. Take time to pant – and be grateful that life provides you with so much to learn, so many opportunities for growth, that you grow exhausted from all the possibilities. Remember to breathe, too. 
Controlled, steady breaths of God-like nourishment reach every cell in your body and touch every nuance of your soul. 
 When you lovingly accept the air of life, you discard vapors of expended notions you no longer require. Breathe – take in the invisible elements of life, allow your breath to feed and transform you – and exhale what you no longer need.

Rest 

Our bodies sleep. Our minds never rest. Even in sleep, the mind delivers dreams to us, solves problems, answers questions, rejuvenates our perspective. We’ve heard truisms from “just sleep on it,” to help in decision making, to “things will look better in the morning,” to readjust our attitude. 
Rest provides an unequaled blessing of resetting ourselves. 
 Just like in a restless night when we fail to will ourselves to sleep, our spiritual selves often suffer from our forced attempts at transformation. My wise doctor once explained her reasoning for not prescribing sleeping pills. “When it’s time to sleep, your body will rest. Trust your body to take care of itself.” Similarly, we feed ourselves with a feast of “shoulds” for our spiritual growth. Fitness trainers again, tell us that through exercise we break down tissue. 
In our rest, muscle tissue rebuilds itself to even greater strength. Resting from our labor creates the change we desire. 
 We gladly perform gentle exercises to empower our souls for greater absorption of the good around and within us. All the stretching, pushing and pulling serve to prepare us for the inevitable soul transformation that occurs as we trust God and Life with our spiritual evolution – when we finally rest.

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