I meditate every day at least twice. It helps me in tremendous ways. The other day I was meditating, and I heard something I have heard dozens of times before, but it hit me differently this time. It was about control. Do you feel out of control? Does life feel like it’s happening to you? I feel that way sometimes. Here is a simple solution to take back control of your life.
Free Will or No Free Will?
My close friend believes we have no true free will. Even though two people may experience identical situations, their ability to handle it will be weighted by their previous experience, hardwiring, and environment. They have no choice; they will react the way they are “programmed.”
That is his take on it. I don’t like to believe that because, first, I hate to be controlled. If some force or entity is deciding for me how I will handle a situation, I really don’t like the idea of that. I prefer to believe that we have free will and can choose the path of our life.
You Have the Power to Choose
Life will hit you with difficult situations and that is unavoidable. However, we can exercise our complete free will by choosing what we focus on. The problem is often we focus on the issue, the pain, the disappointment, fear, anger, etc. It’s hard not to when that is the thing bothering you. However, if we can pause long enough to realize that keeping our focus on that terrible thing is the very problem itself, we can choose to take away its power by shifting our focus to something else, something better.
You have the power to choose, even when you think you don’t.
The Solution: Take Back Control
When you are dealing with something hard, like pain or an issue at work, take a few minutes to deal with it. Close your eyes, slow down your breathing, focus solely on your breathing or some other home base, and focus completely. Every time that “thing” that is bothering you creeps in, take back control by taking your attention away from it and putting it on something you want. It helps to say to yourself “there goes the mind, doing what a mind does.” Once you have control, push that thing out of your life by keeping your awareness on positive things like gratitude for your home, food, and children. You can focus on something fun like an upcoming party. Train yourself to re-focus your attention quickly whenever that ugly thought creeps in or you feel yourself obsessing about something. By taking away your attention, you take back control!
In the end, what you pay attention to becomes your life. Make your life something extraordinary.