‘You might not need more exposure to the new. Instead, it might pay to re-see what’s already around you.’**
‘Deep down you desire the freedom to live the life you would love.’^
To be able to say yes or no is to have choice.
We have more choice than we know, we need to notice just how much we have. The universe has provided each of us with great opportunity and possibility, as Alan Lightman posits:
‘In science, no knowledge about the physical universe is off-limits or our of bounds.’^^
What Alan Lightman writes about the physical universe is true of the universe each of our lives comprises – after all, we’re a product of this physical universe. So often, though, we stop short of fully exploring, of finding the choice that lie within us and make it possible to say yes and no. Admittedly, as Donal Miller suggests here, it’s not easy and can take a lifetime:
‘All the hero has to do to make the story great is struggle with doubt, face their demons, and muster enough strength to destroy the Death Star.’*^
We want choice fast and when it doesn’t come speedily, we believe we don’t have as much as others. Choice comes slowly, though, through discipline and intent, through failing and learning, through trying again and trying smarter.
This can be hard to take on in a world of technology that promises more faster – after all, the technology’s promise to deliver this is often the reason it is developed. Sherry Turkle writes about how we are getting caught up in our technology and swept along with its speed. If you want to see if this is true for you, check out by turning your phone, iPad and computer off just for a day.
It’s hard for most of us, it’s even impossible for some of us. We imagine we can separate ourselves from our technology but it is becoming more and more difficult:
‘These formulations all depend on an “I” imagined as separate from the technology, a self that is able to put the technology aside so that it can function independently of its demands.’^*
Here are some things to try out towards increasing choice. Try introducing slow time amongst all you have to do – see possibilities for slowness in the spaces between everything that has to be done on your “to do” list. Turn a slow gaze upon yourself and take the time to notice what energises you positively and what de-energises you. Begin to make more of the energising stuff happen and explore ways of managing the de-energising things. That is, say yes to the energising and no to the things that get in the way.
(*From The Pioneers song Let your yeah be yeah and your no be no now.)
(**From Seth Godin’s blog: What do you see?)
(^From John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.)
(^^From Alan Lightman’s The Accidental Universe.)
(*^From Donald Miller’s Scary Close.)
(^*From Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.)