I was doing a bit of blog hopping this morning looking for some inspiration out there in the blogosphere of my peeps. I ran across this lovely entry by my friend Emma over noticing summer arrive in all it’s complexity in English countryside. As I sit here in my idyllic setting here on the coast of California and watch the fog wrap me in its cool grayness and think of Emma on the other side of the world with the birds chirping and the dog barking I see how we all have those choices inside us at any point in time to live in a universe of light and love or to live in a universe of resistance and anger. I can resent the fog for blocking out the sun and the view and for making it so cold that I have to put on a long sleeve shirt and turn up the heat in mid June, or I can feel embraced by the fog and air-conditioned while the world on the other side of the coastal hills are baking in 90 degree heat, I can feel cozy and cuddle up in my blankee and sip my tea and feel alone in my world. These are choices I have in any given moment with my fog. It feels so simplistic to say that these are choices that I can make from moment to moment and yet even the feeling of it being simplistic is a choice that I am making on how this feels. I could also choose to look somewhere else in me and notice that my heart feels like it is smiling and loving the idea that there is this simple choice in front of me in any moment on how I want to respond to my world.
The key is to SEE the choice and to FEEL the choice before I make it. Most often in life I don’t notice the choice until I have already reacted, through the use of some habitual reaction, to the situation and I am behind any possibility of a choice. I am already in a full blown interpretation based on where that habitual reaction took me. I have trained myself to regard a foggy day as a depressing thing and so I fall into my reaction and then travel down that road and start gathering evidence from what it is that I, in fact, am creating. Unless I catch myself doing this I can end up spiraling down from reaction to reaction until something occurs that I have a positive habitual reaction to and then I start reacting my way back up that spiral. The problem is I am not choosing I am being pulled by habit and reaction. Truly being conscious means that I am in front of the place where I would usually react out of habit and see the choices in front of me and consciously and simply make the choice. And here’s the really cool thing, when it is a choice I can choose to have a foggy day be depressing and cold and find the value in that. It can lead to all sorts of discoveries about what depresses me and what emotions and stories are hanging around on that path, I can get to know me better and create a deeper intimacy with mySelf and open up my ability to be more powerfully vulnerable with my world, instead of sinking like a victim into the miasma of habitual reaction. When I am at choice and choosing most choices will take me to Rome. There are choices that are destructive to mySelf and to Life and those choices when they are choices have a big not sign over them and there is no reason to go there. When I am in reaction though I can end up on one of those destructive paths in a heartbeat and find myself beating myself up or tearing someone else a new one before I know what is happening. When I am in front of that choice though I feel the power in mySelf to choose another path.
So thanks Emma for the inspiration. Time to go do a couple of errands.