Making Better Choices

The intention of my new mantra for the past couple of months has been to make better decisions. At first, the mantra applied to big things like my move to California, closing a business in North Carolina, and opening a new business in Palm Springs.

But now I see this smart and obvious mantra making the biggest impact on the little things like what I buy at the grocery store, what time to go to bed, and taking showers. Keeping this mantra close to my heart and repeating it when faced with a choice, any choice, I find I not only make better decisions, but I learn a lot about myself, too.

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Think, Feel, Breathe, and Move Forward

For some reason, at around 10 pm I turn into a six-year-old. I don’t want to take a bath, I don’t want to go to bed, and I want to eat ice cream. I don’t know why this is, but it makes me stinky, tired, and fat. None of those things are a personal goal of mine. I know that I sleep better when I am clean. I know that when I go to bed at a reasonable hour, I feel better. I know that eating late at night is a child’s attempt to delay bathing and bedtime.

Using the mantra “make better choices” is a moment that I take a deep breath, think sincerely and make a plan to go forward.

I have recently been looking at how I shop for groceries. For me, not buying “snack” food is a better choice. I can’t seem to open a bag of chips without finishing the entire bag. I have been eating more vegetarian meals, mostly because they are easier to prepare. I also have less trash. I run, do yoga, and move so that I have to take a bath. I go to bed early because I like my mornings.

Even so, I Still Find Myself Making Bad Choices

Recently, I decided to spend ten days in French-speaking Canada staying in close quarters with someone I didn’t know, traveling long hours trapped in transportation. I found myself frustrated trying to allow room for other people’s personalities while attempting to stay true to myself.

My yoga classes were taught in French. I communicated in French with an Appalachian accent. I don’t know what I was thinking. And, yes, people can certainly affect your time, but ultimately my experience is my responsibility. Knowing that my brain is hardwired to focus on negative experiences, it was super-challenging to stay optimistic. I released the past, pardoning the poor decision, and focused on how I wanted the trip to end. And, then I tempered my mood to attain that desire.

Note it was a constant struggle not to have a meltdown, but my Canada story is a good one. My experience was ultimately phenomenal. I learned a lot. A long weekend would have been a better choice, and I should take yoga classes taught in English. Finally, remaining optimistic, assuming responsibility for my experience, and being grateful for what I have is the best choice of all. See, I learned.


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Joseph Powell

YOGAJO® IS JOE POWELL, a man doing yoga and supporting the men’s yoga community by promoting yoga for men. Trained…

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