There is so much free will in life. There are so many choices! I like that about the experience of living. Similarly, I am sometimes frustrated by the limits I place on myself, often without recognizing that I have also chosen those.

Even when we are awake, aware, and observing the world through a beginner's eyes, we choose much of what we see.

Even when we are awake, aware, and observing the world through a beginner’s eyes, we choose much of what we see.

Mondays get a bit of bad press. This morning I’m choosing a different Monday. (Because I can, that’s why. lol) This particular Monday is one that I will use to make choices, eyes open, willfully, in favor of things I enjoy. Today, simply, I am choosing joy, choosing delight, choosing pleasantness, choosing small things that put big smiles on my face. Will it be time in the garden after work? Will it be pen & ink sketches on my lunch time walk, or photographs of spring flowers? Perhaps I may choose to create small figures from colorful modeling clay to create a tiny world at the foot of my wee ornamental pistachio tree? I could choose to create order from chaos with mindful service to home and hearth; a wonderful way to put practices to good use on a number of levels. I could read a great book I love – or a book I know nothing about, but comes highly recommended by someone who matters. I could wrap up a productive work day over dinner with a friend, or in meditation. I could share a movie night with family, or enjoy a long walk.

Choosing my path with care seems worthy as choices go...

Choosing my path with care seems worthy as choices go…

What I’m saying is that I choose a lot of my experience, and it begins with a pretty vast menu of options. I filter those options – we all do – down to some much shorter list of things that in that moment seem most probable, most ‘do-able’, then peculiarly I sometimes find myself left with the illusion that this much shorter list is actually the whole of it – ‘all’ my choices. It isn’t. There are so many more choices than I generally lay before myself for consideration in any one moment.  This is not an uncommon experience, I see it in others – most often that scenario that begins with distress that ‘there’s no other choice’ or ‘nothing else I can do’. My reaction is often one of commencing to throw other options into the mix for consideration – behaving as if that person is unaware of the vastness of their unlimited options. It’s not helpful; people know they have more choices. They have excluded many of them, by choice. I am learning to take a new approach – even within myself – in the face of ‘I have no other choice’; I am finding value in asking to what purpose the choices have been limited thus, rather than offering more choices. Sometimes it isn’t at all that ‘I have no other choice’ – it is more likely that I have made the choice, and am not content with either the choice itself, or the anticipated outcome. It is an interesting exercise in perspective to make a point of changing what I anticipate the outcome of an uncomfortable choice to be, and reconsider it – it has the power to change what I think about the choice, and has often proven as likely to be a valid possible outcome, in practice. My ‘outcome predictor’ is quite broken; I anticipate catastrophe far more often than I anticipate profound success. I am regularly wrong, in both cases.

It feels very different lately to make more of my choices based less on some predicted outcome, and more on what the experience itself feels like for me – and to choose more frequently from the list of ‘Things I Enjoy Greatly’ rather than from the list of ‘Things I Must Do Or There Will Be Consequences’, or worse, the very short list of ‘I Have No Other Choice’ (a list most of us have, I suppose, and it seems dreadfully short on options, and usually made up of unpleasant ones).

Today is a good day to do things I enjoy, because I enjoy them. Today is a good day to do things that must be done – and to choose to do them, also, in a way that I enjoy. Today is a good day to choose well, and to choose wisely, and to keep myself high on my list of priorities. Today is a good day to explore The Art of Being, by being – artfully, joyfully, and fully embracing the best of who I am, from my own perspective. Today is a good day to take the time to enjoy my experience.