Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 3: Choose Your Own Adventure

When I was a kid I used to love getting strep throat and I got it a lot. I loved it because it meant going to the doctor and getting the yummy banana flavored medicine and it meant that I got to read the choose your own adventure books in the crowded waiting rooms. Fortunately the wait was usually long enough for me to follow almost every scenario before seeing the doctor.

Today, it occurred to me that real life is a lot like a choose your own adventure book. It's a series of choices from "What should I wear to work today?" to "Who should I marry?"

I find this concept both comforting and overwhelming because it implies that I have some control, but what if I make the wrong decision. But it's not really about making the right or wrong choice. Is it? It's about understanding that different choices have different outcomes. This is true in the realm of the mind as well.

As I sat down to meditate this morning I created an intention to dwell on something positive and I realized that I can choose my own thoughts and what I choose to ruminate on will affect the quality of my mental life. Then I realized that I have been making myself miserable by dwelling on the negative.

This concept was driven home for me while I listened to Julie Moraga speak about Emotional Intelligence at a workshop this afternoon presented by the Oregon Columbia International Association of Business Communicators. A few minutes into her presentation she said "It's your choice. You choose how you're going to feel."

Naturally, in order to do this she said you must be aware of what you're thinking and you must be willing to pause and replace your thoughts with more useful ones. Herein lies the challenge, but that is one of the reasons I've decided to meditate every day for the next month and a half.

I know I'm not really supposed to have any expectations, but I do anyway. I'm really hoping that this practice will help me become more aware of what's going on in my mind so that I can begin to consciously choose more fruitful adventures in the future.

If that doesn't work, maybe I'll at least make my mind a more pleasant place to wait while I watch the adventures of my life play themselves out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You wrote:
from "What should I wear to work today?" to "Who should I marry?" "Should I go to work today?" to "Should I marry anyone at all?"!