Choice and Willingness

With September here I feel a sense of beginning. It must be left over from years of school starting at this time. Maybe we are in the school of life always. When beginning anything, choice and willingness is embedded in it. That’s the subject for this month.

 Phrasees posted on Facebook, September 2021

For me there has to be some good truth saying to myself if I am going to embark on something new. Do I have the energy to begin, the enthusiasm to continue and the long haul endurance to sustain what I am choosing to do? All three seem to be necessary for me to be truly willing. Perhaps you’ll share what criteria you have?
When you plan your day in the morning, a lovely thing is to remember to make room for something that is just for itself (not because it has to be done or other reasonable reasons). Those free, “just ’cause” choices always sparkle and put a smile on your face or on someone else’s face.
When my grand daughter, Chloe, was little her favorite word was “done”. Even though she is now in her twenties I can still see her dear face with her solid conviction that she was “done” with whatever. What does this have to do with choice and willingness? If we don’t act on our intentions and complete them we don’t get the release of having been truly willing (i.e. trustworthy). We learn each time we complete our choices that we are solid in our intentions.
There is an “energy leak” when we load our minds with a host of intentions. It’s like leaving the phone “on” and running out of juice. A way to work with this is to pick one thing, do as much as you can about it at a given time, and then declaring that amount “done for now”. If at the same time a huge list of other things crop up in mt mind, I write them down as “noticed”, and declare that act as being “done with them enough for now.” It is surprising how much psychic energy is conserved doing this process. We have better choices with this and our willingness is supported. Do give it a try.
Today when you make a choice about anything: what to wear, what to spend time one, or what to have for dinner, notice your freedom to chose from anong these things. Many people do not have that. Be willing to fully inhabit those seemingly small choices and feel the freedom and the pleasure of choice. The whole day will glow.
Here’s a great quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe about choice when things are hard:
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you till it seems as if you couldn’t hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that’ just he place and time that the tide’ll turn.
I relish the deep wisdom of others. Read this from Rosa Parks about difficult choices: I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
Choices, there are so many now that we can be distracted from the real willingness inside us. Just look at what’s available on the new IPhones! That many choices stump me. I get lost. Time to go inside and listen to what the real chooser within me is willing and eager to do.
It is the full harvest moon, the autumn equinox, and an auspicious time to choose to begin a sustaining habit. Perhaps you’ll be sitting for a quiet moment with your tea or coffee in the morning. It may be small, but it is a powerful time to choose a focus for the day. Listen to your heart of hearts. Does it want peace, spontaneity, vitality to finish some piece of work or something else? Then choose that focus as a background to your day. At evening harvest your experience. It is surprising how deep this can go by practicing over time.
Today is the Autumn Equinox when the dark and the light are equally balanced.
What new balance are we willing to have in our day to day? Let’s ask our bodies and listen with an intuitive ear. Our bodies never lie.
I don’t know about you, but for me, if I sense something is truly mine to do I have the willingness to dive in and do it. The task is to discern what that thing is. Forget efficiency, hurdles, applause and results. The things we are to do in willingness somehow choose us. They are their own reward.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the difference between being willful and being willing. It seems to me that someone willful has a chosen agenda already in place. Someone willing is open to what comes along that seems right to choose. A willful person tends to be short tempered. A willing person is temperate and knows things take time. I hope to grow more and more willing as time goes on. Perhaps you do as well.
It’s the last day of September. Here in Rhode Island it is a spectacular, crisp and sunny day. I choose to remember that this day is an undeserved gift. And I am completely willing to have as many good surprises in it as possible and wish the same for you.  May it be good for  us all!