Have You Voted Today
Huh? You're probably wondering when this article was written, and probably thinking that this article is about a recent election. Well, it is and, it isn't.
Webster's Dictionary defines voting, in part, as choosing or deciding. In that respect, you likely make choices and decide many things in the course of a day?which means you have probably voted several times today!
OK, so now what? Where am I going with this? Just because the most recent Election Day as come and gone does not mean that you longer have to consider voting. The great thing as a human being is the fact that you always get a vote ? even when you don't think that what you have done has registered.
Your votes ? your choices and decisions ? always register. They always affect someone, something, somewhere. Even it's just you in the moment you cast your vote, or when you choose not to. There is no greater power than the freedom we have to always choose.
Sometimes it may not seem as though there is anything to choose. How often I used to say, "I don't have a choice!" Well, I may not have like my choices ? which is a different story ? but I always had options to choose from.
I came to realize that my whole life I have voted, even many times when I didn't even realize that it was going to count. But everything I have ever done has been up for a vote ? consciously or unconsciously. I started to realize that I could make more powerful decisions by making them, and making them consciously (oh, how I didn't want to sometimes!). However, I realized that without my conscious vote, I was still making choices, but often I was left feeling quite unhappy.
When something isn't working, I now realize I have essentially 3 choices:
- Stay with how things are
All 3, every time. Looking at it that way, it makes it very difficult for me to use the "I don't have a choice!" statement ever again. Oh! Sorry, I should have warned you that was coming. After all, if you see validity in it for yourself, it will also make it difficult for you, as well. The good thing is, though, you are still safe if you want to choose to keep your "I don't have a choice" perspective intact!
However, if you're open to the perspective, what do these choices mean?
Let's start with one very important thing that they don't mean. They do not include an option to control a situation or to alter or change another person, their attitudes, or their perspective.
What they do mean is that the solution to anything lies within you ? and can only come from you. Yuck! I know, it really stunk for me what I realized that I had to stop looking outside of myself. After all, it'd be so much easier if the other person would just change, or see it my way, you know?
Well, we all know how easy it is to "get" another person to change, right?
I'll tell you a secret, though, one of these 3 options actually has a pretty good possibility of changing how another person acts. Can you guess which one? If you guess #1 or #3, maybe you have some insight for me. My answer, though, is #2.
Can you guess why?
When our perspective changes, we change. We act differently. When we act differently, those around us will likely react differently to what we do and say. Because we are not being the same as we've always been, they will likely not be, either.
It was difficult to shift perspectives in the beginning?but it got easier over time, in part due to seeing the results. I had often heard if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. It's a great thing ? as long as you like what you've got.
It's your life, you can vote any which way you want to. Your votes will take you all kinds of places ? places sometimes you may not even want to be. Consider that it's your votes that got you there in the first place, and it's your votes that can take you somewhere else. Don't like where you are? Vote again. In the process, also consider seeing situations and choices in terms of "different" and in the light of whether or not it works for you, does it get you what you want, rather than in terms of "good" or "bad." It will likely allow you to be much kinder to yourself and others, and make new choices easier to make.
Sometimes it is necessary to get some outsider input. Just make certain that it's not someone who has a stake in your "needing to change." I got some news for you ? contrary to what others may say ? you never need to change one bit. You can choose (vote) to stay exactly as you are. Just make sure, though, that the person you are gets you the things you want and need. If that is not happening, you still don't need to change, but you may want to consider moving a few things around so you can have more of what you want, and be more of who you'd like to be.
Remember that choice comes from within, and is not dictated by an outside source. Outside sources will appear to limit how far you can go, what you can do, what is possible. They can attempt to persuade you that they have the ability to restrict the world in which you live, but choice allows for creativity which has a magical effect on any situation. There is always SOMETHING you can do. The question isn't so much "what?" as "are you willing?"
The world that appears around you is actually a creation of your outward expression that comes from that which is within you. Consider that your life, and what you experience, is not something that happens to you, but happens because of you.
Your life is not up to a situation you find yourself in.
