The other day I went to buy a travel bag. The shop I had in mind was closed. However, I did not submit to my momentary wavering and distracting emotion, but continued on my journey to buy my bag. Shortly I found another shop where there were also bags, although it was not a specialised bag shop. I went inside, armed with my smile and quiet confidence – greeted the attendants warmly, and promptly stated what I was after.

The lady there was quite supportive and shortly I found the bag I wanted, and in the colour I wanted. The lady took the bag and said: “There you go, take it”.

Once again, I did not submit to any inner fear, but used the fear to spur me into acute alertness and said “I want a brand new bag and not this bag that was there in your show room”. The lady went into the back of the shop to look further and I heard her call: “I found one, but not your colour”.

I had a split second to make yet another choice – “OK, no problem, the bag being brand new is more important for me”. The lady, once again hearing I was calmly confident, then said: “Hold on, I think I actually have just the one you want!”. And sure enough, she found it – and I bought it! 🙂

The lady then wished me a good and safe journey, and I a good day to her. 🙂

The example above looks deception-ally simple and yet the power is in the little every day things – in the tiny and “insignificant” micro choices we make – and we just take for granted.

The way we feel about ourselves and the extent to which we believe in our abilities forms our view of the world. This view, which we cast upon the world, obviously determines how we will experience, and therefore perceive, the world. Consequently the world is what we perceive it to be, and life is what we understand it to be. However, all perception is based upon CHOICE, regardless of whether this choice is conscious or unconscious.

The aphorism above is not only in a way highly comforting to me, but mostly is in actual fact very practical. It brings the ball of what is going on in my life firmly into my court – the responsibility for my life is mine alone. Quite simply, everything that happens in me or around me is first of all because I perceive it.

And it all starts with the conscious and intelligent use of Choice! One of my most important abilities is that I can move and place the focus of my perception wherever I want! However, although I have this ability, unless I choose to use it, it just stays there, exposed, at the mercy of any one and every thing outside of myself.

It sounds simple and it is, but there are some steps involved in claiming my power of choice. One of the main obstacles I have to master is how I use my emotions. Once I develop some proficiency, it then becomes a matter of speed in the way I use them.

Emotions are the secondary impulse of the perception. First I register perception and then my perception interacts with what I perceive, and emotions are the result. And actually all emotions are an expression of desire, and desire is simply put: “I want to…”

So the first step was/is not to identify myself with my emotion, to be detached from it. This means to be open and to fully experience the emotion – not to suppress it – but at the same time not to identify with it.

The second step that follows is to use my emotion generated already, in an intelligent way. Practicing this in every moment creates the inner space of objectivity. But even taking this first step is a matter of choice. And who said this process cannot be fun?! 🙂

In the practical example I shared above, I talk about fear. Most of the time we do not notice how we submit to our fears. By fear I mean the desire to retreat, to take a step back and not run away. And yet once we do claim our power of choice, we start using our emotions with awareness, and we start noticing every little emotion as it arises. It is much simpler to deal with our emotions when they are small, rather than waiting for them to snowball and become an “insurmountable hill”! In the example above I also show the use of what is called the warrior’s shield, or with other words for us constantly to be fearful, to be wide awake, to be respectful and to be fully assured – that we CAN tackle any challenge that comes our way!

Onnik Merdinyan
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