by Olivia Ferrari, masseuse, meditation and yoga teacher
Who you are today is the sum total of your choices. As Jean-Paul Sartre said, “we are our choices” those that you made, those that were made for you, your response and your perspective on the experience. Sometimes in certain situations we feel “choiceless” but that too is a choice. It is your perception on each experience that you can choose.
Change your perspective
Roy T Bennett wrote in The Light in the Heart, “You cannot control the behaviour of others, but you can always choose how you respond to it.” When we allow the feedback from each choice to amount to our learning no matter the outcome, we take power out of trying to make the “right” decision. It does not matter if you make the “right” or “wrong” decision if you always allow yourself to learn from each experience. One hack to having favourable perspectives is gratitude journaling. Focusing on the positive encourages our mind to view more of our experiences as positive. Difficult choices often leave us in a position where we can feel stuck between two opposing outcomes. Next time you are faced with a difficult decision choose to change your perspective on the decision rather than the situation itself. The best choice is often the one that is more uncomfortable in the short term. Such times as when tough love is appropriate… or admitting the truth to ourselves, and saying ‘no’. A second technique I have recently been using is the following:
1. Start by visualising taps in the bottom of your feet
2. Imagine the challenging situation
3. Now open the taps, in your mind’s eye, allowing the water of your body to drain out of your feet, via the taps, taking with it all of the uncomfortable feelings this situation brings
4. Repeat if you need to until all feelings have gone and you feel present
Can you now go back to the situation and see it from a slightly removed place?
Check in with your future best you
Ask yourself: What would the future best version of yourself choose? There is no better time than now to say no to anything and everything that does not align with the future best version of you, because if it doesn’t work for you then, then why would it be good for you now?
The chances that you were born on this earth are similar to one in one squillion. “One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself” (Shannon L. Alder). It is therefore of life-changing importance to be empowered by your choice and choose what is divinely right for you. There is no one that truly can understand what is right for you, and we cannot expect them to. You are the only person like you and the only person that will ever be you. In light of the above, our time here is so precious so be choosy where you spend your energy.
As infants in the care of our parents so many choices were made for us but now as adults, in the sweet spot before we may need care again as the elderly, we have the greatest power to make our own choices. What a fantastic time to be alive. Intuition can be a great tool for guidance in choice making. Intuition is this fabulous mechanism of the unconscious brain using pattern recognition to keep us safe. We experience something and our subconscious stores memory of the experience so that when faced with something similar; our brain rifles through our memories to find a pattern in order to make sense of it and guide us to make the safest choice.
All that you experience is a sum of your choices and so you, being the driver of this life, can choose how you next behave (and perhaps mould your intuition). In this very moment you have an opportunity to make one choice towards a smiling you. What will it take for you to smile in this moment? I personally have a list of choices I know I can make that lead me to the happiest version of myself: time in nature, exercise in the morning, no/low sugar foods and no caffeine. It’s a hack that works really well for me…tried and tested! When learning about your own decision-making process and becoming more conscious about the power you have over it, having a list of great go-to activities for yourself could be useful too.
Simply start by asking: what can I choose for me today? I fully support you living a choosy life. For this precious time you have been gifted on this earth you can be as choosy as you want and need to be. I hope this article helps to empower you and your decision making process – either way reach out and let me know your thoughts! I always love hearing from you all.