The Choosing Ritual

by Scott Noelle
  1. Get two sheets of notebook paper and cut each one into 8 pieces.
  2. On each of the first 8 pieces, write a brief description of something you appreciate about your child and/or being a parent. Fold them in half and place them in a small container (bowl, jar, plastic tub, etc.). Label the container with a plus sign or a smiley face.
  3. On each of the second 8 pieces, describe something you find annoying or frustrating about your child and/or being a parent. Fold and place them in a second container marked with a minus sign or a frowning face.
  4. (Optional) Decorate each container more extensively with symbols and colors that emphasize the positive/negative contrast.
  5. Complete your “altar” for the ritual by placing the two containers side by side in a location where you’ll notice them often (or use a kitchen timer to remind you every hour).

Now let the ritual begin: Every time you see this “altar” (or the timer goes off), you must reach into ONE of the two containers, pull out a note, and read it. In other words...

You must CHOOSE whether to focus on the positive or the negative.

As you choose, notice that you are choosing, and feel the enormous power you wield in that choice. You literally create your experience through your choice.

Beware the trap of thinking you “should” choose one or the other; choose whichever one you feel like choosing. It’s your choice!

Originally published on 2007-03-20
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