Redefining Choice Letting your CHOICE Count

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Posted December 30, 2020 from Trinidad and Tobago

When Queen Boudicca prepared for her final battle with the Roman army, fear began to spring up among her fellow warriors. She decided not to feed the fears but to acknowledge them, and then did the unthinkable she lit a bonfire below it. She was using it as fuel for the celts' glory, for women, her daughters, and herself. Her victory came from the choice she made.  In one of her war speeches, she stated, "We British are used to women commanders in war… But I am not fighting for my kingdom and wealth now. I am fighting as an ordinary person for my lost freedom, my bruised body, and my outraged daughters… You will win this battle or perish. That is what I, a woman, plan to do! Let the men live in slavery if they will." Fear is one of the greatest enemies of humanity. Fear of the unknown, fear of fear itself, fear about tomorrow, fearing the relevance of our presence and growth, and fearing the enemy who also at times fears us. In the face of national and global uncertainty, especially during the COVID19 pandemic, a different fear emerged, which felt numbing, crippling, and disorienting. Like Queen Boudicca, many women worldwide made a conscious choice to lite a bonfire below their fears, using their fears as a stepping stone to rise to the occasion to serve humanity and to become better. To launch out into the unknown with new ventures, to invest in others so they can advance, to establish new personal and professional paths, to hold space for each other, and to utter, "I need your help." Every woman who showed up during this time for themselves and others did something. They made a choice.

They made a conscious choice to rise above the fears even in the face of uncertainty as the latter provides an unimaginable reckless faith and fuel to persevere, love, and be present. As I watched Queen Boudicca, I contemplated this notion of choice. I was socialized to have a skewed worldview about choice. And saw it as either "black or white," "right or wrong," "moral or immoral."  My Amazon sisters, was I wrong? I began a journey of unpacking choice and encountered a few AH-HA moments. My process of redefining "CHOICE" and what it looks like and feels like to me will be different from your journey. Every day we make choices; this is a natural part of our existence. Choice intersects with love, giving, empathy, and many other areas in our lives. Choice in and of itself is not "bad or good," "healthy or unhealthy," "moral or immoral." It's about being present, conscious, and informed at the moment of choice. It's a process that is intangible as it occurs internally. However, it produces tangible products. Each day we lose choice, and we also have the incredible opportunity to regain choice. We work to maintain our choices, revisit them, evaluate them, or learn from them. Most people do not condemn or praise the choices. They praise the manifestation of the action that follows the choice. Without the manifestation of choice through action, the choice would remain unknown. These actions can be healthy or unhealthy, enhance one's life and others' lives, enable oppression, dehumanization, direct and indirect abuse, and violence. The process of choice is the basis for human action. While the process of choice is neither "good nor bad," "right or wrong," "moral or immoral," "healthy or unhealthy." The action that follows the choice may receive a response based on the receiver's and onlooker's worldviews and moral compass.  Every day we make a choice to give of ourselves, our resources (not just monetary), to eat, to worship the God one serves, to show up at work, to build or exit relationships, to love, to forgive, to hold onto pain or to let go.  We make a choice to invest in ourselves and others to realize dreams and to support social change. The choice is demonstrated through the "act." If we make a choice not to move, grow, ask for support, say something, or give a lot of things will cease to exist.   Choice precedes action, and action is dependent on choice. It is about an internal conversation you have with yourself that leads to an action that can make you experience a sense of purpose and accomplishment or sink beneath fear and regret. And your choice can create space for yourself and others to advance and realize the fullness of living an abundant life. Choices make up our lived experiences. As we end 2020 and enter 2021, I would not encourage you to make a resolution list for the coming year, nor would I encourage you to commit to some great notable work. I encourage you to take time to pause, reflect, and make your choices count. In so doing, great works will follow, internal changes will occur, showing up and holding space for yourself and others will override self-preservation and toxic relevance, and the world will be a better place as we become better.

While many the world over may be fearful of what 2021 may bring, afraid of the wrath of the pandemic. Afraid to give of themselves because self-preservation has kicked in, internal and external chaos about the uncertainties and fragility of life, economies, businesses, organizations, and the planet is overriding the ability to pause and make a choice that would not feed the present fears. Many choose instead to lose the battle without stepping into the ring due to anxiety, and in so doing, they lose opportunities to create and bring things to life. Remember, the choice you make right now can create a tremendous blaze to clear the path for victory and pay it forward or enable passivity and regression to be covered by the weeds of fear and indecision. Know that you were born to develop blazes base on your choices. As Joan of Arc said, "I was born for this."

