You Always Have A Choice

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The choices begin the minute you open your eyes in the morning. When to throw back the covers? What to wear? What’s breakfast? What will you choose to do with this day?

There are phases of our lives when it seems that we do not have a choice but indeed we always have a choice.

Stuck in a job with a nasty boss? in a job that no longer challenges and feels or is rewarding? a job that doesn’t pay enough?

Stuck in a relationship with someone who does not show respect for your time or your feelings? in a relationship you no longer trust is healthy for you?

Stuck in a rut of “overwhelm?” Your mind telling you, irregardless of reality, it is impossible to meet the deadline, impossible to break an addiction to the Internet, to alcohol, to your excuse of CHOICE.

Stuck in a situation that appears “beyond your control?” Even a literal prisoner has a choice.  Even a person born to a beginning of poverty has a choice.

In fact in many situations we may have as many as

FIVE CHOICES

for your consideration:  Choose!

  1. Remain a victim to the situation.  That is your choice.  You choose to stay in the job, stay in the relationship, stay in the mindset that you can do nothing.  You choose to be a victim.  Feel it.  What emotions come up?  Know many happy, carefree “victims?”  I know this sounds harsh, but even victims of mental and physical torture have a choice. They choose to not seek help. They choose to “give up,” or to “never give up.”
  2. Change your perspective.  Consciously view the situation differently.  What – is – the reality here? You have too much work to do in the time you now have left, okay,  you can choose,  keep plugging away, deliver the assignment late, live with the consequences and the lesson that you will feel much less stressed next time around, if you take the lesson from the situation and get some advice on time management.
  3. Change the situation.  Set a boundary with the person who is showing disrespect. Show up differently. From a place of balance and emotional control break the ineffective pattern and see what happens.
  4. Accept the situation.  That is a choice.  It is your choice to accept that you are stuck, stuck, stuck and that you are choosing to accept the toxic boss exactly as she or he is, accept that you are not going to succeed in completing work you said you wanted to do, accept that you are living in the paralysis of an addict. Tough choice.  Own that you are choosing it!
  5. Leave it.  Yes, escape.  Brainstorm, wrestle with every angle of the situation and make a choice to consciously take even the smallest action to leave the negative mindset, to find a more uplifting job, to distance yourself from the person who thinks you exist to bully or demean or blame.

History has taught us that even prisoners of war have, as they were able – made choices: to distract their minds from the brutality of their existence, to not give up on the possibility of a change, of freedom, of a better life.

What is the reality of your situation?  At some point in our lives all of us have been “victims” of something or someone we could not control.

And then we had a choice.

 

 

 

 

What the *!~><!

TheUnexpected7.26.16The unexpected.  It happens.  It takes you by surprise.  You are in momentary shock and your inner voice can only come up with something useless to say, under the unimagined circumstances.

What was your “unexpected?”

A failed test?

It’s your first day at the new job – and the new job is not exactly what you had in mind?  You’re supposed to do that?  Know what?  Stay how late?

Your roommate wants out of the lease?

A few weekends ago my “unexpected” came in the form of a boulder face.  A carefree family hike to the summit of Mt. Washington, the highest peak east of the Mississippi….. I have stamina.  I am pretty darn fit, but, uh, I thought we were hiking, you know, walking with hiking boots, to the top.  On the Ammonoosac Trail that meant “scrambling.”  Translation: hand-to-hand climbing rock-to-rock.  Okay, no ropes were required, but this hike that I was now into mile two or three of had “unexpectedly” turned into a more emotionally challenging ascent than I had imagined from the comfort of my air-conditioned New York City apartment!

How we handle the “unexpected” is what makes the difference:

between failure and success,

between not graduating and graduating,

between giving up and adding to a skill set,

between paralyzed inaction and problem-solving,

between walling off, giving into fear and doubt; and remaining curious –

hand-by-hand, step-by-step continuing on the trail.

How do you handle the unexpected in your life?  Consciously? With curiosity and self-awareness?

The “unexpected” – it will present itself.

The choice is ours: Wrestle with emotion. Sleepwalk. Retreat.

Or, observe.  Hear, see the lesson.

Rock on!

How Much Pain Will It Take?

How Much Pain Will It Take?

“In spite of warnings, nothing much happens until the status quo becomes more painful than change.”

                                                                                 ~ L.J. Peter

 Why are we so resistant to change?  Change challenges us to think in fresh ways.  Change challenges us to revisit past patterns – to break those patterns.

To stop the treadmill and walk out of sync for a while.

We must evolve from where we were to where we are going to be.  And it is not always clear where the there  – is.

Facing the unknown churns up emotions: fear of the unfamiliar, anger at discomfort.  What is going on?  What should I do?  Why is this happening?

How is your status quo?

Are you at ease, feeling fulfilled and creatively challenged at work?

Is your financial house in order?  Bills paid on time? Debt-free?

Making enough to be self-sustainable?

How do you feel? Are you tired? Energized? Clear-headed? Focused?  What do you make of the human shape you see in the mirror?  Does it show a thriving human specimen?

How is that human being interacting with family? with work colleagues?

Are your relationships loving and supportive?

Are you lonely? Isolated?

Pain.  Do you recognize it?  Are you curing and conquering it?  Or, numbing it with paralyzing distractions and excesses:

fantasy games and novels and television

vicariously “living” through Facebook

wandering the mall or the Internet

eating and drinking with no awareness of hunger or thirst

sleeping and sleeping some more, rationalizing your life away…

blaming others for your paralysis, your lack of motivation

Put pain to work in your life.  It is there to draw your attention to a dis-ease in your life that requires you to CHANGE, to show up differently, to go boldly down a different path.

Move past the pain and feel the joy of returning to the leading hero that is YOU.