10-8-17 Choice

Choice

My addiction did not seem to offer me any choices except to continue to indulge in harmful
behaviors and continue bringing pain to myself and others in my life. My choices were selfish, small minded and made in a state of pain, confusion and isolation.
I did finally make the choice that I needed help in not continuing my path of destruction.
The first healthy choice that I had made in a long time.
I can choose to continue learning how to make healthy choices in my life if I really want to progress and grow. Or I may choose to be on a ME maintenance plan where I refuse to make the effort to be AWARE of what is influencing my choices, and continue being led by my past behaviors that have not served me well. Just keeping my head above water but not swimming.

The key to making good choices is self–awareness. A practice of mindfulness meditation is the best way of getting to know and really understand ourselves .There’s an important opportunity available to us at the point when we regain our awareness. We can choose not only what we do, but how we do it.

We bring our awareness back to the breath with as much kindness, and patience, and gentleness for ourselves as we can. This is a very important practice;
Whenever you hear the negative or busy mind taking over, breathe, relax and be aware of what is going on. YOU are the one that knows yourself best, and can help the most. If you WANT to.
• The breath becomes a kind of anchor that helps us to stay in awareness.
• We’re practicing recognizing the difference between awareness and unawareness.
• We’re working on developing those qualities of patience, kindness, and gentleness that are so important when we realize when we’ve been unaware.

Connecting from our hearts and riding our energy. When we return to our home base, we are
returning to our hearts. This is the essence of the instruction to “Be Yourself.” When we feel
synchronized in our being, body and mind are linked, our hearts become a powerful source of energy that radiates confidence, magnetizing people and situations. Learning to ride this energy is the path of a lifetime, and a journey well worth taking. When we are in touch with our spiritual, whole, compassionate self, our choices will naturally include others in our hearts. Any choice that only considers ME, is harmful.

Unmasking our inner critic. This is accomplished by really listening to the voices in our heads telling us that other people are better than us, that we can’t risk failure, that we need another
credential before trying something new. When we realize that we have taken on limiting beliefs, it is much easier to deal with those voices and let them go. These are actually just stories, and when we see them as such, they no longer have such a hold on us. We have a choice now

Acknowledging our weaknesses: If we are measuring ourselves against perfection, we are doomed to failure. The flip side of knowing our strengths is knowing what we don’t like to do, what we don’t do well, and where we need help. When we are honest with ourselves, we can
relax and acknowledge that there are areas we don’t even wish to master, and can work with the areas that we are attracted to and have worth and benefit for others and ourselves.

Too many options make it difficult to make a decision. I can breathe and become aware of what Feels healthy and what feels selfish. When I make the effort to feel what is happening, I am able to trust myself. There will be times we loose our tempers, or say or do something a bit harsh or selfish. We try to catch ourselves before we do, but we also accept that we are human and it is ok. We learn that it is better to choose to express ourselves genuinely, but kindly, more often, even though it feels uncomfortable, than to let it build up to an explosion, or to a need to hide.

If your practice becomes a “chore,” that’s a problem. Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says, “If your practice does not bring you joy, you are not practicing correctly.” We need to have a discipline to not engage and promote selfish behaviors, even though we feel comfortable with them. Through our discipline of not promoting, acting out, negative behaviors, and choosing to step into an uncomfortable arena of caring for ourselves and compassion for others, we begin to feel joy in life.

To have success, is to have failure. If you try, at least you have a chance to succeed. If you do not try, then failure is absolutely 101%. The most basic, traditional definition of Right Effort is to exert oneself to develop wholesome qualities and release unwholesome qualities.

When I think of Right Effort I also think of the Five Hindrances
Sensual desire, ( Making a choice based on animal desire and immediate gratification.)
Ill will, ( Resentments bring revenge which brings suffering for everyone.)
Sloth, torpor, or drowsiness, ( Too lazy to be aware of my life and what influences my choices.) Restlessness and worry,( Believe in and love yourself, do not be perfect, be human.)
Uncertainty or skepticism. (Know you are on the right path and continue, let nothing stop you.)
These are five qualities that interfere with Right Effort.
The Buddha taught that mindfulness and awareness — of body, sensations, feelings and
thoughts — will overcome the hindrances.

Doing only what other people tell you to, or living in the past is to be in chains, a slave.
Your small, selfish, tight self, is not who you really are; It is someone else telling you who you are and what to do and feel.

You don’t predict your future … you can help create your future! Your thoughts today help to create your tomorrow. Choose well.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.
Heart Of Recovery web site — fcheartofrecovery.com