What an inspiring word and one that western society has strived to have and guess what…we got them!!
I noticed how we are all constantly making decisions from the time we get up until the time we go to bed. These include all the material, lifestyle, food, down to which toothpaste to use. The quickest way to work, to the park, the shops, dropping kids at school and going to the gym. I’m getting tired just thinking about it and I am sure you are just reading about them! Just the other day I was at the supermarket and was practically stunned by the amount of choice in bread and pasta sauce (yes, you found me out, I don’t make my own!)
Barry Schwartz, in his best selling book “The Paradox of Choice – Why more is less”, shows how abundance and overwhelming choice reduces our happiness, and that control is a key factor in supporting our choices in the first place. Indeed he states that the decrease in general happiness (in the U.S.A.) is directly linked to ever increasing choices.
Unfortunately our emotive habits of wanting it all and actually getting it have succeeded in grinding the majority of us down. We feel overwhelmed, stressed, start functioning from that old flight, fight or freeze response that kicks in…and we end up paralysed, procrastinating, standing in front of the supermarket shelf for 20 minutes worrying if we have picked the correct pasta sauce, the right journey, the right life…All of this translates into the body and we get dis-ease. [Get tapping now if you’re feeling wobbly]…
The latest statistics on symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and ME have been documented in the UK as 1 in 300 and mostly women. They show this as on the increase. Why would that be? Could it be that the overwhelm is happening on such a pervasive manner, even down to the kind of food I eat? Surely not, was life always this hard? Maybe less is truly more?
Nearly 50% of my clients bring up procrastination, fear of making the right choice yet every single self development coach/therapist is shouting at them to make more choices… SURELY A PARADOX if there was ever one.
….and then the ones that are aware that life should not be so difficult come to me for guidance, and I ask them to consider the options, upside, downside, left-side and right-side. In front and behind. Which ever way is loose, we play and have a little fun with it all. Which is the best solution for them not their partner, not the tv adverts, not their parents for them.
You see, we cannot allow our errors in judgement, limiting beliefs and negative self-talk, repeated every day, to pull us away from our true path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we can make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.
So let us be willing to clear those mistakes, stop beating ourselves up for our past mistakes and look at the real choices in our life, not just about our expectation of living in the now. Do we really need to have the best pasta sauce, must we rush through life, can we not accept that we are living the perfect life and savour and truly taste whatever we put in our mouths. Because if we make it from love then it will taste absolutely lovely. To start forgiving ourselves and letting go of past bad choices and focus on the now and what is truly important about the now!
Simply smile at everyone, on the tube in the supermarket, in the queues in the rain and at ourselves, take walks in the park, laugh, touch each other with our hearts and our skin….and choose….that which is most important to support our happiness. After all, Happiness Is What You Are.
Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey. Happiness is not tomorrow, it is now. Happiness is not a dependency, it is a decision. Happiness is what you are, not what you have…Money does not give us happiness. We can always choose the worst pasta sauce however we can choose not to eat it or simply we can choose who to eat it with and that my friends is the most important choice of all. Choosing your environment of truth and love.