Discussing ‘mind matters’ in recent Choose to be Calm programs – I thought it might be helpful to refresh an old newsletter I wrote back in 2009, about Free Will… Editing it today, I realise that my new experiences in life are supporting what I suspected back then. Here is my understanding – so far…
Simply put – Free Will or Will Power is available when we regularly exercise and strengthen our mind. When my mind is strong, I have Free Will. When it’s weak… I don’t.
There’s a paradox when it comes to Free Will and Discipline. This is not about being inflexible and rigid in life, but to be able to bend and mould myself around any situation without the slightest compromise of my own worth. Free from the dictates of others and the dictates of my own mind… This takes lots of practice, diligently applying self discipline (apply what I know) is therefore essential – and well worth it! When I am well practiced in the art of mastering my mind, I am free to truly taste life. I see improvements in my health, my wealth and definitely in my relationships with the world at large. Opportunities abound and I have the Power of Free Will to experiment.
We all come with an intellect, it governs our decision making. Together with our subconscious and conscious mind, our intellect too is a faculty of our mind. It’s where choices are made and it’s where our Will Power lives – silently waiting to be engaged. It’s a place of logic and reason – our intellect serves as our judge, to discern and discriminate right from wrong. However, in a world of ‘fastness’ the intellect often gets deliberately ignored in favor of instant gratification, to the point that it’s forgotten altogether and our view of the world becomes narrow, compromised and therefore limited…
When we engage in internal battles “yes/no, I should /I shouldn’t, I can/I can’t”, we are fighting with our own intellect – going against our inner truth. Pay attention… it’s trying to tell us something. When we crave instant desires and ignore our intellect we go into auto-drive, regardless of the consequences – like a child ignoring the parents warning. The intellect (like the parent) is always there, but like the parent, it must step aside so we may learn from our own mistakes. “Use it or lose it” is a very real message. If I don’t use (exercise) my intellect, if I don’t engage my ‘parent’, I lose the Power of Choice and I forfeit my Free Will.
Becoming addicted to any type of behavior, we lose the ability to respond powerfully and are compelled to react to the world – against our own will. By going into auto-drive I’m not using my Power of Will and I become enslaved to the object of my desire – be it pleasure or pain. If I choose to repeat this behavior several times, I become the Creator of this habit. Allowing the creation to become bigger than me – I lose control, I lose my free will, I am now a puppet to my environment… and I am Responsible!
So let me strengthen my intellect so my Power of Will is calm and clear. Let me start by slowing down my thoughts – applying a firm brake. I can then check and change their quality and quantity. When I take control of this ‘mind traffic’, I give myself permission to change direction and I become calm. I only create and focus on empowering thoughts and apply powerful action to match those thoughts (very important). I can then show mercy to any weakness that may rise up inside without feeding it. As I gradually gain strength and momentum in my ability to steer my mind, I recover my Free Will and in time… my life. Understanding my responsibility – with humility and self respect – I happily accept this newfound freedom…
Question: Do you disempower yourself by choosing auto-drive?
Consideration: Why do you think you might choose auto-drive over Free Will?
Action: Over the next month imagine watering and nourishing your beautiful fragrant flowers (strengths) while starving any weeds (weaknesses). Simply keep bringing yourself back to NOW by regularly applying a firm brake throughout your day, it enables you to recognise any internal tug-o-war. Presence keeps you mindful of your thoughts and attitude – thoughts are the seeds of our actions. Put a fullstop to any heavy and wasteful thought, check and change them into powerful and limitless ones, then ‘act’ accordingly. Change is absolutely possible but it’s a process, it doesn’t happen overnight. The key is to be gentle with yourself yet consistent, flexible yet determined – and always… always be open to learning