By Karen M. Meyer, April, 2019
Free Will… Is it a blessing or a curse?
It is said that inherent in being human, setting us apart from other living creatures, is a phenomenon called “free will”.
And so I question how free are we? And, if indeed we are free, is this freedom a blessing or a curse?
I‘m very curious about pairing these words ”free” and “will” together since, by definition, each word could be interpreted as the other’s opposite or the term could be considered an oxymoron.
So perhaps, when entertaining the conversation of free will being a blessing or curse, the answer lies in the question itself. Yes, it is “both/and”.
When one becomes a prisoner in their monkey mind of rumination or stuck in thought patterns; free will may not be so free. With no direction and too many options to choose from, this freedom may be considered a curse.
It may be considered a blessing when one is able to use their will to direct or focus their thoughts. One might then be able to have more freedom and perceived control of his/her life and live by the words “change your thoughts, change your life.”
How does one go about doing this?
Perhaps by honoring “being” human”/ human being.
Loving the pairing of these two words, I try to start my day by bringing the two together and living from the “both/and” perspective with a morning practice. It begins with a simple prayer of gratitude as soon as I open my eyes of “Thank You, God”.
I then get out of bed, into the bathroom, splash some cold water on my face to make sure I’m still alive and in this form called body, and I continue in prayer. Taken from a Course in Miracles, I ask :
“Where would you have me go?”
“What would you have me do?”
“What would you have me say?”
“And to whom?”
Then I listen.
I find it easier to focus on listening by writing. I understand my hands to be an extension of my heart and appreciate the joy of listening with my heart.
I use a notebook opened to both pages. On the right side of the page, I allow words and designs to flow free style. I consider it to be the “downloading” of the Spirit.
On the left page, I use two columns called “to do”/“to be,” respectively.
I try to find a word that might be the right container for the downloads; like a box of understanding. I just let it be, without editing, and then go on to the next step of my morning practice. It could be reading an inspirational poem or article, speaking to my prayer partner, or asana practice/meditation on my yoga mat.
Whatever the form takes, I start the day by “Grounding myself in Spirit”.
Sounds like another oxymoron? Perhaps.
Some of my favorite teachers are oxymorons!
From here, the rest of my day is about “doing”. (The human part.)
I’ve grown to listen to Spirit continually throughout the day by hearing the song of my soul with the rhythm of my breath. From “Inspiration to Action”, I try to walk along the day’s path with beauty and grace. I follow my breath and try to be happy for where I am at any given moment. I try to keep my thoughts in the background, being kind in the foreground. It is a day-by-day practice; moment-by-moment and breath-by-breath.