Do we choose our lives or do our lives choose us?

I had a really bad day Sunday. I was bombarded with a lot of negative energy at work associated with my new position. It was a very important and telling situation for me to experience.

I used to be a tough girl and pretend like what people thought and said about me didn’t bother me. I wasn’t surprised Sunday to realize that things like that affect me as much as they do the next person, but I was surprised by my response to it all.

I have become very attuned to what my body is telling me. I am beginning to be able to feel where certain emotions or energy take up residence in my body. I notice when I am carrying tension in my shoulders and neck, in my brow, in my bowels (tee hee — read Debbie for reference), in my jaw or wherever. I have become very intolerant of negative energy taking up residence within me. I walked through the door from a staff retreat determined to rid my body of the tense, ugly negative sensations so that I could sleep peacefully. Through a combination of focused breathing, meditation, prayer, deep relaxation techniques, venting, a couple of tears, a hot water bottle on my belly to help release the bad energy I felt there and affirmation (especially the “Our Deepest Fear” affirmation), I was able to sleep peacefully. I woke up the next morning and took inventory of my body and the negative energy was gone. I went to work the next day and the first person I saw was one of the chief culprits. She was just there to me. I felt nothing negative but nothing warm either–she was just there.

I learned a valuable lesson about this. I am responsible for how other people’s behavior affects me. I have a choice about it and therefore, I am responsible to protect my well-being. I don’t have to let other people’s jealousy, pettiness, insanity or whatever take me off course and make me sick. Stress kills, People. I was happy about making a conscious choice in the interest of my mental and physical health. It was such a far cry from pretending like it the things didn’t affect me. They did affect me. But I realized through that situation my power to create my own reality.

The truth is, I had a hand in creating the reality that led to all the negativity in the first place. Someone whose ideas I value considerably has tried to help me understand my role in creating all of my experiences. It’s been hard to wrap my head around my role in creating the situations I call bad, but I could really see it in this situation. I allowed the type of negative things that were said to me about me to be said about others in my office. By choosing to participate in and not stop those occurrences, I created a climate for the dung to be slung my way. I own that. I probably had an even more direct hand in it because I expected this to happen. Do we really draw the things to us that we dwell upon? Or, do we attract the very things we fear? I think we do.

What do you think?

P.S. I also noticed that I didn’t choose the role of “victim” in this situation. That’s huge for me.

Let’s talk about this. What do you guys think?


Happy New Year…Choose Well!

Well, it’s that time of the year again: the end. I enjoy this time of reflection and anticipation. I went back today to read my end of the year posts for the last two years. Last year I was excited to have my kitchen finally cleaned after the Great Cookie Baking Caper. The year before I was just happy to be able to hope that things would actually get better for me in this life…at some point. Man am I light years from that place. I enter this year without the slightest hint of a dark cloud looming. I feel great. I am happy. I am checking things off of my goals list like a madwoman. Things are falling into place. I am living my own life as my own person and I am loving it! So, instead of making resolutions, here are my reasons for not making any this year:

  • I don’t feel like I need to make any resolutions about losing weight, or eating healthier or working out, because I’ve learned to incorporate those things into my life without being rigid about them (I actually ate curried chicken for Christmas, because I wanted it…and it was soooo good! Thanks to my favorite Trini!).
  • I don’t feel like I need to make any resolutions about being easier on myself and loving myself more because I feel like I’ve made the switch in my head already. I matter. I have to love and care for my self first before I have any hope of doing so for anyone else in any meaningful or healthy way.
  • I don’t feel like I need to make any resolutions about being a better person and treating people better because, while there is always room for growth, I’ve learned that it’s not that hard to treat people with dignity and respect when you treat yourself with dignity and respect…it just flows.
  • I don’t feel like I need to make resolutions about being more godly or loving God better because this spiritual journey I’m on is exactly that, a journey. I get out of it what I want. I’m enjoying a guiltless, honest relationship with God/myself in which I’m learning how to find the best way for me to connect with the divine. It’s still very much a work in progress, but no need to make any rules for the process.

If I have to name the most significant lesson I’ve learned this year, it would be this simple one that is probably so obvious to those of you who’ve taken control of your own destiny: You can have the life you choose!

2007 is forever marked in my memory as the year I discovered the creative power of choosing. A million thanks to all of you who have encouraged me and guided me into that truth. I am loving the fruits of this. While it doesn’t mean that I can control everything that happens in life, it does remind me that how things affect me are all up to me.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

May this year be filled with choices that lead to being your very best self.

Peace and Love!