Each morning, if you’re feeling stuck or unhappy with where your life is, you have the power to make a new choice. From that choice possibility awaits.
A choice is a conscious commitment to do something that matters to you. Once made, a choice has the ability to expand what’s possible for you while also making a great impact. As you make a choice, you take the first step on a journey that allows the ball of momentum to begin rolling.
Making a choice is different than setting a goal, which sits in the distance as a destination you seek to reach by a specific time. While a goal is result-oriented, choices bring your focus to the process, and allow you to embrace a principle, regardless of how it may turn out. Often, we attach a masculine sense of doing and achievement to each goal. A choice, instead, is a springboard, a place to start, so the snowball effect can begin. It can be smaller in scale, have a shorter timeframe, and not feel as overwhelming.
My good friend was unhappy with her business coaching practice and wanted to return to her medical roots. Choosing to rent space to see clients two days a week so she could resume her holistic healing work was her first step.
“What led you to make that choice?” I asked.
“I’d been speaking with a woman who, after witnessing my business’ ups and downs, asked when I was finally going to make my own income. The directness of her question pierced a nerve which tapped into my deepest shame about my lack of financial success. In the raw, unfiltered simplicity of her question I felt compelled to make a new choice. The truth, I had to acknowledge to myself, was that I hadn’t been financially successful in my coaching practice but had so much knowledge in the holistic arts. Why wasn’t I sharing my gifts? Making the choice to rent the space was my small commitment to move forth on a path I trusted had potential. But I wasn’t clear where it’d lead.”
I wanted to know what fears came up for her as she made this new choice.
“Would anyone come?” she asked herself. “Would I sit for eight hours a day, paying rent for a vacant room?”
“But that fear didn’t prevent you from making the choice and taking action,” I asked. “Why not?”
“Because I knew deep down that I’d fill my practice and there were people who needed what I’ve got.”
Even our small, daily choices can unlock a sense of possibility. I hadn’t taken a yoga class in many months, and made the choice on a cold wintry morning, when I would have preferred to stay inside, to go to yoga. Why that choice that day? I knew being in the zen of the yoga studio on my mat would clear my head. I knew flowing through down dogs and up dogs would provide my body the movement it craved. I trusted that in a space other than my home, fresh thoughts and ideas would flow more freely. As a writer and as a creative, needing to periodically get out of the rut and my home, I seek external experiences to open myself up.
For me, on this day, going to yoga was not just about “going to a class,” it was a bigger and more meaningful choice. On that cold morning, I committed to showing up to class with no judgment for how I was feeling or how my body was moving, and just stayed on my mat, letting my emotions come to the surface. This internal focus and sense of presence, rather than an external orientation towards an outcome, is a significant shift from my younger days, when my yoga practice was more ego-based and focused on my performance of the postures.
I stayed open and present to what would unfold because I made the commitment to make yoga a part of my life again. I noticed what came to me because of that “small” choice. What thoughts did I have in class that led me down another path? What students did I speak with after class and where did those conversations go?
When you’re present and alert, you can notice and observe the opportunities presenting themselves to you because of the choice you made. While choosing to take yoga is not a big, life-changing, revolutionary choice, it becomes meaningful when you pay attention and notice what shifts you make because of bringing yoga into your life.
Small choices can be very meaningful to begin your own snowball effect, and the possibilities are endless. What small choice can you make today that will create momentum in your life?