I have been reflecting upon questions of power, consciousness and choice.
Caroline Myss (one of my favorite teachers, despite her judgmental style) often talks about how our choices are our fundamental power.
As I was preparing for my talk on Conscious Commitments last Sunday, I found myself thinking more deeply about the choices I’ve made in my own life.
I realized that the choices that have mattered the most in my life have been the tiny, private, seemingly inconsequential ones that are easily unnoticed by others.
The internal choices.
The choices about who I want to be in the world.
The choices about what I want my life to serve.
So, this week, I wanted to share a few foundational choices of mine that I come back to time and again. Maybe one of them will inspire you, or at least springboard you into a more conscious reflection on the choices that are instrumental in your own lives.
Here are mine:
1. The choice to live a life of integrity, committing to my search for truth.
This one is about continually asking myself: Am I walking my talk?
Am I open to feedback from others? Do I care about the impact I have on those around me? Will I consciously take back all the projections that I unconsciously place on others?
I practice not compromising or betraying myself. I decide not to hold another person captive, or use another person, just because it serves me I develop a relationship with truth and work on courageously knowing whatever I am reluctant to face.
2. The choice to not pass on my suffering, only my wisdom.
Here, I ask myself: What do I want to pass on to others?
When hard things happen in my life, I practice surrendering to mystery and then focus on deciding who will I be in the face of pain or injustice?
I decide not to be defeated by suffering, but instead find ways to turn pain and strive into a source of wisdom and empowerment.
3. The choice to take risks and stay humble.
Everything can be used for expansion, growth and learning. Each experience can be a stepping stone into recognizing that I am just human, like everyone else. I decide not to live a life ruled by my fear and so I don’t always take the safe path. Instead, I choose to be driven by my desires and my soul’s longings.
4. Choosing new words
I try to reduce words that evoke blame, shame, deserve and entitled concepts and energies. I change should to could. I change but to and. I change “you must” to “would you.” I choose words that feel peaceful. Gentle. Tender. Connecting.
Caroline Myss once asked in one of her lectures: If there was one word you will never use again, what would that word be? What is the impact of getting rid of one word? What happens to your universe when you imagine getting rid of a single word?
I offer you these same questions: the answers had a profound impact on my own life.
5. The choice to shape life with grace, gratitude and beauty.
I try to keep my heart soft and open, no matter what. I decide to walk through my days – as much as I am able – with an open, present and grateful heart. I look for beauty and goodness in all things. You don’t even need to look that hard: beauty and grace are surprisingly easy to find. Try it.
And to close, I offer you this quote by Harold Becker:
“Love and peace are qualities we cultivate through the choices we make.
It is up to each of us to make this choice of our own accord and equally our opportunity to share this energy from within. No one can do it for us.
So if you wish to see how much love and peace is growing on the planet… be that love and peace and you will begin to notice it all around you.
In fact, you will become a part of the very process itself and others will come to know you for this energy in action. Peace is not a static state as many may think.
In reality it is a very dynamic energy that moves in where strife and chaos attempt to control and tempers these situations so that all can be balanced naturally. Love is the same way.
When we choose to love unconditionally, we bring the highest potential into every situation and heal generations of conflict… simply by letting go and loving all involved, including ourselves.”
Harold W. Becker