The Choice Is Ours

As a holistic health practitioner, I work with people who struggle with anxiety, PTSD, depression and other conditions that make it challenging to find joy (which I define as inexplicable peace). 

I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “Happiness is a choice.” Much like Lori Deschene, the founder of Tiny Buddha, I believe that “Happiness takes a lot of choices that are sometimes hard to make,” is more realistic. 

I love the happy paint job on this bicycle!

Each day we’re presented with countless choices. They include the decision to:

  • Accept ourselves and our struggles. Or not.
  • Take responsibility for getting help. Or not.
  • Do things that promote personal wellbeing. Or not.

Even when—especially when—we feel like giving up.

What’s your most recent choice for happiness?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Levels of Difficulty

Last week we talked about decisions, decisions, decisions. This week we’re looking at potential difficulty levels of that process. Decision-making involves choosing between two or more possible options/solutions. We can make it easy, or hard—the choice is ours.

The Karavolades stairs on Santorini, Greece — 588 steps that lead from base-to-top on the cliff side.

The Karavolades stairs on Santorini, Greece — 588 steps that lead from base-to-top on the cliff side. (click on photo to enlarge)

On the island of Santorini, Greece you’ll find the old Karavolades stairs—588 steps that lead from base-to-top on the cliff side. To get from point A to point B there are three levels of difficulty to choose from:

  • The easy route is to take the tram.
  • The tolerable (odiferous) route is to ride a donkey.
  • The difficult (stinky and slippery) route is to walk.

Have you ever made things more difficult than necessary?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Decisions… Decisions… Decisions…

For the purpose of creating memes, I’ve been asked by my publicist to pull 3 “quotable quotes” from each of the seven selves that are detailed in my soon-to-be published book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth.

The three I pulled from the second self, self-gratification, are:

  • “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
  • “Individual choices have universal consequences.”
  • “Life is an expression of the choices we make.”

Who to call? What to wear? When to speak up? Where to go? Choices and decisions—some crucial, some seemingly insignificant—each of us makes them every single day.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Fork in the Road

The term fork in the road typically means a decision point; a metaphoric place we come to on life’s path where we need to decide between two or more options—including standing still (not making a choice), which of course is a decision.

IMG_1770

Creating a list of pros and cons for each option is often helpful. And if we truly learn from our mistakes—which I believe we do—we can benefit from both positive and negative outcomes of past choices. In addition to doing our due diligence (looking before we leap), we can also draw upon the “gut factor”—our instinct as it relates to the matter at hand.

As Len and I wait for our home to sell, we’re having fun researching where we want to move. We’re looking at climate, cultural offerings, property and income tax rates, unemployment rate, crime rate, occurrence of natural disasters (ie., earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods)—to name but a few of the considerations.

What was your last fork in the road?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”  — Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

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Slow Burn

“Angry people want you to see how powerful they are…loving people want you to see how powerful you are.”
        — Chief Red Eagle 

 

Recently I donated my hands to a “Ladies Night Out” event. My “station” was positioned across the aisle from a table of lovely scented candles. The name of the company was Slow Burn. That name—clever for a candle company—got me thinking about anger, which just so happened to be the number two topic of most women on my table that evening, second only to stress. 

Anger is a natural response, a warning bell that lets us know something’s wrong. Physically, it triggers the release of adrenaline which typically increases muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure. Anger only becomes a problem when we don’t manage it in a healthy way. We have two choices: 

Expression
This can range from a rational conversation to a violent outburst. When we choose the latter—a violent outburst—it equates to an emotional explosion

Suppression
This is an attempt to hold it in, or ignore it. When we choose to hold it in—sweep it under the carpet—it equates to an emotional implosion.

Note: Suppression includes passive-aggressive responses where we don’t express our anger constructively; rather we scheme to retaliate instead. 

Ideally we choose constructive expression—stating our concerns in a cool, calm, and collected manner—without hurting or manipulating others. 

One of my favorite books on this topic is, “Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames” by Thich Nhat Hanh

How do you cool the flames? 

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
                — Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

D is for Destiny

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You’re the one that determines your path in life—your destiny.

It is my perspective that we are in charge of our own destiny. We create our destiny with every choice we make. We can change it at any time.

Think of destiny as a horse that you’re riding. Every pull of the reins and flick of the wrist (choices and decisions) guides the horse where you want it to go (creates your destiny).

Fate is different. Fate is what the horse becomes when you let go of the reins. The horse is no longer guided. Fate is something that happens to you.

When Rabbi Shmuley was a guest on Oprah Radio he said, “Believing in fate instead of carving out your destiny can leave you powerless.”

Have you ever heard or used one of these common phrases? “Those are the cards I was dealt,” or “That’s just what life handed her,” and “She really got the short end of the stick!” These are fate-based statements.

Fate is a belief that human beings have no choice—we’re scripted.
Destiny is a belief that we have control of our choices, actions, and reactions.

I love the words of wisdom shared by Enzo, the wise dog and narrator in Garth Stein’s heartwarming book, The Art of Racing in the Rain:

“We are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.”

What path have you chosen?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com.

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

The Power of Perspective

Perspective by Laurie Buchanan

Perspective by Laurie Buchanan

Our perspective is the lens through which we view life. It impacts the way we experience people, places, and things; and has a direct correlation to how we respond to life’s ups and downs. In fact, our perspective creates our world. In her book, You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay wrote, “What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings.” By changing our thoughts, we can change our life.

In my experience I know this to be true. That’s why I’ve chosen to let go of errors of the past, to forgive myself and others, to fill my world with joy, and to live a life of gratitude—regardless. It’s been said that enlightenment is letting go of everything we believe that’s not benefiting us. With thankful heart, I accept the peace of enlightenment.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.