What choice would you make today to become a better you and invest in those around you?

With Love

Sherna Alexander Benjamin

Comments 10

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jomarieb.earth
Dec 30, 2020
Dec 30, 2020

Oh, my dear sister Sherna!
What a wonderful work of art you have brought to the table of the world. Thanking you profusely for the motivation, affirmation, confirmation and importance of "choice". I felt this read to my core, my bones. And it really fired up a reverence and commitment to self, being accountable and making choices. We always have them. And they affect everything. I have to thank you sincerely for sharing this wonderful essay. I see you in front of a "knowledge hungry" audience while you deliver these pearls of wisdom with conviction. I am honored to be part of your audience. And I am also very grateful. I will be referring to this continuously in the future. As it provides not only food for thought, but fuel towards action. Bravo sister! Bravo!
Hugs...JoMarie
(my folks are from Trinidad and Grenada. I had to share that sis!)

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Dec 31, 2020
Dec 31, 2020

Sister JoMarie,
Thank you for the encouraging words. I wish you the best for 2021 and be safe. I am glad to know that something I have written you have found joy in reading. We have another thing in common as my folks are from Trinidad and Grenada. My biological mother is from Grenada.

Being Intentional and Conscious as we Become Better
Sherna Alexander Benjamin

ESEZA MUKYALA
Dec 31, 2020
Dec 31, 2020

Dear Sis, thanks for sharing with us that tremendous story, I really learn alot from what you have said.

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Dec 31, 2020
Dec 31, 2020

Dear sister Eseza Mukyala,
I appreciate your comment and encouragement.

Tamarack Verrall
Dec 31, 2020
Dec 31, 2020

Dear Sherna,
I have had the privilege to watch and hear you speak on line and in person. You are an orator of magnificent degree, powerful, holding so much knowledge and wisdom, cutting through the barriers and opening the path for others. This call to action lifts me off my seat to applaud you. I love that you bring the fierceness and bravery of Boudicca. So much of our herstory of fierce and loving women leaders has been intentionally hidden, too often erased. Here you allow her to lead the way into what can only be described, giving it justice, as an oration from you here, that galvanizes us in remembering and absorbing the possibilities, when we step forward into our own power, together.
Deep sisterhood love to you, my dear sister,
Tam

Marie Abanga
Jan 01
Jan 01

Tam ma dear,
I understand more and more how much FEMININE Power history has been deliberately hidden or dismissed from our curriculum. Thank to you and other Amazon sisters like Sherna here, am learning and sharing more and more

Light and love always
Marie

Marie Abanga
Jan 01
Jan 01

Dear Sherna,

My Amazon sister, this is some gospel on Choice you just delivered. Ama gonna save this to read it over again and yeah I was talking with my sister in the US just before reading this epic post of yours and when she asked what were my goals for 2021, I said I just wanted to make the best choices and focus on being present in those experiences and interactions. I then come and read your post and am like there we go gurl...You watched my write away in my focus planner yesterday and it was mainly about my personal and professional development so far and the choices I want to make this year summed up nicely in your post thus: "Choice intersects with love, giving, empathy, and many other areas in our lives. Choice in and of itself is not "bad or good," "healthy or unhealthy," "moral or immoral."
Thank you sis
Light and love and all the best
Marie

Our Amazon Sherna,

Your words feel like thunder as I read your post. What a great way to start the year, lighting bonfires! Making choices that count. Wow! Powerful.

This resonates so much with me, "Like Queen Boudicca, many women worldwide made a conscious choice to lite a bonfire below their fears, using their fears as a stepping stone to rise to the occasion to serve humanity and to become better. To launch out into the unknown with new ventures, to invest in others so they can advance, to establish new personal and professional paths, to hold space for each other, and to utter, "I need your help." Every woman who showed up during this time for themselves and others did something. They made a choice."

Thank you for setting the pace. Yes, we were born for this. Happy New Year!

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Jan 07
Jan 07

I read your write up again and again, doing a synopsis of my life in the process and analysing my choices over the years and thinking about the choices I need to make to be a better me this year. Thank you for tremendously impacting my life through your write up.

Adanna
Jan 11
Jan 11

Oh dear Sherna, I enjoyed reading this.

Something to ponder on: "What choice would you make today to become a better you and invest in those around you?."

Thank you for sharing.

Love,
Adanna