You get to Choose
So many choices
As I continue on my journey to a life of purpose and happiness I have come to realize how much of how I feel, how I experience life is all about choices that I make.
Many choices are conscious and deliberate, while others are unconscious or from simply not choosing with deliberation.
I have learned that if I wish to be happy, then I can make an intention and a choice to be happy. It's certainly not as simple as my saying "I want to be happy" and voila`, happiness ensues! Rather there is a process of deciding to be happy then finding ways in which to create that which will bring you joy and peace.
I want to help you to create whatever it is that you wish for in your life. By choosing to move in any direction you have begun a journey.
Setting an Intention
I am fairly new to this concept of setting an intention. What this means to me is making a decision to do or feel something and then acting on it.
For me, I will set an intention before I retire to sleep for the night as to what I would like my following day to look like. For instance, last night I set the intention that today I was going to write an article (though I had no idea yet as to what it would be about) and that I wanted to do Yoga and make a batch of Body Butter.
When I awoke today I had a very clear set of goals to focus on which helps propel me out of bed and have a sense of direction to my day.
Not long ago I was not practicing this, and often I would wake up and just lie there thinking and pondering the day ahead. Yes, it works to wake up and set your intention before you rise. But, I have found that I sleep better and am able to be more productive and get closer to realizing my goals when I place the intention before sleep.
I think that this process let's the intention "set" so to speak. We can actually be creating during our sleep that which we want to work on the following day.
Then, there is setting an intention of how you choose to react to life's blips and bumps along the way. You can not make any choice at all, which in itself is choosing...and this leaves you wide open to falling into negative feelings and emotions. Or, you can set the intention to choose to react with an open mind and an open heart and to take time to reflect before you react.
The choice you make will have a direct affect on the way you feel and how you react to others. And that can make a powerful difference in the depth and enjoyment in your relationship with others.
Like attracts like
Another choice that we all face multiple times a day is that of how we react to people and situations.
Every day we are faced with situations where we can react in anger, or in understanding. We can fly off the handle and get upset with somebody or we can take a deep breath and think before we speak.
Do you ever find yourself embroiled in anger that is just roiling inside and feels toxic? Have you wished at times that you could not experience this powerful, challenging emotion and instead feel more peace?
If this is you, I assure you that you have the power within yourself to feel more peace and more happiness. It comes from making the choice about how you react to confrontations or other unpleasant occurrences.
Of course you are a human being, and as a human being you will experience the full gamut of emotions including anger, rage, jealousy, envy and more. But, you also have the capacity to experience love, joy, forgiveness, peace and acceptance. Tolerance is not something we are born with, but something that we learn and cultivate. To be tolerant is to accept that we are all very different and as such we often have to make concessions about how another person might behave, look or speak.
But the choice is always with you! You get to decide how you experience others and how you react to them. Do you wish to feel less reactive and more tolerant of people? There are ways in which to achieve this.
For instance, you are having lunch with an old friend that you haven't seen in a while. Your friend says to you "Gee, you sure look tired. Are you feeling OK?". Now you have the choice to believe that your friend is merely being solicitous and curious. Or you can feel defensive and suspect that your friend is being critical of your appearance. The proverbial ball is in your court. How do you wish to respond?
I confess that I can be defensive and it does not serve me well at all. In the past, a remark like this might have set me off on a tangent of defensive statements. I might start rattling off how tired I am from my hectic, busy life and start justifying why I am looking as I do.
But, it feels so much better to stop and think for a minute. I consider that my friend cares about me and is surely not being critical. I can choose to believe that they have my best interest at heart, or I can choose to come from a defensive stance and believe that they are being critical or judgmental of me.
By choosing the latter, I will sit quietly for a moment and ponder the question and then consider that my friend cares about me. My response will then be more positive and a rift with the friend will be averted. Even if the friend really was getting in a dig at my expense, by choosing to believe her intentions were honorable I have preserved the bonds of our friendship.
What we focus on with intention we manifest
It is said that our thoughts create our reality and I have come to see the truth of this statement.
If one focuses on their lack, they will likely experience more lack. By putting thoughts into this negative perspective it creates more negative energy.
But what if instead you focused on your abundance? You may argue, "But I am lacking money and I don't have a house, and I worry about what I'm going to do in the future". All of those feelings are valid and true. But, you can't achieve abundance and prosperity by focusing on your lack of the same. It just doesn't work that way; what we focus on we manifest!
Try though instead to focus on what you DO have instead. Tell yourself "I am grateful because I have a place to live and enough food to eat" instead of "I hate my house and wish I could move and I wish I had more money for better food". Do you see the difference here? Both statements are true, but the first statement puts gratitude into the mix and it calls on appreciation of what is and not disappointment and fear over what is not.
I truly believe and have experienced an enormous shift in my life by focusing on the positive and reframing anything negative. Instead of thinking "I sure wish I had a different life, or more money" I can think instead "I am so happy to have the opportunity to create more abundance in my life by appreciating that which I already have.
This is a subtle difference, but a very powerful difference! You can create abundance for yourself by being grateful for what you already have.
For me, it feels so much better to be in a state of hopeful appreciation than in one of fear. To dwell in fear, anxiety, regret or anger is a recipe to invite more of the same. But to dwell on love, light, joy and abundance you are going to draw more of that into your life.
You must simply make the choice to either see things in a positive, hopeful frame of mind or not. It can really be that simple!
If you choose happiness, then it is yours for the asking. But, that doesn't mean to simply decide you wish to be happy and it happens.
I believe anything worth having is also worth the effort it takes to have it. It takes time, effort and repeated practice to change your perspective from one of lack to one of abundance. By choosing to be happy you have chosen to make changes in order to create this shift.
One change you can make is to become observant of your thoughts and statements. Especially any self talk that you engage in. Instead of bashing yourself with comments like "you are stupid or fat, lazy, ugly...." You can choose instead to speak lovingly to yourself. This doesn't happen overnight; I know from experience. It take a consistent effort to stop yourself when the mean words start pouring out and redirect them! If you look in the mirror and think "I look awful" instead of saying this aloud, instead speak lovingly that you look beautiful. You don't have to believe it, but your mind and spirit will hear it and start to believe it first. This may take practice many times a day for days, weeks, months; even years! But you choose to start the process and allow it to take form over time.
The next time you are out with a friend; particularly one who can be challenging to your sense of self you can choose before you even get together that you are going to be open minded and not defensive. You can set the intention before hand and will likely not find yourself as triggered if they should say something that feels critical to you.
Every day, and every night before you go to sleep you can take a moment to consider how you want to feel. Then you go about creating that reality for yourself. If you want to feel at peace and happy then you choose to do the things that will bring you to this state.
While there is work involved in rewiring our thinking and opening our hearts, it is work well worth doing. There are huge rewards to be had in simply choosing how you want your life to be.
What will you Choose?