Subject: It Really Is Your Choice – Always
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Issue #74


1. Welcome Notes
2. It Really Is Your Choice – Always
3. Coaching: 5 Possibilities
5. Wisdom for the Journey
6. Celebrating Out Loud!
7. Reading for the Journey
8. Resources for the Journey
9. Humor: The Paradox of our Time by George Carlin

1. Welcome Notes

As always, I want to welcome our new subscribers. You
are very important to us and we are delighted to have you
as a part of our Celebrating the Journey family.

On November 18, I am beginning a couple of months
celebrating my own journey with some exciting personal
development work. I will be at The Esalen Institute on Big
Sur for a month and then in Death Valley for a period of
time. Neither place has internet access so publishing CTJ
during that time will be impossible.

You will receive 3 more regularly scheduled issues, with
the last arriving on November 14. There will be no
scheduled issues between then and late January. It is my
intention to surprise you with a couple of unscheduled
goodies during that time. We shall see where and when
the Universe presents me with internet access.

I hope you will choose to maintain your subscription. I
will return to weekly publication in January with a
renewed spirit and lots of new stories, tips, giggles and
celebrations to share with you. You need do nothing to
receive that first issue of 2002.

If you do wish to unsubscribe at this time, hit your reply
button and enter, “Unsubscribe please” in the subject line.
I hope you’ll stay.

2. It Really Is Your Choice – Always

“I had no choice.” It’s a common statement, thought,
idea, particularly in this fast-paced, over-stimulating,
sometimes dangerous world in which we live.

I had to…
sell the house because I couldn’t afford the mortgage.
get a divorce because my spouse was having an affair.
take this job I don’t like because I needed the money.
stay in the relationship even though I wasn’t happy for
the sake of the children.
move to another town even though I love it where I
am because my spouse got a better job there.
have dinner with my in-laws who I don’t like or my
partner would be upset.

I had no choice.

Sure you did! The truth is we ALWAYS have choices. We
may not like the consequences of some of the choices.
That doesn’t mean they are not choices.

You can’t pay your mortgage? It may seem like the only
choice is to sell the house. In reality, you could do a
number of things:
1. Ignore the problem and hope that a miracle
2. Buy a lottery ticket and hope your number comes
3. Take a second job.
4. Talk with a financial planner or credit counselor.
5. File bankruptcy.
6. Look for a higher paying job.
7. Rent out the extra bedroom.
8. Clean out the junk in the garage and rent it as a
commercial space.

You get the idea. You may not like the consequences of
one or more of these choices. That doesn’t change the
reality that they ARE choices.

When we examine other options even if we don’t like the
consequences or they don’t seem to make sense, we enter
problem solving mode rather than being stuck in giving
up mode. We choose our life rather than allowing it to
choose us.

3. Coaching: 5 Possibilities

Opening to the variety of choices available in any
situation requires that we step out of our comfort zone.
This is not a warm fuzzy thing for us to do! We tend to
make choices based on habit rather than on creativity; out
of resignation rather than acceptance; out of fear rather
than inquiry.

Mary Goldenson, a very wise therapist and workshop
leader, strongly advocates that before making any
decision, we first come up with 5 possibilities.

They may not be possibilities you like. They may not even
seem to make sense. Seeing 5 possibilities, however, gets
us thinking creatively, outside the box, in a new direction.

And the more we think that way, the better we get at it.
The more possibilities we create, the easier it becomes to
see them and the more there are. When we act as if there
are always options, it becomes the truth.

For the next week, for every decision to be made, problem
to be solved, situation to be handled, come up with at least
5 possibilities for making, solving, handling them and
watch how your way of looking at the world changes. You
will choose your own life rather than letting it choose

Direct your own life or let it direct you. The choice is
yours. Which do you choose?


Whatever you do, do it because you choose to do it, not
from any misguided sense of duty, obligation, or
Peter McWilliams

When our heart chooses its own song, our voice rings
true, clear and strong.
Robin Kent

We can choose to create of our lives an accident or an

I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only
a choice of attitude.
Judith M. Knowlton

5. Wisdom for the Journey

The Farmer’s Donkey

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The
animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to
figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was
old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just
wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him.
They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the
well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening
and cried horribly.

Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few
shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the
well and was astonished at what he saw.

With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey
was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and
take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to
shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off
and take a step up.

Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped
up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The

trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a
step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can
get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never
giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!

This wonderful fable came to me from Carolyn Mickelson
via Becky Jackson. You can thank Carolyn at and Becky at

This is a new section of CTJ called Wisdom for
the Journey. The wisdom will come from you, our
readers. We all have favorite stories or parables, fables or
nuggets that help to guide our lives. I invite you each to
share yours with our CTJ family by sending it to Celebrate your
growing wisdom by sharing it with us all!

6. Celebrating Out Loud

10/16 Mandy R. celebrates one year of sobriety. A very
special celebration indeed! Please send your good wishes
to Mandy at

Anastasia is an American expat living in the UK and, like
so many of us, she is having difficulty dealing with the
events of September 11 and the subsequent military
actions. She celebrates the pure joy and love shown her by
Oscar and Lucy, 2 black lab puppies “who despite all my
shared grief, always have a wagging tail in their pure
innocence.” May we all find something or someone who
restores the sense of love that is so needed right now.
Share your own love sources with Anastasia at And with us
here at CTJ by emailing them and any other celebrations
in your life to us at
Thank you!

7. Reading for the Journey

Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten,
by Robert Fulghum

My friend and colleague Phil Humbert reminded me in
his TIP’s ezine last week what a marvelous book this is.
His description is right on the money so I use his words
here. You can learn more about Phil and TIP’s at

“This wonderful book has become a classic, a book I re-
read every year or so. It’s filled with such gentle humor,
profound insight, common sense and wisdom that I can’t
put it down. This is a remarkable book by a remarkable
man. Get it, read it, give it to your kids for the Holidays,
then give them another copy when they get married, and
when their first child is born. Eventually, somewhere
along the line, they’ll finally ‘get’ it, and thank you
forever! And, at only $6.99, buy several and save them for
those ‘teachable moments’!”

8. Resources for the Journey

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here
on earth.
Muhammed Ali

Doing service for others is a great way to celebrate the
journey of life and give back what we have been given.
Want to get involved and do some service in your
community? Enter your ZIP code at and find out what
projects and organization are looking for volunteers.

It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest
by helping others to succeed. Napoleon Hill

Giving to others gives us more than we give away.
Peter McWilliams

9. Humor: The Paradox of our Time by George Carlin

George Carlin is known for his insightful, and sometimes
brutal, humor. This piece is filled with insight, with less
than the usual amount of humor, and no brutality. Read
it and believe the world can be different.

The Paradox of our Time by George Carlin

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller
buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but
narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we
buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and
smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we
have more degrees, but less sense, more knowledge, but
less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more
medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too
recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too
quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom,
watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have
multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve
added years to life, not life to years. We’ve been all the
way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the
street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer
space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but
not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve
split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but
learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve
learned to rush, but not to wait, We build more
computers to hold more information to produce more
copies than ever, but have less communication.

These are the times of fast foods, and slow digestion; tall
men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow
relationships. These are the times of world peace, but
domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds
of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes,
but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-
away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and
pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window an
nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can
bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose
either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Give yourself the gift of possibilities this week.

Namaste, Margo

Hiring a Life Coach is a great way be supported in taking
the steps that will lead you to your own dreams.
Margo has a few slots open for motivated clients who
want to shift from, “My life is good, but…” to “I have a
great life!” Visit our website at for additional resources
and tools. To schedule a consultation, send an e-mail to

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My purpose in publishing Celebrating the Journey is to
provide you with resources, motivation, inspiration and
energy for YOUR journey of creating success and freedom
in all areas of your life. CTJ will use stories from my life
and others, coaching tips and resources, quotes and
humor to deliver a learning experience that can enhance
your life. I am always looking for comments, ideas and
ways to improve CTJ. I welcome your e-mails at

Copyright © 2001, all rights reserved, by Margo

I invite you to share Celebrating the Journey with your
mailing list, friends, and associates. We ask only that the
entire e-mail with copyright and credits be included. The
author of this article is Margo Chisholm. You may contact
her at (970) 704-9336 or at

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include
all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
Albert Schweitzer

Margo Chisholm
Coach, Speaker, Author, Therapist
Partnering you in having success,
freedom and joy in all areas of your life
970-704-9336 fax 970-704-9346


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