Choice Making

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So…choices…we have the ability to make them.  Some make good choices and some not so good choices.  With every choice we make there is a consequence to the choice.  Good,bad, indifferent or nothing, are all potential outcomes of every choice we make,every moment, of every day.  That sounds like a lot of choice making in one day and perhaps you may feel like there’s noway you’ll be able to make that many choices. Relax; we make choices in moments we don’t even think are choice making moments.  For instance, our parents chose to teach us morning hygiene routines. They could just have easily showed us nothing and hoped that we would eventually get out of bed, go to the bathroom, brush our teeth, wash our faces,get dressed, and get ready for the day. For some of you that may include eating breakfast, drinking coffee,reading a newspaper or simply just putting on your coat and going to work.  Because this choice was repeated everyday for years, it has become a routine, therefore you don’t think about making a choice when your alarm goes off (unless it’s Saturday or Sunday).  And yes, there are those days when you could think, ‘Do I really want to get up today?’ And then there would be a choice to make.  I am fascinated by the choice making decisions we make when we become conscience of the ability to make a choice.   It’s in those moments that we become co-creators in the outcomes of those choices with the Universe.

Making feel-good choices versus feel-rotten choices takes practice, but the more you become aware the easier it becomes.  I would guess that most of us make the feel-rotten choices most of the time. Misery does love company.  I have been practicing making feel-good choices what seams like forever, but really has only been about 5 years.  I’ve readDr. Dwyer’s and Eckard Tolle’s books in which they discuss the topic of being in the moment, fully aware.  Today was a grand example of being fully present in every moment and choosing feel-good choices versus feel-rotten choices and their consequences.  Sitting here attempting to put my experience into words, I realize that this discussion may bring up a many topics for and against choice making.  It is not my intention to persuade you into making similar choices as I have made or to give anyone the sense that they aren’t making the right choices for themselves. This is simply my outcome of the choice to be aware in the events that I experienced today.  I am sharing this experience in the hopes that I may spark something within you that pushes you to becoming aware of your choices and the subsequent consequences in your moments.

This morning, I was running a tad behind schedule.  I wanted to wear a sweater that myGrandmother knit, but I was having a difficult time choosing a color turtleneck to go under it.  When I finally chose the color I liked and attempted to finish my morning routine, I was driving to school and realized I wasn’t in the ‘safe’ time zone to get to work without delay.  I would now have to contend with traffic, traffic lights and bus routes.  Taking that initial breathe to remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m suppose to be at this moment, because of the choice I made not to like the first colored shirt I pulled out, I let go of the feelings of ‘late’. It didn’t matter that I missed the green light and had to wait for the next one.  I was truly okay sitting and waiting.  Then I came upon the first bus stop route. There in front of me were the blinking red lights and extended stop sign.  Breathe, was my mantra, it will all work out.  I chose to enjoy my coffee, which made me think that I needed more creamer for the week and I planned my afternoon to stop and pick up more. Following the bus to the next stop, blinking lights, extended stop sign,wait…but wait, no children!!!!  This was a high school stop with typically 4-5 students waiting for the bus…NONE!  The bus driver didn’t even wait, within 60seconds, the extended stop sign pulled in and the blinking lights went out.  WOW, I think, thank you students for not going to school today!  I knew I would be able to make up some lost time on my travels when the bus takes its next right turn…sure enough, the bus turned right and so did the three cars in front of me.  I could have just as easily chosen to panic and worry and become irritated that I wasn’t in the ‘safe’ time-zone when I left, but I chose to accept it and here was the consequence of my acceptance – I was now free to travel the road at 45 miles per hour instead of35 miles per hour. (shh, don’t tell the local police…LOL)

Looking at the clock later, I was back on track, I made it to school without a hitch.  Pulled into the parking lot and WHAT? Someone was parked in the space behind my parking spot. (It’s not really mine per say, its just the one I always park in, have always parked in.  Not too close so I get those extra steps in for health; not to far that I’m sweating before the day begins; just right for me) Our lot is set up like stadium parking, so you can pulled through to the first space so no one has to back up, nor do you have to park head-to-head, which would then require backing out of the space to go home.  Now mind you, it’s 7:30ish in the morning so there are numerous parking spots open surrounding this person’s already parked car.  I could have made the choice to back into my spot but he was literally over the space line a good foot with the front end of his car. So I just pulled forward into the fourth space and took a breath and made the choice, it was all okay, it’s just a space.  I was prepared that my day could in fact be full of changeable moments, but I was going to actively be aware of every moment and chose to handle them with feel-good choices.  The person was still in the car when I parked and got out at the same time I did.  We walked together into the school and I realized that I needed to let him in the building because he didn’t have his electronic device with him to open the door.  And yes, I chose to be kind and polite to this person that attempted to throw a monkey wrench into my day.  (He wouldn’t have even understood what he did.)  My morning went off without any incident, I was able to prepare for the day and didn’t feel rushed.

I am part of a Team that meets every Wednesday to which I happen to sit in the same seat every time. This first meeting I was in my seat, not agreeing with the outcome of the meeting but making choices to stay calm and keep my voice even.  I made the choice to continue rehashing my point of the meeting long after the meeting, which was a feel-rotten choice becauseI was becoming agitated.  The consequence of this choice was at the second meeting, someone was sitting in my seat…clearly, my ‘stuff’ was in that seat, but as the Universe happens, this person was sitting there anyway.  I immediately realized I could chose to continue being agitated, now for a new issue, or simply, breathe, and chose to sit in a different seat and be happy about it.  And that’s what I did.  I went about the rest of the morning meetings without incident.  Walking into my last meeting of the day, my seat was once again taken by someone else.  I didn’t even flinch in my choice to sit in a different seat.  The seat I chose was a cushioned seat, and I was okay with it. I had to make small adjustments for my ‘stuff’ in this different location, but I was doing well.  Leave it up to the chairman of this meeting to point out that my seat was taken and sarcastically ask how long it would take until I said something…to which I laughed and proudly announced that I was prepared since this morning that change would be occurring around me today because of my parking space being taken.  Everyone gave their quick thoughts on their own personal ‘space’ and how it does and does not affect them.  One person asked me why I didn’t ask the person in the car to just move forward. Again, that could have been a choice to make, but for me, the consequence would have been me feeling pushy or entitled, I’m mean really,there were 15+ open spaces in the parking lot, to have made them move up would have been close to obsessive compulsive for me and I didn’t even go there. My only choices at that moment were A) park somewhere else and be okay with it; orB) park somewhere else and be agitated by it; or C) back-up into the space and have my front end sticking out because they were over the line and then being agitated or worried my front end would be hit because it stuck out (choice (C)was close to obsessive-compulsive as well, I wasn’t going there)

I’m SO happy I made feel-good choices today and that the consequences to those choices were even keeled and pleasant.  Even after I chose to complain about the first meeting outcome and having to be reminded of making choices in the second meeting by having my seat taken, was actually comical to me.  I enjoy catching myself in the moment and truly looking at the choices I could make. Making feel-good choices is becoming easier for me every day and I’m blessed that I chose to keep practicing.

I’m not sure I could have made this story any shorter without getting my message across, so thanks for reading and I hope this has sparked your interest in becoming aware of your choices and being present in every moment.  Feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more or just want to talk more.  Also leave your own choice making experiences if you’d like.  ‘We are all in this together, this wonderful thing called life.’ Namaste!

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