One choice. One more choice, and another. Isn't that what life is? A series of choices that we make, day in and day out. What we put in our bodies each day? How we move that same body? What activities we choose to engage in, or not. Where and with whom we choose to spend our precious time and energy.
The circumstances we find ourselves in are simply the result of the choices that we are making each and every day. As such, it stands to reason then, that if we are happy, satisfied, with our circumstances in which we find ourselves, then we are making good choices for our life. If we find ourselves, however, in circumstances that do not make us feel happy, satisfied, peaceful in our lives, maybe there are some choices that we are making worthy of reflection, of observation, of change. For, a peaceful, fulfilled life is not about big, sweeping changes. It is about the tiny steps that we take in the form of our very intentional choices, day in and day out, that add up, over time, to the changes that we are perhaps desiring.
In a recent podcast, Jane Fonda explained it this way: (I adore this woman!)
We have two ways to live life. One, as if we are in a canoe on a river with no oars… being taken down that river with no say or control or responsibility whatsoever, being bashed up against the rocks and the riverbanks, pulled and pushed and overturned at any given moment. Or, we can grab an oar.
I lived my own life without an oar for decades. Not even knowing or understanding that I had a choice, or any responsibility of my own. Life just took me down that river, and man, did I bash against some banks and get literally tipped on my head a few times over. And then, finally… I picked up an oar. Is it easier to have the oar? Not always. The oar comes with responsibility for the way in which I steer my life canoe. I was no longer able to simply blame external forces for the dissatisfaction I felt inside of myself. And, I despised feeling this way. Anxious. Hurt. Fearful. Depressed. Saturated. Stuck. And only I could make it different? It's my responsibility? It wasn't the fault of my parents, or my upbringing, or my ex-husband(s)… okay, maybe some was still blamable on ex-husband(s) – it was up to me? It was. It is.
And so it was that I began making choices for me. The first, I started choosing me. Even when it was hard. It was often hard. I started doing hot yoga. This required an investment in my time, energy, and finances. I began different therapeutic approaches – counseling, body talk, meditation, coaching. These required the same kind of investment. I started reading personal development books that resonated with me. Little by little, step by small, incremental step, my life began to take a new direction. I made some very difficult decisions that honoured myself and my daughters, I drew some lines in the proverbial sand, and took my head out of that same sand. I took some long breaks from behaviours that weren't serving my life.
And, little by little, my life took on a different shape, a different texture, even a different colour. I felt healthier, lighter (physically and emotionally), stronger, and more COEURageous (led more from the heart, less from the mind: coeur = heart). I developed daily practices that invited in CONNECTION ~ to me, to others, to Nature, and to Source (the Universe, God). I spent more time listening within and less without. More silence, less noise.
What have I discovered in all of this? Me. The Essential Me that I am beneath all the noise, the busy, the stories I have told myself about myself – cue the negative voices rambling away inside my head (that aren't even mine to begin with!), the Me that I am at my core. And, I love her. She is by no means perfect, by no means flawless. She still has debt, she has a hard time with boundaries – especially where her babies (yeah yeah, she knows they are young adults now) are concerned, she is still a people-pleaser at her core, she is ultra-sensitive, and still cares far too much what others think. But she is doing her best to create her most beautiful life, her one wild and precious life… one choice at a time, one sunrise at a time.
We can get stuck in that canoe, where we keep coming to the exact same places, banging up against the same river banks over and over again. Sometimes, we've been in there for so long, we don't even know what another way might feel like, sometimes not choosing the oar is the choice we make. Can you relate?!
If you can relate, if any of this resonates for you, if you've been going down that river and are tired of bashing up against the same old banks, being upset and overturned at the same dams and obstructions, if you are ready for an oar, but are unsure where to start (or have begun the process, but could use another oar for guidance or support), I would be honoured to help get you started. It just begins with a choice, an intentional decision to choose YoU.
Are you ready to choose YoU?