Are you a creature of habit, or do you delight in change? Do you love routine or variety? I, personally, take great comfort in routines because I feel like there will be fewer surprises. With time, I learned that things often don't go as planned no matter how hard you try! A friend of mine loves variety so much that he takes a different route to work every day.
In the last few months, I've challenged myself to alter my routines and make new choices. That can be as basic as where you shop or what work out you do, or it can be a little deeper in how you direct your attitudes and emotions. Sometimes that choice can be choosing to stop eating, choosing not to get angry or over react, choosing to be happy in the midst of trial, choosing joy and health over grief and despair.
In an effort to grow in this experiment, I've started making a few new choices. In the last couple of months, I started taking the train to work instead of my car. I'm fortunate to both live and work near train stations, so it was certainly worth giving it a shot. By taking the train, I discovered a few things. Of course, taking public transportation is more economical. It takes the same amount of time as taking my car and even less during rush hour traffic. The best discovery I made from taking the train was that I arrive at work and home relaxed and ready to go. I had no idea how stressful the drive back and forth was until I decided to let it go! I've also been able to incorporate a little more walking into my day, which I enjoy when the weather is nice.
On a more emotional level, I've been using the power to deciding to choose not to rush. Doing things the slow, right way has helped me to reduce stress, increase quality of work and patience, and grow my overall joy in daily activities.
Another new choice I've been trying to make is not to react right away when things don't go as I expected or planned. That's inevitable, so, instead of getting immediately frustrated, I've been working on making a new choice. I try to stop and acknowledge my feelings, then make a conscious decision to respond calmly. It's teaching me to live from a place of letting go. When I let go, I also have the opportunity to realize that often a setback can be a setup for something better if you'll only let it rather than trying to force your way through.
Things tend to happen so much better when they happen naturally. Isn't life more delightful on a daily basis when it's more relaxed with a joyful approach?
Each time I catch myself making a habitual, poor choice, and then stop to make a new choice, I feel freer, better and happier that I'm making progress. It's liberating to make a choice to put out love rather than generate stress and anxiety.
Challenges are a natural part of life, and they help us to mature and grow up. I challenge you to use those experiences as an opportunity to make new choices of love because you can!