I Appreciate My Freedom of Choice

Flags at Washington MonumentToday is Independence Day in my country and I’m reminded that “freedom” means so many things to many people.  I do appreciate that I live in a country where the ideals of freedom are engrained in our constitution. The Bill of Rights contains 10 amendments, some of which protect our freedom of religion, speech, and the press.

But this post isn’t about our constitutional freedoms, but rather an appreciation of how I always have freedom in my choices of how I react to any given situation. Observing social media outlets, I see some strong opinions expressed and sometimes hateful remarks towards others who disagree with these opinions. I’m reminded that we all have freedom to express what we believe, but we don’t have to agree with everyone. We get to choose. That’s freedom right there.

I appreciate that when I read or see hateful messages on social media, I can choose to ignore them. Things I don’t want or that cause me to feel negative feelings are called “unwanted contrast” in law of attraction circles. I appreciate the feelings that sometimes result from reading hate-filled comments as opportunities for me to focus in on what I truly want. I appreciate that I have learned the value of unwanted contrast in creating a more happy life.

Anytime we’re faced with something or a situation that causes us to have strong emotions of dislike, anger or other negative feelings, it’s an opportunity for us to exercise our freedom of choice: you can either simmer in those emotions and let them get stronger or practice focusing in on the opposite end of refining what you want. I’ve found that when I find myself getting heated up with passion about unwanted contrast, it’s a good time to jot down the opposite of what I don’t want, which is what I’d rather see and feel.

Once I’ve clarified what I want, I can exercise my freedom of choice in taking softer steps in getting there.  It might mean that I stop looking at social media for awhile, or that I don’t talk or associate with a certain people for awhile (until I can clean up my energy about them), or that I turn off the TV, or that I just distract myself with something else. I might meditate, go take a nap, do something that’s fun, pet my cat, talk to friends and family, or any number of things. I use Abraham-Hicks’ tip of reaching for that feeling of relief to move myself up the emotional scale into a better feeling place. I appreciate these tools for the happiness that I enjoy from using them!

I always have the freedom of choice in my relief from unwanted situations, and you do, too. Some people may interpret my reactions to people, things and situations sometimes as uncaring when I don’t engage in augmenting the negativity of the situation. But I do care – I care how I feel, I care about others and intend for their happiness, too, and I know how my happiness is dependent on me, just as yours is dependent upon you. I care enough to not let outside events destroy my well-being.

We always have a freedom of choice in how we react to anything, even in the most horrific situations. Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl expressed this beautifully in these statements:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

I appreciate my freedom of choice. I appreciate it so much as it’s contributed greatly to my personal growth and made me a much happier person.   I appreciate that you don’t have to agree with me, and that’s just fine. We travel our own journeys in life and I appreciate all the people who have contributed to mine in all ways: the good, the bad and the ugly. For all these situations have served me well in learning how to appreciate any person or situation. I’m happy and looking forward to more freedom of choices in my life for the growth that they foster in me.

 

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Let’s Celebrate The Lottery Winners

Photo courtesy of PHPhoto.org
Photo courtesy of PHPhoto.org

The Powerball lottery jackpot is expected to reach around 1.3 billion dollars this week, the highest in all the world’s history of lotteries. When you talk to people, there’s excitement in the air with people dreaming and sharing what they’d do with their winnings. You also hear the nay-sayers, too, who point out the odds of winning.  Those nay-sayers are my unwanted contrast and a reminder that I love to bask in the feeling of fun, excitement and celebration of winning. Feelings of excitement for what is to come and for the possibilities of realizing dreams is what makes playing the lottery fun for me. It unites strangers in conversations that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. I see clerks smiling and laughing as they give out tickets, too. Everyone is talking about it, so people are more engaged with each other. That’s such a good thing to see and feel. I appreciate how the possibility of winning a lottery jackpot brings people together in a vibe of excitement, joy and fun.

When I turn on my TV or am on the internet, I hear and see stories of past lottery winners who either lost it all or are in debt. I’m really tired of hearing these negative stories! Aren’t you? Wouldn’t it be nice to focus on stories of all those people who have won the lottery that are doing quite well? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear their stories of how they paid off their debts, set their families up in an abundance of financial security, took their dream vacations of a lifetime, bought a house, gave generously to causes they care about and other success stories?

Pointing out the odds and focusing on the people for whom handling all that financial abundance didn’t go so well is taking away from the good vibes of excitement, fun, and the joy of winning. It creates doubts, fears or a let-down, frankly, if you allow others to influence you about your chances of realizing any of your dreams, whether it’s winning the lottery or going for that dream job, for example.

Instead, let’s celebrate the winners! Let’s celebrate that we are in it to win it! After all, you have to play in order to win. Let’s celebrate that we have the finances to play and be happy if we win or not! Let’s not judge who wins or wish for a group to win it, as opposed to an individual. In law of attraction terms, that’s splitting up your energy of being happy only for certain people, so you can’t possibly attract pure joy in that. Let’s be happy for whoever wins!  Let’s celebrate the joys we’ve had in the journey of playing the lottery and be happy, no matter the result.

We’ll all be happier when we quit casting doubts and fears about our chances in life, when we quit feeling jealous of what others have and we find a way to celebrate the little things in our lives and exercise our imagination about what is possible.  Appreciation is our best friend for happiness. I celebrate whenever I find money, even a penny I find on the ground. I celebrate I have the funds to pay my bills, too.

So celebrate and appreciate where you’re at right now. With the lottery jackpot being so high, I celebrate that I can stretch my imagination of what I’d do with all that money and stretching my imagination is something to celebrate! I’m appreciating and savoring the fun in all of this, just as I do when I find a penny on the ground. And if you can’t feel excitement for finding a penny, I suggest you start a daily habit of appreciating. When you appreciate daily, you may just find more pennies or a dime. Or maybe that lottery jackpot! Can you imagine? I can!

So let’s have fun and celebrate the lottery winners, no matter what!

Appreciating My Life

Today I made my newest video, called “I Appreciate My Life.” While I haven’t been posting here or on any of my blogs regularly, I do practice daily appreciation. Sometimes it can be a challenge, when going through perceived “hard times.” Yet that’s the thing: “hard times” are really a perception and I can change my perception about events and my feelings about them at any given moment. I can’t make anyone or any circumstance the source of my happiness. Happiness is an “inside job.”

Today I just got to “work” and re-affirmed that “inside job” to myself, and this video came out as a result.