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Appreciating the Gray

A few years ago, I came across an interesting fact about the human eye that has become one of the most influential teachings in my life to remove judgement from my mind. It came up again the other day, and it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to remind each of us about personal perception and how to live a life beyond the simple constructs of black and white.

Here is the interesting fact: "The human eye can see over 500 shades of gray."

So, this got me thinking...If the human eye can see 500 shades of gray, why does it seem like the human mind can only see black and white? Why is it so difficult to accept diversity? Why are we so judgemental about the black and white constructs of societal rules of behavior and ways of thinking? Why can't we see "gray" when it comes to other people's ways of living and belief systems?

After reflecting on the above questions for while, I directed the reflection toward myself. With a history of being a perfectionist, this investigation really spoke to me. I asked myself, "Do I see 500 shades of gray when I reflect on my own self-perception? Do I see gray when exploring my own belief systems? Do I see gray when I am viewing my body, my spiritual progress, or my own fears?

The universe is filled with diversity. When you study a forest, you see a variety of cells, a variety of organisms, a variety of species. No two trees are alike. No two flowers are alike. Yet, with an uncontrolled and untamed mind, we are bound to view only black and white.

However, when we dive into the sacred space of the heart, when we open up to our inner cave of love, our vision is expanded. Colors of gray begin to reveal their beauty and their depth. When we view shades of gray from the heart, we begin to see it is a natural quality of the Divine. We feel more free to be who we are and simultaneously allow others to be free to be who they are. When we open our eyes to the shades of gray, we are opening ourselves to the wonder of diversity and to the magic of uniqueness.

Begin today to breathe in the diversity of life that reflects a magnificent rainbow of gray. Begin to view variety as unity in diversity. May we all step out of black and white and enter the majestic nature of gray. AHO!


Use the stunning photo above as a visual meditation to open your eyes to how many varieties of gray your eyes can perceive. What do you experience when looking into the beauty of nature in shades of gray? Do you see yourself in gray or black and white? Do you see your friends and family in gray, or judge them from the boundaries of black and white? What can I do to expand my "gray" spectrum of how I perceive life?

Remember, the photo above is a visual offering for you to sit with yourself, dive into the mountain landscape, and breathe in all the shades of gray. Then apply that to your life.


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