Do I have to?

Empowerment Center

Do I have to?


There is very little that we do in a day that we *have* to do. There is choice everywhere if we notice it: we choose what to wear (and even to wear clothes at all), we choose what to eat (and even to eat at all), we choose how to work out (or even to work out at all). Some things are autonomic (like breathing, sleeping, digesting) and everything else has choice baked in - if we pause to notice.

Does that matter?

I think so. Noticing that I made the choice gives me room to choose otherwise.

When I’m out on a run and feeling like it’s harder than I want at the moment, remembering that I chose to be there and that I get to choose the speed and duration of my run gives me power - either to continue or to stop. When I’m in a class and the teacher cues a pose or exercise that isn’t my favorite, remembering that I am the mistress of my own mat and get to choose to follow or adjust gives me room to listen to my body. When I’m sitting on the couch feeling like I have to get my workout in for the day, remembering that I get to choose when and how and if I move my body restores my ability to enjoy myself, whatever I choose.

The “have to” pull is strong when it comes to things like work and other things that keep us going. It feels like we have to go to work, for example. If we don’t, we lose access to things like housing and food - things we arguably need for survival. So, does that mean we have to go? Honestly, no. It means that we’re prioritizing the things we need and are choosing to do the things that maintain our access to those things.

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