Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Be the cause of the change

I loved this little saying... Be the cause of the change you want to see.

I have a little addiction to inspirational sayings. I don't see them as empty and meaningless phrases. They are words with a message that have the power to affect those ready to fully hear the meaning.

There was a poster that I passed in a classroom every day when I was a lonely Middle School transplant from a familiar, larger, wilder city school to a tiny, emphasis on tiny, rural school where everyone knew everyone from birth. I was always a shy girl, so didn't make friends easily in an environment where no one needed new friends.

I don't remember the exact words on the poster, I remember it was one of those motivational-style posters.

It said something to the effect of 'to not choose is to choose,' or 'to not make a decision is to make a decision.' It was worded a bit better, but the point of it was, by doing nothing you're in essence choosing to do nothing, simply by not choosing to do something.

It planted a seed that grew into a determination to choose to do things even if  I was afraid or scared. I joined the field hockey team - and we lost EVERY game - but I loved playing. I made a concerted effort to learn to talk to people, reading those silly articles in silly pre-teen magazines on how to make friends (yes, some of us need instructional manuals). I continued to try to do things even if I was nervous, or not great at it, or not really the type of person to do those sorts of things - like the time I volunteered and joined some dance decorating committee in high school. I remember making a poster and something about balloons.

It was a saying that solidified my mother's advice to do whatever, no matter, to go for it, fiercely. She never said fiercely, but it was there in her eyes.

The act of living involves choices, and those choices include the ones we are not making, the ones we ignore as we go about our daily lives.

It's so easy to get up, make breakfast, get the kids ready for school/walk a dog, go to work to earn a paycheck, doing whatever all day long/staying home, cleaning the house, doing the laundry - doing the day to day, every day, all day. Come home, make dinner/find dinner/order dinner, watch a show because the day's exhausting and the kids have been fighting or you worked late and have no energy.

Those days, the day to day, there are no choices to be made, you can go through life day to day.
Without realizing it, you're not choosing. Because there's another way.

You could live each day. You can do all the things in the day to day, but rather than doing it on auto pilot, you can truly live the day, be in those moments, and by living those days, and being in those moments, you can see where choices can be made, where you have a bit of space to dream, a bit of space to plan, a bit of space to choose a life outside the day to day.

That quote, though I can't remember the exact words, completely justifies my little inspirational quote reading habit.  I don't just 'read' them though, I pull the message out of the quote, I own it, and I work toward it.

Be the cause of the change - what can I do to cause the change I want in my life today? Today, it's going to be staying up late to finish a writing assignment for a writer's workshop even though the house is a mess, the children are all riled up like werewolves on the eve of a full moon (checking, is it a full moon?) the teenager is needing to be carpooled and is already cranky and the husband disappeared and checked out before 6 p.m.

Everyone would understand if I didn't do any writing tonight, even I would cut myself a break, but then, today, I would not have been the cause of any of the changes I want in my life. So tonight, I will write a little bit, just a little bit, toward those assignments - I am owning that quote. I am today, being the cause of the change I want in my life.

I try to read an inspirational quote at least once a day, as a reminder. They are meant to guide, signs on the path to the life I want, reminders that though the road is long, I am headed in the right direction, this is not the place to stop.

This evening's inspirational quote:

“Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions.”

— Albert Einstein

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