The Power of… CHOICE

Choices

Choices

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
– William Jennings Bryan

CHOICE. How are you choosing to live? Do you realize all of the choices you make every week, every day, every second? Do you ever truly think about the consequences?

When I was four years old my mom gave me The Little Me and THE GREAT ME, by Lou Austin which laid the groundwork for my spiritual development. With a bright yellow cover and joyful illustrations, this simple book explains that there are two wills in every person: one – the will of the human self (the Little Me), the other – the will of the divine self (THE GREAT ME). Between these two forces there is a continuous running battle. The good news is that we have the freedom to choose between the two. We can exhale the Little Me and inhale THE GREAT ME. How amazing is that! In a very approachable manner, the book teaches the power of choice, as well as the power of breath.

One of the greatest gifts given to us by our Creator is the ability to make choices. What you do for work, how you think, who you love, where you live, what you eat, how you vote, what you buy, how or whether you give back – these are all choices. You have the right to choose what you wish to experience. If you choose destructive behavior, you are likely to experience suffering. If you choose loving behavior, you are likely to experience joy. According to the Yoga Sutras: “Every action will leave its result; every cause will bear its effect – known as karma.”

This is the essence of empowerment – the recognition that you have choices, the courage to consciously make them, and the conviction to accept, enjoy and learn from the consequences. In this way, you are “owning” your choices moving from a victim mentality (“I have to…”) to a victor mentality (“I choose to…”). The reality is: you do not have to do anything. Everything you do is a choice. For example, you do not have to go to work. However, if you want to eat or have a roof over your head, you may want to earn an income. Similarly, you do not have to live in a tiny city apartment. You can choose to commute or select a different career so you can live in the country or by the beach. You can craft the life you want by the choices you make.

You even have a choice when things happen that are out of your control, such as you or your partner gets diagnosed with cancer, or you get laid off from your job. In that moment, you can choose how to respond – how to show up in the world. I love the story of Kris Carr who created the documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer. I met her in 2007 at the Urban Zen Initiative in New York. She is an amazing spirit and an exceptional example of the power of choice. In 2003, at 31 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer. Instead of falling victim (“woe is me”), she became determined to find answers for herself (“this is the real me!”). She chose life, turning a seemingly tragic situation into a spiritual journey, learning holistic healing techniques, choosing a positive view, and in the process, becoming an inspiration to many. Although the tumors are still in her body, she recently got married and is living her best life. That’s the power of choice and a true PWR Broker!

Sometimes making a choice doesn’t seem as easy as inhaling and exhaling, but it’s a start. When you’re facing a decision, pause and take a breath. Tune into your center. Get as much information as you can and then go with your gut. This process allows you to be fully Present to make conscious choices you can own with no regret. Think of the choices you’ve made in your life and recall the moments you wished you could choose again. Unfortunately, we do not get “do-overs.” However, divine has a way of providing endless opportunities for joy and growth if you are willing to open your eyes and fully participate. You have the ability to:

  • Choose love… instead of hate.
  • Choose faith… instead of fear.
  • Choose health… instead of dis-ease.
  • Choose praise… instead of gossip.
  • Choose empathy… instead of judgment.
  • Choose action… instead of procrastination.
  • Choose life… instead of a living death.

    Our everyday success is dependent upon making good choices, and aligning those choices with our personal vision. If you want to be healthy, choose whole foods. If you want positive relationships, choose to be loving. Start small, and remember that non-action is also a choice that may have long-lasting results.

    ACTION STEPS:

  • Take time to understand your life vision and core values. This will be your overarching guide to help you make values-driven decisions. Refer to the 40 Days to Power Living® if you need help.
  • Make note of your self-talk. Do a “thought audit.” Do you tell yourself you have to do various things? If so, work on shifting perspective. See the host of choices that surround you.
  • Move your body. If you just can’t keep still, really move to get your endorphins flowing. Changing your state of body can often help change your state of mind.
  • Develop a reflective practice. Take at least 5 minutes in the morning to set your intention for the day, and at least 5 minutes in the evening to review the day. This will help move you forward on your chosen path and build a habit of personal accountability, allowing you to self-correct if you’ve made not-so-good choices and congratulate yourself if you’ve made good choices.
  • Understand that commitment is a series of choices. If you’ve made a decision to do something and then lose focus, remember that you can choose again. Every day you have the chance to make a new choice!

    AFFIRMATION:

    Today, I make clear choices.

    If I do not like what I see, I make a different choice. The seeds of all possibility lie within me. I create my own universe – my own destiny. I do not allow others to put pressure on me to do things I do not want to do. I am in control. I am decisive and keep my mind focused on what I choose so I can get the most out of it.

    Today, I make clear choices.

    Listen Now:

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    Copyright Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy. Power Living® Column Vol. 1.03, originally published April 20, 2003; revised December 2008. Teresa Kennedy has written over 70 “The Power of…” columns that are a part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series and available for syndication. Call 212-901-6913 for more information.

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