Change, Choice and Alchemy

Choice:  An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

“The choice between good and evil.“

Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.” Ayn Rand

Last week we looked at the real nature of change. If we accept that we each do have the power to change (only) ourselves, we’re left with the essential question…HOW?

The answer is simple. We change by making different choices. Although it’s simple, it’s not necessarily easy! To do this takes effort and constant vigilance.

Let’s take the point of view that we are effectively choosers. We choose all through our wakingday from beginning…coffee? …breakfast? …to end…TV? …see friends? …early bed? We also choose everything in between, from …should I say that? …should I text him? to …should I worry about this? …should I take this pill? …should I keep being angry with her? 

If we’re willing to consider that we are choosers, then we have to look at what we’ve been choosing. That requires a reality check. 

Am I happy in all areas of my life?

If not, what do I lack that I need to be happy?

How might I be contributing to that lack?

Answering these questions takes effort and (sometimes painful) honesty! It’s best done as a written list that can be worked on, thought about, and picked up again. This gives us time to ‘live with’ the questions, and to ‘sleep on’ them as well. The process will likely bring up lots of memories, that we may have lots of opinions about!

Too often in life, something happens and we blame other people for us not being happy or satisfied or fulfilled. So the point is, we all have choices, and we make the choice to accept people or situations or to not accept situations.” Tom Brady NFL Quarterback

Once we have a basic list to work from, we can begin to hone in on what’s still valid and what’s something we’ve been holding on to unconsciously.

Sometimes we think we want something. If we’re honest with ourselves about the reason we don’t have it though, we may discover that we used to want it, but don’t really anymore, or we just don’t want it enough to do what it takes to make it happen! That’s

when we’re faced with a choice. Do we want to choose to do the work it will take, or to decide that we’re happy enough without it, and choose to let it go?

These are both legitimate choices. Doing the work can be exhilarating. Letting go of something we thought we wanted by accepting that it’s just not important enough to focus on, frees up a lot of psychic energy that can be refocused on creating the things that really are important to our happiness.

Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. William Jennings Bryan

Sometimes we hold on to outdated wishes. Sometimes we don’t know what we want.Sometimes we want something right now! Sometimes we don’t even let ourselves want at all. Whether or not we’re aware of it, these are all choices. Sometimes what’s behind it all is Fear.

In 1979, Gerald Jampolsky wrote a book called Love Is Letting Go of Fear. It’s based on a concept worth thinking about ! There are many hidden reasons to fear happiness:

What if we were happier than our parents? 

What if I go for it and fail? 

What if I don’t deserve it? 

What if I succeed? 

What if I really had the most beautiful body I can? 

What if I’ve been wrong all along?

What if I were really powerful?

So, another hard question to ask ourselves, is ‘what might I be afraid of?’ Asking the sometimes painful questions is the first step towards making choices that lead to our creating happiness in our lives.

If we decide that what we lack in life is really worth the effort it will take to have it, then we’re faced with a whole new set of choices. To identify the best choices, it’s important to discover what’s in our heart.

It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems. Thich Nhat Hanh

At Clay Alchemy from the Voice of Clay we offer lots of opportunities to encourage and support your making choices. When we spend our days making conscious choices, we experience true power. That’s the power of knowing that you are in the process of creating the life you truly want!

shannon Burke