Archives for posts with tag: the power of choice

I’m sipping my coffee, before dawn, on a Spring morning. Well-past Winter, and headed for Summer, the morning is mild, and the patio door is open to the cool morning air. I haven’t written a word in days… unless a letter to my Mother, for Mother’s Day, counts. I suppose it does… but…

…I’ve spent lovely hours in the garden…

…I seem to have broken my writing habit. lol Yep. It’s entirely possible to break a habit, however long-standing, however well-favored, and even when that habit is relied upon, enjoyed, and cultivated until it becomes a plot point in one’s life, and an element of character. Still breakable.

Just stop doing it.

Stop a habitual behavior one time, and it has little impact. Stop it again, and it becomes a repeated behavior. Continue stopping it ( as in, don’t do it) and, over time, it becomes part of who you are that you don’t do this thing. We become what we practice, it is that simple.

This is a technique, a practice, that works. It works very well; practice something long enough and changes occur. Practice a desirable behavior. Practice something tedious. Practice something useful. Practice something foolish. We become what we practice.

I broke my writing habit by taking a day from writing, now and then, which grew to amused tolerance of not writing, even for a couple days, which slowly became a small kernel of doubt; do I even want to write? I took a vacation for a few days, to focus on Love, and found myself just… not writing. At all. Good times. Challenges. Adventure. Drama. Practice? Well, one thing I was not practicing? Writing. It’s been interesting to live life without it.

The last day or two I have tended to be somewhat irritable, and easily hurt. At that same time, there’s been something “a bit off” every now and then, between my Traveling Partner and I, in spite of how delightfully well we get along, and how much love exists in this relationship. It struck me as I fell asleep last night that, in some small way, my writing is not only part of who I am… it is part of who we are. When I don’t write, not only do I lose “my mirror”, and regular moment taken for self-reflection, and reinforcement of those practices that tend to make me more the woman I most want to be… it also removes a handy window into who I am, and how I’m doing, that my Traveling Partner is quite used to having available. I wonder if that’s something he counts on? I remind myself to ask, some other time.

This is not to say I sense any obligation among all these words; my choices are my own. I miss writing every day. There is a longing that exists alongside the tempting freedom from this habit of sitting down each morning, over my coffee, reflecting on my thoughts, my actions, my experience… and frankly the longing won. 🙂 That’s okay, too.

I listen to a little bird outside my window, and my neighbor’s car warming up in the driveway. I sip my coffee, and feel the cool morning air fill the house. I think of the happy happenstance of running into a former coworker (current friend) yesterday, that I hadn’t seen in a while. I exist in this vaguely merry pre-dawn state, drinking coffee. I love this “place”, this particular moment and state of being. How is it that even this habit is so easily broken? How is it so easily resumed?

We get to choose. 

Imagine the insane power our freedom of choice actually implies – and what it says, really, about who we each are (and who we are choosing to be). Raw power.

…And…yeah… it means that it matters who we each choose to be, and that who we are is a product of a great many choices we willfully make, each day. We can choose differently, and better, than we often do – and once we notice that? We sort of have an obligation to ourselves – to that person we most want to be – to step up, and walk a path we choose with care, and make those choices that make us more fully who we do want to be, until, over time, that’s who we actually are.

…So… There’s that. I check the time, and begin again. 🙂

Another lovely quiet morning follows a lovely quiet evening. I have feelings that fit figures of speech such as ‘I’m really on to something!’ or ‘I found it!’. I am aware that these feelings, like any feelings, are feelings – lacking substance or reality independent of my experience. I enjoy them without becoming invested in them, or building expectations that this sensation of comfort, contentment, and some not yet clearly defined feeling are permanent or lasting. No emotions are permanent or particularly lasting. Emotions come and go.  Our inner world is very fluid, very malleable, very changeable. Change is. For now, though, these are the feelings I am experiencing, and it is a pleasant quiet morning.

One moment, one flower - we each blossom in our own time.

One moment, one flower – we each blossom in our own time.

The title is not ‘finding my way’ this morning…because somehow that implies there may be only one such way of  my own, and I am coming to understand that while ‘my way’ is my own, and my journey is my own, and my choices are my own…there are so many options on a such vast menu of choices that this morning I feel less comfortable implying that any one way is the only one, mine or otherwise. I am my own cartographer, and I choose my steps, choose my path, choose my actions (and even choose what I think those choices may be).

This week I have had multiple opportunities to do what I can to be ‘supportive’ for friends suffering one or more of life’s hurts. (I am not very good at it, although I mean well.) People hurt. People suffer. Sometimes people even choose to do so. That’s hard for me to watch. I want to say ‘hey, choose differently…’, and sometimes I even do say something quite like that, but I know from my own suffering that it can be hard to hear messages of free will and choice and good self-care when we hurt. What is it about the suffering that can make it so difficult to turn away from it, when we suffer? It is undeniably true, in my own experience, that practicing mindfulness, meditation, and good self-care are often quite enough to ease my suffering, however much I am hurting. It is also equally true that knowing this is not enough to ensure that I reliably take advantage of that knowledge, myself. I see the challenge reflected back at me in the suffering of friends and those dear to me; they, too, find it difficult to turn away from suffering, and to choose good self-care, balance, perspective, and to take advantage of the tools in their emotional toolkit to sooth their own suffering through careful application of some verbs and choices (and many of them are not even a little bit ‘broken’).  Life’s curriculum, this week, is enhanced by case studies. We are each having our own experience… we are all in this together.

What is it that stops us from embracing all our choices, or from maintaining broad perspective, or from remembering that ‘this too shall pass’? I am still more about questions that answers.

There is value in considering the vastness of our potential, and our options.

There is value in considering the vastness of our potential, and our options.

Today is a good day to share without pushing, and to listen deeply. Today is a good day for affection, good-natured appreciation of the small things, and kindness. Today is a good day to be practical, and to be hopeful. Today is a good day to make good choices. Today is a good day to enjoy what matters most, and to invest deeply in what I love. Today is a good day to change a world.