No. 15 – Choice

No. 15 – Choice

Dear One,

I continue to hold an intention of sharing ways to grow from, and even because of, every day irritations to major difficulties.

Rising and learning from adversity involved more ‘Choice’ than I previously knew. 
Honestly, I wasn’t quite aware that “there are 2 primary Choices in life:  to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the Responsibility for changing them.” 
These words by author Denis Waitley now ring true for me.
Had you asked me some time ago if I had Choices when, at times, I could not walk nor talk, I would have – perhaps with irritation – said, Nope.

Years into a chronic illness path, the sage guidance I read and heard placed much value upon making wise, conscious Choices for beneficial outcomes yet it took some doing for me to actually believe this.

As I observed my Choices and their outcomes, it grew more apparent that Choices – in even the gravest times – were, at least in part, a possible path to my different, perhaps improved, situation.  

The more I mulled content from diverse and enlightening books on business, spirituality, or healing, an important aspect of traversing challenge seemed to consistently be about making discerning Choices.  
It showed up in Stoic philosophy explained in ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday, in the ‘Conversations with God’ series by Neale D. Walsch, and in ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill.

Perhaps this concept was a bit off-putting because it involves owning one’s Power and leaves little room for excuses.  Sigh.

Realizing that “you’re always Choosing every moment of the day” per Paul Selig in ‘The Book of Love and Creation’ felt rather intimidating and also empowering.  Maybe blaming chronic illness or complaining about failed treatments felt … easier.  
Sidestepping making more discerning Choices wasn’t bringing me to my wellness end game though.  

“To argue, to complain, or worse, to just give up, these are Choices.  Choices that, more often than not, do nothing to get us across the finish line…  To see an obstacle as a challenge, to make the best of it anyway, that is also a Choice – a Choice that is up to us” per Ryan Holiday in ‘The Obstacle is the Way’.

As I realized I did have Choices even if they were mini ones, I began focusing on what I could Choose.

Personal losses that had occurred, they were unchangeable.  My disappeared research business, that was down the pike.  A harmful alternative treatment, this was water under the bridge.

I leaned on prayer, reading, and Stoic philosophy’s teachings in ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ to make new Choices about:

my perspective, judgements, determination, decisions, creativity, attitude.

Little by little, I …

• took notice of what I thought about.  When I had muddy, circling thoughts which didn’t serve me, I kindly reminded myself, “I’m choosing differently,”

• played with framing my hard stuff as having helped me discover Humility, Patience, Persistence, and Process over Perfection,

• started purposefully daydreaming about what I longed for in my life (and, yes, this initially felt awkward and inauthentic alas I kept at it anyway),

• stopped polling others about their thoughts on what was ‘right’ for me,

• assessed risks and benefits and ‘took the risk’ more instead of letting fear run my show,

• instead of scrolling social media at length, I started Choosing to read books containing content which might shift me in new directions,

• before making a Choice, especially in more challenging situations, I’d PPWS – Pause, Pray/Meditate, Wait & Silence.  An alternate description of this was noted in Harvard Business Review’s article, ‘Slow Down to Make Better Decisions in a Crisis.’  Art Markman suggests that “to make better Choices, we need to slow down and access the deliberate reasoning part of our brain,” and/or

• in lieu of complaining about illness to dear ones, I Chose to Focus discussions on other meaningful topics.

Choosing more wisely was and is a practice and one which I continue to this day.
There are times my practice falters.  Cest la vie.  Mistakes are training for doing better in the future. 

When I realize a Choice is less than fab, I aim not to beat myself up, reflect on what might be an improved future Choice, and practice Choosing anew.  

In making conscious, constructive Choices, I am truly in awe of what is possible and what can unfold. For me.  For you.  For anyone.  

To listen to this 6 minute audio, feel free to click here.

With earnest belief in your ability to Choose … and rise into your Light,


Original Email Date:  July 26, 2020

Click to listen to audio podcast of above post