Freedom of choice is our birthright. In every moment we have an entire palette of choices available to us.
Why is it then, that we so often make choices that don’t serve us? Why do we seem to repeat choices that we know from experience, are not in our best interest?
Some of us continue to eat fatty foods, drink too much coffee, and consume too much alcohol; smoke and experiment with drugs—even when we know, all too well, the inherent dangers in those things.
And what’s even more puzzling, is we continue to be stressed and bothered by things that in our wiser moments, we know to be beyond our control.
We seem stuck in habitual behaviour that doesn’t contribute to our sense of well being.
We now know, thanks to such brilliant insights as those of Syd Banks, Ekhart Tolle and Byron Katie, that behind all behaviour is a thought—and behind all destructive or maladaptive behaviour, is an insecure thought.
We have, in our innocence, developed some thinking about the world and our place in it that has become habitual.
Some of these ideas we acquired from our childhood, from family of origin, teachers, peers etc. Some we have picked up from the media and from the culture in which we live.
It really doesn’t matter where these thoughts came from. The important thing is, we begin to be aware of them.
Only as we let go of habitual thought, or of our personal way of seeing the world, are we able to see the possibilities or the choices in every moment.
As the awareness of our feelings increase, we will be led to the thinking behind the feeling.
For instance, if we are attending a social function and we’re feeling anxious, we can be sure there’s some old thinking about self judgment behind it.
We’ve slipped into some old insecure thoughts, about how we look, what people will think, what we should say.
Our imagination is at work, playing a very old tape, and we are taking it very seriously.
The moment we recognize that this is simply a thought that we are taking personally, our minds will clear. Our thinking will slow down and our innate sense of well being will rise to the surface.
There’s probably no time of year when our insecure thoughts and habits are more likely to surface than at Christmas.
It’s a time when all of our normal behaviour is escalated—Whether it’s our habit to over eat, to drink too much, to feel anxious about shopping and worried about spending too much.
Whatever our thinking is, this is the time when it’s more important than ever to slow down. It’s the time to step back from our habitual thinking and see it for what it is—just an idea that we picked-up long ago.
All of nature slows down and is quiet at this time of year. For some reason, however, in our culture we have chosen this Holiday time to accelerate almost out of control.
What a perfect opportunity to exercise this wonderful gift of choice we all have.
Instead of the “traditional” frenzy, which has become synonymous with Christmas, why not stop every time you feel urgent or flustered—and see that behind it is an urgent or flustered thought.
Out of our innate wisdom and common sense we can recognize the power of choice within the human experience.
We’re then free to live in the moment—in a naturally responsive state of well being. This is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and the people we love.
I wish you all, a Holiday season filled with possibilities and overflowing with gratitude for this wonderful gift of choice.