“The Power of Choice” is a theme that’s been trying to get my attention for a while now, so it’s fitting that it’s the August theme at New Momentum for Human Unity.
Several months ago, a friend of mine shared with me her practice of asking herself several times throughout the day, “Does this nourish my soul?” That question has stayed with me, and I find myself asking it about various things in my life: my relationships, my work, the things I have around my apartment, the things I watch and listen to. It calls me to be intentional about the way I’m creating my life. The people and things I choose to surround myself with, the way I spend my time—all of these are choices that shape me and the energy I share.
I don’t always choose well. There are nights when I come home from work and I know I’d feel great if I went out for a walk by the lake, which is my favorite thing to do, but instead I lie on the couch and watch five hours of “Criminal Minds” because I don’t feel like looking for my shoes. Sometimes I feel rested and relaxed afterward, and other times I feel sluggish and depressed. If I stay with my feelings and my energy, I know whether my choices nourish me or whether they don’t, and can choose differently next time.
A few months later, someone shared this article on Facebook. It deepened my understanding of the effects of my choices—“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Sometimes I lose sight of the big picture and forget that it’s not just my moment or hour or weekend that’s affected by what I decide to do—my life is made of moments and hours and weekends. And my life merges with countless others to make up All That Is.
Because all of life is connected in this way, each thing we do is a little vibration on a spiderweb, influencing everything in ways we may never fully understand. I think of the crazy sequence of events that occurred over many decades in order to bring people into my life, and the profound ways they’ve shaped who I am. I think about the great works of music and literature and art that have shaped the human experience and inspired people for hundreds—thousands—of years…and the way my lapses in recycling will shape the landscape and the ecosystem for just as long.
Every choice we make is important in the unfolding of life. We are every moment invited to listen for and respond to the urgings of life within us, to bring forward that which is best in us—for ourselves, and for the benefit of all.