Thursday, 13 August 2015

Reclaiming Your Power to Choose

Okay, who invited Autumn back to Ontario so soon?

Before we left on vacation at the end of July it was all shorts and shades. The sun stayed out late, the heat swept through the screen on our door and I was in constant need of a pool.

Since getting back from the South it seems that this chill in the air is a bit premature! Bring back the heat!

With that being said, I am still happy (for the most part) to be home! I certainly miss the pools, great company, American restaurants and an ocean just a few steps away but with all of the excitement going in our lives back here, coming home wasn’t too bad.

Perhaps the most exciting thing to arrive back to was a welcoming crew just outside the airport doors. My brother and sister-in-law arrived not twenty-four hours before us from a country a bit further away to spend the next month here. It is always so great to have family together and although our forms of communication today are great, it is still not the same as sitting around a table together.

One of the first questions I was asked upon arriving back to reality was about the most exciting thing that happened while we were away. Brandon mentioned tossing a towel over the balcony to his dad several stories below... which really made our entire vacation sound lame (when in reality, it was slightly impressive... perhaps you had to be there).


For me, it was not about an exciting event exactly but rather a sort of routine I found myself in. I would wake up early, before anyone else, to a completely dark room. Trying desperately not to wake anyone, I would sneak out to the balcony and grab a chair. In the quiet of the morning I would overlook the ocean, watch the sunrise and witness what seemed to be the world waking up.

Joggers would cross the sand, pool chairs would eventually get laid out, and some of the eager ones would sneak down and throw towels by the poolside, claiming their place for later in the day. The music would start up, people would begin to line the beach and the sun became hot on the balcony. And there I would sit, reading and writing each day. A couple of the days I headed down to the water while everyone slept, jumping in the waves and enjoying what felt like my own private ocean. One morning Brandon joined me, wandering down to the sunrise, watching dolphins jump in the distance.



Basically, it was perfect every single morning.

And on more than one occasion, I found myself wondering how I might be able to take a bit of this feeling, this routine, this positive start to my day home with me.

Have you ever felt this? Have you ever found yourself coming home from vacation desperately trying to hold onto some of the peace and relaxation that you felt there?

A concept that has been swirling around my mind over the past several weeks is that of choice. It seems that too often we fall into the trap of feeling out of control. We never have enough time, enough options or enough freedom. Our mood is driven by the actions of others, blaming this person or that person for our anger, frustration or disappointment.

We relinquish our ability to choose.

In a paradoxical way, we actually choose to feel that we don’t have any choice in many of the situations we find ourselves.

When in reality, we actually do have choice.

We can choose how we use our time, we can choose to say no, we can choose how we let ourselves react to others.

I am realizing that I need to begin to take ownership of my choices and the places that I find myself in my life. I can choose to set my alarm a bit earlier to follow the routine I’ve set out for myself. I can choose what I put in my mouth. I can choose how I react to someone’s criticism. I can choose if I will follow the go-go-go mentality of society. I can choose. 

Even though I don’t have the ability to walk out to the ocean view each morning, stealing away a few moments to read and write, I do have the ability to find peace in my living room, on my couch, in the comfort of my home. Even though my schedule is full, I can choose to take a few minutes at the end of the day to get away from the screens and crack open a good book.

The power of choice is incredible. I encourage you, take ownership of your ability to choose. Don’t play the victim. Recognize your part in the trajectory of your life, the way you behave, and how you react to your feelings.

The choices that you make, the way you spend your time, will in many ways determine the type of person that you are. Choose wisely, choose consciously. Reclaim your power to choose. 


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