What we choose not only influences us in the moment, but beyond it. How well or often do you practice the power of choice?
I was walking along on a beautiful morning, while my ego-mind was busy playing old tapes and imagining unpleasant future moments, when I noticed that I was allowing this yet again. Then I had this thought: If Jesus, Buddha, and Eckhart Tolle were my advisors, what would they say to me right now? I quieted my mind and listened for an answer, and got one: choose peace. I don’t know which one of them said it, but knew all three of them would have offered that as a good, if not the best, option.
For the remainder of my walk to meet with someone who I can sometimes not feel peaceful with, I silently said, “I choose peace.” Our time together was actually humorous because MY ego-mind would watch for stuff to happen to upset it. But I’d catch this happening and choose peace each time. This not only freed me during this time but the other person as well; nothing but an enjoyable visit took place. This also brought to my attention (and not for the first time, but with more punch) how big a role I play in less than peaceful interactions, and my influence anytime I approach anyone or anything with opposing thoughts emanating from me.
This experience caused me to add a morning meditation to what I already do, where I use the ancient creation sound of “Ah”, meaning I utter my statement and follow it with the ah-sound until I run out of air. It goes like this: I state aloud, “I choose peace.” Then I make the ah-sound, and while I do this, I think and feel “I choose peace,” instead of thinking about what comes next or what’s on my to-do list. I follow this with, “I choose the way of peace,” then do the ah-sound while thinking and feeling this. I found it easy to create a list of what I choose, what is truly important to me; and I offer some of my list later in this writing. I do this every morning. And though I don’t do the ah-sound, I periodically during the day repeat silently any choice statement that will serve me at particular moments.
The ego-mind believes more is always better. The consciousness we are knows there are times when less IS more. So, my ego-mind, as ego-minds will, decided this practice needed to be amplified by my changing “I choose” to “I have,” with the thought that, eventually, it would become “I am.” At one time I did believe this was the way to go, and others have also promoted this. However, when I tried it, I found I didn’t like how I or the experience felt. Why was this? Certainly (my ego-mind said) these other words have more umph, more command. However, it was my ego-mind that immediately argued with “I have” when I used it.
If ego-mind argued with “I have,” it would argue with “I am,” and that’s a good way to go nowhere fast; or as a German proverb advises, “What is the use of running when we are not on the right road?” And this ties in with what also occurred to me about another power advantage to “I choose”: Sometimes, we don’t feel at our best because of certain circumstances, even if it’s being not well-rested. That’s not the time to try to force an “I have,” much less an “I am.” But “I choose” helps us feel even a bit stronger, which is always a good thing. I, so far, don’t always have peace, etc.; but I can always choose these ways of being and shift into them. When we deliberately choose, we acknowledge what we already have, though may not use, and can then deliberately practice it, BE it. And, of course, the more we do this, the more it becomes our experience.
When this was all still very fresh for me, a friend had a most upsetting experience. She left before it could escalate and came to see me. While we talked, I told her about my “I choose peace” moment. Her expression changed. Her energy changed. When we spoke the next day and I asked how the situation was going, she said everything had calmed down and was not only better but improved. She said, “I did what you did. I chose peace.” Her choice had the power to shift her energy and shift the tumultuous situation without any action on her part, and shifted it in her absence; although, her later action involved communication, which she did from a place of peace rather than anger or distress.
In the words of Ernest Holmes, “The whole problem is not one of creation, but one of direction, and there is no direction unless there is first an embodiment.” This is also why the power of choice matters. Your ego-mind can argue with “I have” or “I am,” but it can’t argue with “I choose,” especially when you align your feeling essence with your choice. And as you do this practice each day, which takes very little time, you begin to feel and witness your choices strengthening you and at work in your life.
Here are some of my standard choices, though in my practice, I also include a few that directly relate to what I choose or need to do that day. The point is that you can include anything about you and how you influence any area of your life. Remember, the process is to first say “I choose” then “I choose the way of,” each followed by the ah-sound: I choose peace/I choose the way of peace, love, energy, focus, wisdom and understanding, conscious awareness, the power of presence in the now, efficient use of time, intelligence and clear thinking, creativity and productivity, lightness of being, joyfulness, appreciation. As you do this process every day, your choices imprint your physical and non-physical cells more and more. One note to keep in mind: if you create a statement and it feels off, trust that. Reword it until it feels right for you.
The shift within me as a result of this practice has felt so good that I prefer not to start my day until I do it. And if during the day I become aware that l feel something I prefer not to, I silently repeat whichever choices assist me at that time. Am I perfect in this? No, nor am I aiming at perfection in the practice or myself. I am aiming at a better process that allows me to be a better BEing. I am choosing to be persistent and consistent about it. Try this every day for one week and see what happens, see how you feel. Please allow what you feel and demonstrate at the inner level to have more significance, especially when you first begin to do this, than any outward demonstration of it, though, those are pretty nifty. It’s a good practice.
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
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Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru” and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com
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