Conscious Choices: The Power of Stop


Choice is Always Happening

We make choices all the time. Choice is one of those ‘always happening’ things. Not choosing is still a choice.

If I want something, like a glass of water, I automatically ‘see’ it in my mind. I ‘see’ where the glass is and my choices of tap or bottle or stream, to get it from. I, at some level, make a plan to orchestrate the appearance of a glass of water. I can even imagine how it will taste, and sure enough it does taste very close to how I imagined. If the taste is different, I stop and put attention on what I need to do in order to get the glass of water I want. I change. The right water shows up.

That ‘stop and put attention’ part, when I am roaring through my days I can skip by that too often. Choice works better when it is conscious.

The Value of Conscious Choices

If I choose to ignore an odd taste in what seems to be water, well, could be a whole range of consequence from that. In order to consider my options I must do that one vital thing, not negotiable. I must ‘stop’. I know, a four letter word. If I do not stop to consider what might be going on with the odd tasting liquid I thought was water, maybe nothing will happen or maybe I will die from poisoning, or all kinds of things in between. When I ‘stop’, the rattle of chatter in my mind, I make room for greater clarity. I can see more of what is here and now. That is a moment of ‘clarity’.

Choice Comes in Different Flavors

Choice comes in different flavours. There is the kind that is automatic, reactionary, like jumping out of the way of a careening car. There is the kind that is methodic, planned, long considered, like readying to take a big trip.  Again choice is one of those ‘always happening’ things.

How do you choose your way through your days? What is it about your usual method that really works for you? What about it bites you a little too often?

Regardless, I am a proponent of that first choice, the conscious choice, the choice to ‘stop’, invest a bit of energy in assessing what it is that you are choosing and go with your own style from there. 

Joseph Seiler MCC 2011-2022