By Michael Kline
I’m working at the window in my office (Panera), and I’m so distracted by these people having a business meeting. They are just two people having a conversation, until they put a third person on their speaker phone and it becomes a very loud conversation. On my journey toward being a more patient and kinder person, I decide I to stop complaining in my head and put on my headset and get back to work. My plan backfired. Now it’s far more annoying to be able to hear their conversation through my over-the-ear, noise-cancelling headphones blasting relaxation music into my head! Surely, after making a concerted effort to abate the noise problem, I have honestly earned the right to be annoyed, or to even complain. A voice in my head reminds me, this is a public café, not my office. I come here because I like the energy of being around people. That was worth a chuckle. It’s clear I like the energy of being around quiet people, or even people talking loudly about things I’m curious to eves drop on, but not the people I was given this morning. Then a miracle occurs!
I look up to see a woman walking her puppy outside my window. OMG, it’s so stinking cute! Who wants to work anyway?! She sees me smiling at the puppy and smiles back, I wave, the puppy sits and looks up at me through the glass – I’m sure I know those eyes – in one of my past lives as a dog, we were best friends, I’m certain of it. And the puppy recognizes my souls as well, as she stares directly into my eyes and time stood still for a few moments of deep connection. I’m glad she has her new life, obviously well loved and cared for, filled with joy and wonder. At this moment, I am connected once again with who I really am and all is right with the world.
Puppy energy what it is, my soul’s old friend is off to her next adventure in the grassy islands of parking lot bathroom breaks and giant plastic Christmas mall decorations. I’m back to my first-world problems brought about by being able to work at my laptop wherever I want and being surrounded by everyone having similar technology allowing them to share with people on a cell phone at a café producing their own work accomplishments over coffee and orange scones. Dam, I miss those orange scones on my new healthy eating plan.
The lady with the puppy passes by on the way back to her car, so I run out to ask for a picture and tell her what a gift it was to have her puppy interrupt my crankiness and replace it with the power of choice. The puppy made me forget all about the noisy conversation that was previously impossible to ignore. It turns out, once I was aware of my attention being able to shift, I realized I was actually in choice all along. I just forgot. It seems I forget a lot.
The truth is, that when we feel we are not in choice, it just means there is something that is not in our conscious awareness. Once something comes into conscious awareness, we can then be in choice – no judgment on what we choose, just that we can choose from awareness instead of giving that power to whatever pre-programmed habits of reaction are occurring beneath the surface.
Now that I’ve brought to your awareness, that there is always something not in your awareness, you can choose to explore more of what is beneath the surface of your operating system. Or not. That is the power of being in choice. I choose to continue being a perfectly flawed human and exploring whenever I remember to do so. What do you choose?