May 2016 – Choosing Means – 14

Today’s card says: To be able to choose you need to pay attention. you need to slow down or even stop and realize that there is a moment of choice. a moment where you get to make a decision.

If I can remember one thing about choosing, it would have to be this one. If I want to choose, I need to know that there’s a space to make a choice at a particular moment. Without that knowledge, without recognizing that space, I don’t have any chance of making the right choice. Because I can’t make any choice at all.

When I listen to meditation experts, this is the one point that is often made about meditating. That meditation helps you get better at paying attention. At noticing that millisecond of choice. Even though I know this, and I want to get better at catching that moment, I still don’t meditate. (just like i don’t exercise lately at all.)

This is also why we have the 24-hour rule in our house. It forces us to have the moment of choice stretched out to a whole day. Something happens to you -> you’re not allowed to do anything in return for 24 hours. I can feel sad, mad, i can cry but I am not allowed to take some action for a day. This means I extend my moment of choice. Which then makes it much easier not to make an emotional reaction. It makes it easier to be rational, thoughtful, and purposeful.

So I need to do this more. I need to be able to walk away. To hold back. To stay silent. Let my brain catchup with my emotions. If I make a rule to stay silent each time. To count to ten in my head before I say anything. It will make it much likely that I respond and not react. If I make a rule that I have to say something to my kids quietly 5 times before I yell, it makes it harder to react. Because I have to keep count that I did it 4 times, etc. I work much better with consistent rules. So making a rule I have to apply every single time is easier for me.

So maybe that’s the trick here. A modified version of the 24-hour rule. Maybe this will help me choose what will help me to pay attention and notice all the moments of choice that are present. Choosing to create room to choose.

Choosing Means is a Monthly Project for May 2016. You can read more about my projects for 2016 here.

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