I’ve learned a really difficult lesson this year. Among many tough realizations, I’ve learned that choices are healthy.
Having many options to choose from, reviewing them, making a commitment to a choice and sticking to it. It’s all part of a very intentional process. It’s a process that fosters awareness and cultivates mindfulness.
I’m someone who likes to learn a LOT, do a LOT, be everywhere, travel to new places, master skills right away… and of course, this isn’t possible simultaneously. Most people need to work at refining their skills, as do I. Most people learn over time and practice. I’m no exception. I often wish I could just *know* something already.
Can’t I just, hold this guide book against my forehead and absorb it?
We can travel many places, but not all at once. We can only be in one place at a time. I think that this “buffer” between our minds and our immediate realities is healthy. It often protects us from wasting time and energy doing things we’d truly regret or it helps us avoid doing something that would keep us from doing something we’d love more. I suppose, this could also be linked to “manifesting”. This teaches me patience and not to “rush” life, because here and now is what I’ve got..
Probably that one of the best examples where I have difficulty choosing in my life is in my relationship with books. I love them! I want to read them all! I want to know the stories of the world! I am easily distracted when it comes to which books to read, because each book is a story that is fascinating and full of adventure, hope and opportunity. I have a reading problem… I read many, many books at once. Although, in itself, this isn’t a problem, what is an issue is that if I start a novel or a non-fiction book, I need to make it to the end. I need to consciously choose to make that my “main” read at one time. Otherwise, I’ll never finish it.
My friends have this running joke that I’ll never finish reading Le Parfum, by Patrick Suskind. It’s true! At this point, I’ve given up. I just don’t like it enough. I’m choosing to commit to other books that are either more my idea of “light reading” or more my idea of “inspirational reading”. Right now, I’m reading Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen (non-fiction) and I’m finishing up the first book in the Beautiful Creatures (fiction) series. I know… Everyone needs variety!
Money, money, money…
This year, I’ve also learned how to properly budget, despite being close to 30. I guess you could call me a financial late bloomer. How did I ever get by without using this basic skill? Apparently, I’m not the only woman, or the only Gen Y for that matter.
Money is a great servant but a terrible master.
Learning how to manage my own money has been a step in self-care, acceptance and love. I am worthy of a stress-free financial life. For me, this meant re-evaluating my needs, my lifestyle preferences and my medium and long-term goals. For me, it meant making a new habit and loving what it did for me. I guess you could call it my little financial fitness awakening.
We’ve all heard “You can’t have it all”. Actually… real life for go-getters goes more like this:
“You can’t have it all at once, but you can have most of what you want, *if* you think differently about how that looks for you.”
Then what do we want most and how do we enjoy it?
Knowing I can’t possibly be everywhere, do everything, know everything, own everything…it releases the pressure of expectations I set for myself. Without pressure, there’s freedom. With freedom, there’s responsibility. My responsibility is to myself to build a life that reflects who I am and what I love. For me, it means buying less to do more, scheduling less to leave room for spontaneity and tea with friends.
Our choices lead us to experiences that cost us time, energy and limit us to a space in time. No one knows how long they’ve really got on Earth. Some of our choices also cost us in dollars. This seemingly adds another layer to our decision-making. In truth, no matter the factors to consider, the steps should lead back to us, to our centre. Don’t we want our lives to be our works of art? Don’t we want our lives to be a reflection of who truly are inside? In essence, the process enhances mindfulness.
What matters to me right now? Does this decision respect my core values?
Someone who can make choices with which he or she is at peace is leads his or her life artfully, from their heart-centre. Commitment easily follows choices that honour our personal truths. Having to make choices helps me refocus as I come back to my values, priorities and goals.
When we chose consciously, we better appreciate what we have and ultimately, we know ourselves better.