Choices and Change: Helpful vs. Pleasant-Padma Peace
“When you make a choice, you change the future.”Deepak Chopra
Life is a series of choices and each choice we make determines the quality of our life. This includes the choice not to decide as well as living in vacillation and indecisiveness. Are we thriving and living in passion or are we distressed and pulled down by a turbid mind of indecision, attachment or resistance?
Student friends share with me time and again how there is not enough “time” to make the choices they want as if somehow another force is in charge of their “time.” This translates as, “I have no control over my life and the results I experience!”
I offer this “Padma Peace” with the awareness of how provocative this is to many people. Furthermore, I am aware of the need to tread lightly as I share and pray that it is taken in the vein it is meant; to empower individuals away from victim mentality and impel all toward a courageous warrior mind.
The feedback is often, “no, no they took this or that (or fill in the blank) from me” or “I can’t help it, I lost my job, they took it away from me” or, one of the really common statements, “I can’t do yoga because of this physical problem or someone taking my time, I just don’t have the time.” These types of statements are clearly spelling out the sense of being a victim of circumstances. While we do not have total conscious control over everything that happens in our lives, we do have a choice in how we think, speak and take action. Each of us has a specific purpose to fulfill in this life and I guarantee you, being a victim of circumstance with no power to choose does not play a supporting role in that purpose.
We absolutely have all that we need if we are congruent with purpose and what we are to be in our lives. The biggest problem I see is that many people choose options that are divergent actions from what is most aligned to fulfill their purpose. I know for certain that it is never the best choice to forsake your own health, evolution or peace of mind to get your children to soccer or dance practices and competitions. Additionally, many have chosen to work for large organizations and now are realizing loss of security and if you are one in that position, hear me well, this is a clear sign there is something else you are to be doing. That path is done! There is something else AND there is a reason why this is happening.
I understand fear, pain and overwhelm are scary, and just because you have emotions does not mean that something was taken away from you before it’s time. It is no longer yours, there is another direction and an even greater truth is that everything will always change. My mentor once said to me, “a person’s level of happiness is directly proportionate to their ability to embrace change.” He did not say “tolerate or endure change,” he said to “embrace change” and to embrace it like a long-lost friend, ready to take your hand and guide you toward home.
The more you live according to the highest plan for your life, the more things will change so that you experience appropriate success harmonious with your life’s purpose. How you decide to move through it is up to you. If you are too busy with children, family and many of the other tasks that occupy your time and mindlessly keep you from making the most helpful choices, you are simply not approaching life in the most constructive way possible.
Too often choices are made based on the most pleasurable to the senses and that which creates the least conflict, the path of least resistance, is one way to say it. Yogarupa Rod Stryker shares that if you are making choices aligned with what it most helpful, you will have plenty of time to do whatever you need. You will be of greater service to your friends and family and at work. He makes a distinction between “helpful vs pleasant.” When our lives are directed by what is most pleasing to the senses, we end up living by default and as Carolyn Myss teaches in “Defy Gravity” we can choose to learn by wisdom or woe. What I gleaned from Yogarupa’s teaching is that the “pleasant” can often lead us down the path of woe and choosing the “helpful” guides us toward wisdom and it just so happens that you find you have all the time you need. If making choices according to what is most helpful mentally and physically, ultimately making us more useful to our family, friends, etc., why do we take the path of least resistance and choose ways of thinking, acting and ingesting according to what is most pleasant? Why wouldn’t we choose the most helpful? My conclusion is that most of us are not aware of what we truly need; we are so drawn by what we want and the most pleasing option because we have done it for so long. The very imbalance compels us to create options that engender more imbalances and the cycle goes on.
Together, let’s commit to strengthen our fortitude toward living the highest quality of life possible. May we all define, renew, animate and regenerate our individual purpose, strengthening our will to transcend any obstacles or resistance that stands in our way! It does not matter if this is the hundredth time you have made a commitment in any direction, make this the one hundredth and first time, get present and focus in the NOW and let’s breathe new life into your life and our global family.
Love, Padma Shakti