Jan. 19, 2012
From Mindful In Bedlam by Daniel Labbe (author's profile)


What is humanity's greatest gift? I believe it is our freedom to choose. Those freedom cannot be taken from us by any person, power, or circumstance. No matter what the situation is we always have the freedom to choose how we respond. Sounds obvious and simple, right? Yet, upon closer examination the true magnificence of this freedom reveals itself.
Animals behave out of instinct (impulse) and conditioning, and, on average, so do humans. But we don't have to. The thing is, conditioning is quite powerful. The culture we were raised in, our genetics, the experiences we have had, the media was are exposed to, and out current environment all combing into this powerful force known as conditioning. Conditioning reveals itself in the impulses, random thoughts, and emotions we experience, and more often than not we obey these forces as if we lived on auto-pilot. We react to events in predictable ways and have predictable emotional responses over and over again as if we lived in a rut. Not too appealing, is it? With such a life we don't so much live life as life lives us. This isn't much different than how animals live.
But we can reclaim our lives. We can break free from the auto-pilot programs (programs that do not reflect who we truly are but reflect our culture and experiences instead).
Such a life can feel empty, void of meaning or purpose. It leaves little hope for change and gives us little chance of expressing our deepest truths.
So how does one subvert such conditioning? How does one rise above the animal kingdom to begin fulfilling our human potential? These questions pertain to personal transformation and the great Quest of life.
To begin this amazing journey we need to realize the power of our freedom to choose. To tap this power we must first identify our values and create a dream (dream goal) for ourselves. This is the key that will unlock the power of our freedom to choose, as we'll soon see.
Imagine the best of who you are. Think of yourself living at the hight of you potential. You are the most loving, creative, open, successful person you can be. Imagine this part of yourself. Now, as this person, list your top five values. (Some examples include: love, friendship, honor, integrity, peace, success, strength, freedom, unity, etc.)
Next, again imagine yourself living at your highest potential, and answer the following question: If you knew you couldn't fail what would you do with your life? Choose three possible answers, imagine doing the work required to succees at your dream, then imagine living out that dream, the kind of life you would have. Which one really reflects your deepest self?

My Dream is-

With your values and your dream in hand you are now prepared to access your freedom to choose. Memorize the following mantra and make it a part of your life! In any situation I am always free to choose a response that reflects my values and my dream, and through these choices. I create my reality.
No matter what your impulse is, what emotion you feel, or what thoughts are running through your mind you can remember your values and your dream and response in a way that reflects them. Now that you have identified your deepest drives you can commit yourself to responding to situations in ways that reflect your values and dream rather than your impulses, emotions, or thoughts. In the moment, your conditioning will feel like the "right" thing to do, but if you are brave enough to make a commitment to you values and your dream you can choose to cling to your values and dream no matter what your conditioning compels you to do. By doing this you become a truly unique and powerful person, you calim your most human blessing and break free from the rut of conditioned existence.
Many people believe they already live this way, but upon closer examination most of us will find how deep our conditioning truly is. Think of the common misfortunes you experience on a day to day basis - when someone treats you rudely; when you don't get your way, when you are in a hurry but someone or something is slowing you down, or when you are bored, anxious, angry, or depressed. Most people will find a pattern among their reactions to these things. It is like we are actors playing out our scripted roles, even when we ourselves don't like the role or the script!
By claiming your freedom to choose you enter into the realm of your full, unique potential. Here you are free of all the "should" that run you life (I should do this, I should act like that) and you enter a place of freedom. This place is full of creativity and power. No longer do the circumstances or people in your life hold so much sway. Here you know that it isn't about the environment or situation you're in, it isn't about how other treat you. What matters, what drives your life is how you respond to these things. Now it is you who holds the power. What an amazing gift! It no longer matters if people treat you perfectly or if events happen the way you like. What matters is how you respond, and this is in your full control! What power!
Mantra - In any situation I am always free to choose a response that reflects my values an dream and through these choices I create my reality.


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