It’s all about choice

“You don’t have to stay stuck in this.”

I felt like a concerned friend trying to talk myself into believing some rather blatant and obvious advice. I knew the option was there—to change my thinking and challenge some old beliefs—but staying where I was felt so familiar. Notice I didn’t say comfortable. Sometimes familiar is anything but comfortable.

I dug down deep into my psyche to evaluate the situation. I’ve been studying conscious creation for several years and understand the concept intellectually: you create your own reality—all of it. Acquiescing to that belief means I can’t blame anyone else for my problems or challenges, they’re all uniquely my own. In fact, I even believe that I willingly take on specific challenges simply because they will in some way expand my learning and take me to a new plateau. But the liberation I feel when I think about that concept certainly feels much different when I’m staring my own challenges in the face.

All of us have particular challenges we have selected to work on in this lifetime. Some are small goals that can be achieved with relative ease while others are the culmination of a lifetime of closely-held beliefs. One of my challenges is money and abundance (like most of Americans these days) and I realize when I work on money issues, I’m trying to change more than 40 years of thoughts and beliefs about money, worthiness, safety and trust.

It’s those deeply-rooted beliefs that can cause a lot of problems if you don’t become conscious of them. And even when they do become conscious, it can take some practice and hard work to change them. But there’s one small, yet very powerful, tool in the conscious creation arsenal that often gets overlooked: choice.

For me, this reminder popped up over the weekend as I was paying my monthly bills. As is usual at the first of the month, bill paying can sometimes send me into a tailspin of negative beliefs: will I have any money left at the end of the month? Will I ever have more money? Will I ever be able to take a real vacation? The questions are endless but the result is always the same. The thoughts send me into a mild depression about money, the future and where I am with some of my conscious creation goals.

Even knowing what I do about conscious creation, I had a hard time controlling my thoughts. No matter what I tried to do physically—clean the house, mow the lawn, talk on the phone—my thoughts seemed to creep back to those pesky money-related issues. The law of attraction took over each time and one thought would turn into many others on the same subject. The result was more of the same and lots of negativity pervading my otherwise outstanding weekend.

I was sitting on the deck late pondering these questions, again, when I became aware of a new emotion—anger. I was becoming angry with myself for having these repeated thoughts take over my consciousness. Anger directed at ones self is never useful (despite what we have been taught), so I knew I was stepping into dangerous territory. Still, my life experience seemed to reinforce something that simply wasn’t working. That is, I was hoping that focusing on the problem would help me find new solutions and it wasn’t. So, I’d get angry again and start the cycle anew.

When I really couldn’t stand it any longer, that beloved inner voice rose up and spoke to me in a quiet, calm and convincing manner. “You don’t have to stay stuck in this,” it reminded me. The words caught me off guard with their simplicity. “Of course I have to stay stuck in this, I don’t know any better!” my conscious mind objected.

From there, I was able to engage myself in a dialogue about the nature of reality and how it relates to conscious creation. I reminded myself that I was already doing all of the “work” I needed to when it comes to my money goals. I reminded myself that I was working on feeling safe in my world and that the universe is always leading me toward my best fulfillment. But, my inner self objected: even while the universe is lining up better and better things for me, I still have the choice of how I feel in each moment.

It sounded like Pollyanna advice; however, I knew it was correct. I’ve written about these subjects, I knew the benefit to the concepts but I needed a stern yet compassionate reminder that it’s always a choice of how to respond in the present moment that makes all the difference.

It does take a leap of faith to consciously choose a new path for yourself and for your thinking. As I sat and teetered on the edge of choosing a new path for my thoughts, I knew I was ready to tackle the process. For me, that meant that despite the slow progress (or seeming lack of progress) on my goals, I had to be vigilant in each moment to make the choice between the new and the old. I can choose to feel good about my progress and my new direction or I can stay stuck in the old. The choice is mine.

The old, familiar thoughts certainly weren’t working for me. Yet I looked at them with nostalgia. I had practiced the habit of feeling bad about money and abundance and I knew how to handle it even as I wished for a better outcome. I knew the contours of the feelings and where they would lead and felt ashamed for thinking them again. Choosing a new reaction to these thoughts felt like trying to stop a locomotive in motion. I knew it was possible and I knew it would be in my best interest, but I had to rouse my full consciousness to do it. That is, it would take a lot of energy to do it the first time and then the process would become easier.

This is one of those times when the real work of self-development happens when you’re in the middle of a “tough situation.” It’s one thing to learn about and study concepts when you’re in a good mood, devoid of in-the-moment challenges. It’s another when you’re slapped in the face with a chance to change your life. I hypothesized that the situation must be like an alcoholic deciding whether or not to take a drink after attending an AA meeting for the first time. The situation becomes a now-or-never proposition and the choice will set the tone for future development.

I did decide that I was tired of having the same reaction to money and I told myself that from now on, I would consciously choose a better feeling thought. That new thought can shift as circumstances change but the important part is to recognize when I’ve drifted into old thinking patterns and remind myself that I have a choice. I always have a choice.

Now this doesn’t mean that answers to my money woes will suddenly appear out of thin air. It doesn’t even guarantee that I’ll make headway on changing my beliefs about money. But making a conscious choice to accept a new line of thinking tells my inner self and the universe that I’m serious about a new direction. Accepting new thinking sets into motion a whole slew of probabilities for me, any of which may turn my life around in new, unexpected ways.

It seems too simple to boil this notion down to the word choice, but in many ways it is that simple. Too often I forget (and many others do, too) that making a choice to feel, think or act differently is where the real work of self-improvement starts. It’s the gateway to honoring the spirit and it all starts with taking that first step. Here’s to choice.

 

 

 

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lawrence Hyde
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 14:27:17

    Well said! As the old saying has it, “Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional.”

    Reply

  2. Daily Spiritual Tools
    Jun 06, 2012 @ 03:09:27

    In March of 2010 I wrote a post called “Getting Unstuck.” I really like your explanation about not having to “stay stuck in this.” It is truly all about choice thanks for this wonderful post. I’d love your feedback on what I wrote. Here is the link:
    Getting Unstuck
    Blessings,
    Sherry

    Reply

    • Honor Your Spirit
      Jun 06, 2012 @ 16:38:12

      I tried to respond to your blog but Blooger wouldn’t let me. I loved the post and especially this:

      “Admitting to myself that I am stuck, in pain or in fear, is the most important part of getting unstuck.” This is key — once you can recognize you ARE stuck, you can then CHOOSE to do something about it. You are very right! Thank you for passing along!

      Reply

  3. hamiltonal
    Jun 06, 2012 @ 15:41:17

    I’ve always been pro-choice; this gives me another reason to appreciate my freedom of choice IN THE MOMENT. I too am working on this. It is ALWAYS my choice how I can choose to feel, regardless. Learning this is a huge step forward; putting it into practice = total FREEDOM!

    Reply

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