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  • Choice – “The first rule is there are no rules”

    2008 - 04.28
    I first heard this phrase from a good friend of mine shortly after I met him.  I then heard it on many more occasions in his classes.  Over the years since that time I've grown to appreciate the importance of this idea.  We live in a culture that has lots of rules, and we live our lives based on rules that we often aren't even aware of. At the same time, we are beings with a special gift, the gift of free will.  We are able to choose what we do.  We actually don't have to follow any rules.  In the game of life it's important to understand that we are the ultimate arbiter.  We have the power to choose exactly how we live our lives.

    No, we are not encouraging you to become an outlaw or rebel without a cause.  However, it may be helpful to examine if and how the rules that you follow in your life serve you.  There are civil rules (laws, etiquette, etc.) that are intended to create a structure that balances individual freedom of expression with how to get along as we live, work and play together.  These rules change with governments, politics and social mores.  They also change over time.  They don't always work for everyone and you always have an option to ignore the rules, or attempt to change them.  Wars, rebellions, civil disobedience, and criminal behavior are all examples of people choosing not to follow the rules, or attempting to change them.   Just keep in mind that there may be consequences in not following civil rules.  Be clear around your intentions.

    There are also cultural rules.  These may be so deeply embedded in our identity or psyche that we may not even be aware of their influence.  These are the rules we got from our family, and close friends as we were growing up and becoming socialized.  These rules are a part of every interaction we have with someone – every communication: what we say, how we say it, what we hear.  They become our underlying assumptions about how life works and how we are "supposed" to act in the world.  Different people with different cultural rules may create misunderstandings and conflict based on these assumptions.  Simply becoming aware of our own cultural rules and how they may be different for someone else could go a long way towards facilitating communications and interactions.  As you become aware of how these rules affect your life and your interactions with others, you can begin to release those that don't support your intentions.

    This website offers many concepts, tools and suggestions.  The best way to integrate these into your life is to experiment with them, and not to make them rules.  Ultimately, it is about you discovering your truth and creating the kind of structure in your life that serves you and supports all of your intentions.  It is about you living your life from a place of aware choice.