It is not up to someone else.
It is up to you, and each and every vote counts.
©2005 Essa Alraune.
Essa has a varied, non-judgmental, and fun approach to the work she does as a StressBusterBuddy. She works primarily with individuals on a one-on-one basis, and is the Author and Publisher of a mindful meditation CD. To learn more about Essa, her CD, or to listen to her online recordings, visit http://www.StopKickingYourself.com/or call 212.560.7582 (where you can also hear a 3-minute Relieve Stress Recording ? only local, toll, or long distance charges apply).
Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 21, 2003
The Priceless Gift of a Knee-High Smile
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Direct Answers - Column for the week of October 20, 2003
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Everyone knows that a positive attitude is key to the successful life. But what happens when things go wrong? What happens when circumstances deal us a blow? We have a tendency to let our attitudes take the dive along with our state of affairs. Life deals us setbacks, both minor and major, on a regular basis, but if we are going to be successful, we need to know how to deal with them and keep our attitudes intact! We need practical tools to help us understand how we can go about keeping our attitude up, when the circumstances are down. Here are some thoughts to help us do so:
The Meaning of Life - Not Just Another Dust in the Wind Theory
I grew up in the south in the 1960's. Married when I was 18 and joined the Army when I was 23. I traveled to Germany then back to the states where I lived in Connecticut for a while and then Tennessee for 10 years. I am now living in Maine.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of September 15, 2003
The Day I First Believed
I was eight years old, over four decades ago and I remember this event as though it was yesterday. It was a beautiful but cold and blistering winter day in the city of Detroit. Snow was falling moderately, but the wind was ferocious. My siblings and I were engage in some play activity when I was suddenly summoned by my mother and told to go to the store to purchase a loaf of bread and a few other items. Begrudgingly, I took the five dollar bill, dressed in my insulated snow suit and left for the store which was about six blocks away.
Get On with Your LIfe
You've lost your job, that's all you know, and you don't have money to go to school. Get on with your life. You sunk all the money you have into an internet business and haven't made a dime. Get on with your life. You say that you are broke and homeless have no education and no hope. Get on with your life.
Live the Adventure!
Think of an adventure that you might like to take. Maybe it is a trip to a foreign country or a major destination in your own country. Maybe it is to climb a mountain or float down the Amazon. Whatever works for you, picture what that would take. Got it?
Basic Buddhism - Doing What is Right
I find of particular interest in the Eastern Religions many threads that survive in other, later, belief systems. Not only do they survive in textual fact, but they seem to be super relevant to New Age and reformed movements. I speak especially of Right Action, Positive Thought, Positive Action, seeing only Good in all things and all people and believing in a Oneness.
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This is a true story about a woman I worked with for several years.
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One of the major reasons why we fail to find happiness or to create unique lifestyle is because we have not yet mastered the art of being.
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Change, no matter how you cut it, can certainly be adaunting task. There are so many ways to change; yourimage, attitude, environment, perceptions, addictions, andhow you treat others.
Struggling With Addictions
What kind of bad habits do you struggle with? Most people think that when they come to Christ that their bad habits will magically disappear. And some church people act like if you have any bad habits in your life that you must not truly be saved, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Christians or not, we are all people, and people make mistakes. People have bad habits.
Lewis And Clark Pay Attention
As I write this Southern California has just ended its second week of triple digit temperatures. The intense heat changes the way we live and alters the rhythm of our days. We are up earlier to walk the dog while the park is still cool. We spend a lot of time indoors in the air conditioning. We've been eating better. We don't want to heat up the house with the stove ? so it's salads and chicken from the grill. And, as I don't want to head out in my black car two or three times a day, I find myself thinking more about what I need to do and combining trips and make lists.
A Pickup Line
Direct Answers - Column for the week of November 11, 2002
Healing from Within
"We are responsible for everything in our lives, including how the chemistry in our bodies works or doesn't work." Wayne Dyer's words hit me like a bolt of lightening as I listened to his taped book, You'll See It When You Believe It.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of March 17, 2003
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