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The Tyranny of Choices – Choosing to experience life instead

The Tyranny of Choices – Choosing to experience life instead

Sonal Kothari

Independent Professional Trainer & Coach


Choice, choice everywhere, not a moment to think…….or feel, or be, let alone connecting with our core needs.
Take a moment …..Seriously!

I invite you to pause and take a deep breathe three times. Take a few more if you need to, to find your centre as best as you can and identify which Mrig-trishna (the illusion we chase) is yours.

The ever-tempting world

We live in a world so full of temptations – the latest gadgets, career moves, pay hikes, tuition classes, apps, watches, dresses, pairs of shoes, make up, food, restaurants, T.V. serials, movies. Even for people like myself, who are not much about the latest material thing, there could be the latest research driven course that will change my life!

Take the simple act of shopping for food in the supermarket. Shelf after shelf is full of packaged goods with an endless list of chemicals on the labels – preservatives, flavour enhancers, additives, artificial flavours, sugar, salt, flour and corn syrup.
We don’t need a degree in nutrition. Common sense should tell us that this is not food and is probably not appropriate consumption for our bodies.

Yet we have bought into the dominant narrative and don’t question our choices!

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The profit driven external world is totally defining what will make us happy, smarter, more accepted, more money, more pretty, a better parent, person, more loved etc.
It is worth spending time to know how many “mores” have we, wittingly or unwittingly, subscribed to and bought into.

Temptations make us disconnected from life

We are drowning, if not drowned already, in a world that so bombards all our senses on a near constant basis, that there is no time to be with self and loved ones.

I don’t mean physical presence; I mean when you sit in companionable silence with a friend, sans smart phone, and feel completely peaceful; when you are present to your children (sans mental check list of things to do) and they share of themselves so freely and fully that your cup is overflowing with love that is hard to contain; when you have quiet moments of reflection and can actually hear your inner voice.

I am talking of being in touch with our core needs – love, joy, connection, peace, harmony with your surroundings, contentment, being in nature, reading, creating (whatever your creative outlet is – art, writing, building, music) to identify things that truly make us happy and fulfilled.

Take a pause – Slow down – Experience Life

So many of the most efficient and productive people of our times have simplified their lives and checked out of this cycle of tyranny of choice. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg had/have simplified their wardrobes; others have simplified their food; still others have downsized their homes and “stuff”. Thus creating more time for meaningful things that actually nourish our souls and beings.

Slowing down and checking out of the narrative, to buy our way into happiness from time to time, can do wonders for our inner lives. Start small and build up from there.

These are some of the ways you can begin with

1) Dump the idiot box – your T.V.- Believe me, after the period of intense withdrawal you will be fine – it helps to make a list of alternative fun things you can do with your time and mind. Creative work, for example, works best.

2) Junk the Junk food- Find alternative natural foods you enjoy – yes they are all out there. Go on a food adventure – a search for your palette preferences; experiment, start a conversation about it, talk to your grandma.

3) Do a digital detox one day a week– It is a liberating experience. You will actually taste, smell, see, hear, feel and be at a whole another level. Something to look forward to.

4) Find time to be quiet– preferably with nature. Even if it’s a tree outside your window.

5) Meditation and grounding practices– these are un-questionably proven to have a positive effect on our minds and bodies.

6) Move– find an activity that gets you moving and shaking. Walking, dancing, yoga, gym. Build up to 3-4 times a week.

7) Spend undistracted time– with people whom you enjoy being with and who enjoy you.

I invite you to question and challenge the narrative that says “you need”, “you must have” or “you can’t live without” something.

Create a pause between the thought (I want) and action (indulging).

Do share your experiences with us. Tell us what works for you.

Happy Living!

Please do leave your comments at the bottom and do share with others if you like this article.

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Great information