Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Starting down a new path

A good friend has been encouraging me to start a blog. Right now I am stuck at home with nothing much to do while the brick pointers shore up the back wall of my house, so today seemed like a really good time to call my friend's bluff! My hope is that blogging with some level of frequency will help me to clarify my thoughts and become a more enlightened sort of person along the way. I'm thinking of blogging as a sort of cyberspace version of sitting under the bodhi tree, which explains the name I chose for this blog.

One thing I've been thinking about lately is the role that choice plays in our lives, and how so often we don't realize a choice for what it is. Over the last couple years, I've been examining some of my long-standing habits of thought, such as wanting to maintain the illusion that I have control, my tendency to always have a nemesis of some sort, and my penchant for craving certainty about just about everything. I developed these habits from such a tender age and practiced them for so long that for many years I simply accepted them as "the way things are," or "the way I am," and never even considered that there might be a different way to go through life. What a revelation it was that I actually had choices when it came to what I thought about, and how I reacted to, the world and all the people in it! What an even grander revelation it was that making different choices could increase my sense of peace and well-being by leaps and bounds!

Realizing that some "fundamental" parts of my personality were really only choices that I had been making, unconsciously but quite consistently, opened my mind to the idea that there were a lot more things out there that really were a matter of choice. It now seems to me that so many things that people take for granted really involve some kind of choice, whether it be conscious or unconscious, personal or collective. I now have taken to wondering about what the limits of choice are, if any. Choice is such a powerful thing that is available so many times each day, yet so many people seem to cruise along in default mode so much of the time. Maybe the real limit on choice is that people routinely simply don't see that they are making one, let alone see that they could be making it differently.

2 comments:

Perspective said...

Hi Adrianne,

Nice post...choice is a "powerful thing," and no, i don't think we realize how much choice defines us --- deliberate or not.

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