Do you ever have a cluster of similarly themed messages coming your way in a short period of time? That’s what I’m experiencing right now. The current message that keeps recurring for me is this: it is my choice to enjoy or not enjoy life, no matter what is happening.

Lately, pesky fears about my health have been buzzing around me like gnats. I’ve been on a cancer journey for the past 4 years and am currently in remission, but a part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop. In response to those fears, I recently awoke with this thought: “Just enjoy your life right now. No matter what may happen in the future, DECIDE to thoroughly enjoy today.”

An hour after that thought dawned on me, my husband Tom came home from his Toastmasters meeting and told me that someone there had read a piece from the book, Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl (the quintessential “Choose how you want to feel” guy). He was in a concentration camp with a young woman who knew that she would die in the next few days, but in spite of that, she was cheerful. He asked her how she could be so cheerful and she said, “I am grateful that fate has hit me so hard. In my former life I was spoiled and did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously.” She pointed out the window where she could see one branch of a chestnut tree with two blossoms on it. She told him that she often talked to the tree, and the tree spoke to her, saying, "I am here--I am here--I am life, eternal life."

Later on that same a day a friend of mine told me that the Cat Stevens song, “If You Want to Sing Out”, was playing in her head over and over. One verse goes like this: “If you want to live high, live high. If you want to live low, live low. 'Cause there's a million ways to go, you know that there are.” It was contagious and started playing repeatedly in my mind too. When stuck in the trance of stinking thinking, that song is a perfect trance buster; it can wake us up to the awareness that we have a choice about how we want to feel.

I soon had the opportunity to try it out. One day I woke up and walked into the living room to greet my husband. He was engrossed in a Lakers game on TV, barely noticing me. He eventually looked up at me and said a tepid “Good morning.” His disinterest triggered in me a chopped liver feeling, as in “What am I, chopped liver?” I told him how I was feeling, and as we talked, I could feel myself being swept away in a flood of adrenaline, feeling so good to feel so bad, so right to feel so wronged.

But then I remembered that I had a choice about how I wanted to feel; I chose to bust that trance by singing in my mind the Cat Stevens song (adding some of my own words), “If you want to feel stuck, feel stuck, if you want to feel free, feel free. There's a million ways to be, you know that there are.” That helped me regain clarity, love, and connection with Tom. (I realized that when he walks in the room and I'm engrossed in a television show, I too sometimes feel reluctant to interrupt my focus, so I knew that it wasn’t personal.)

This theme of choosing how I want to feel, no matter what is happening, was echoed one more time while I was watching the movie, Nicholas and Alexandra. At the end of the movie the Russian czar and his family were imprisoned in a holding room, unsure of their fate, and in a moment of total clarity and joy Nicholas resoundingly exclaimed, “It is so GOOD to be alive!” Yes, it is! I choose to thoroughly enjoy this moment, this day, this life, right here and now, come what may!

How about you? Are you faced with a choice of feeling good or feeling bad? As Cat Stevens sang, “There’s a million ways to go, you know that there are.” The choice is yours.

Author's Bio: 

Janet Jacobsen is the author of the book Oh No, Not Another ‘Growth’ Opportunity! An Inspirational Cancer Journey With Humor, Heart, and Healing. To read more of Janet’s FREE, uplifting, entertaining, and informative essays, as well as the first 4 chapters of her book, go to