Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Being Mindful of Choice

There is no such thing as a wrong choice, so long as that choice was made with conscious thought. It is only when we act without thinking or being fully aware of the consequences can we be said to be making a wrong decision. Certainly other people may make decisions that we do not necessarily agree with, but only they can decide for themselves whether or not their choice was appropriate for the situation.

Awareness, by it's very nature, leads to change. This is precisely why some very effective rehabilitation programs require addicts to draw up an honest budget. The thought is that if this person would just see and be aware of how much they are spending on cigarettes, alcohol or drugs they would at the very least cut dramatically back.

So too does awareness lead us to reevaluate all sorts of habits and unconscious activities. If you were to take an honest look at the situation from every angle, would you still be quite so vehemently opposed to a particular political stance? When you support, or do not support, a cause is it because you have really thought about it or does it simply seem like the right thing to do?

This awareness can have practical value in your everyday life as well. If you are like me and are interested in gadgets of various sorts, ask yourself next time whether or not this new gadget will improve your life or just make it more complicated. Be honest with yourself. If the answer is that it will indeed make some aspect of your life better, then by all means but if you want it just to have it then make the conscious choice to reject it.

You may find that every decision that you make throughout the day is indeed the right one. There may be absolutely nothing in your behavior that needs to change. However, on the off chance that your reaction to a given situation may not be the right one for the situation, look and think before you act next time. Awareness is consciousness, and consciousness is life.

Grant Virtue

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Purpose of Play

The world we live in is a remarkably beautiful place. Sometimes, however, we can forget this important fact. When we spend every minute of every day rushing around trying to get somewhere else, do something else and meet with someone else we forget to notice the here and the now.

This is precisely why it is so important to take time to play. Give yourself permission to do something you enjoy simply for the fun of doing it. There is no purpose looking for profit beyond enjoying the moment.

Remember when you were a small child how magical everything looked to you. It can still be this way now. The trick is to really be in the moment without any thought of what may come next. It is only when we distract our mind with the list of things that we need to do that we miss out on the beauty around us.

The next time you find yourself in the park eating a sandwich, taking a walk on a sunny morning or even just going out for a jog, see everything around you as if for the very first time. Pay no attention to the time, banish all thoughts of meetings or schedules and just be. Then watch as the magic returns.