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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Time for Some Dictums

by Susan Hitchcock 

What are you thinking as your eyes stop on this page? Are you wondering what this dictum stuff is and maybe continuing to read will keep you from napping? Curiosity is good, yes, so why not continue; you can always change the page … hmm … You may even forget what a dictum is! 

Today’s world has become what it is, for better or worse, because of laws and some have somber and very harsh histories (like dictums). These, if only subliminally, affect our daily actions not only on life’s larger societal scale, but in our daily decisions. That’s where the “Yin and Yang of Life” play an important role. Are you getting me or are you contemplating putting this down and taking that cat nap? Not yet! Because here’s the crux of the issue. Remember yin and yang in remedial Enlightenment? Think about it: Each of us has both the yin and yang in our makeup and both can be elemental in which decision or path we take at any given point in our daily thoughts and actions, right? The following are some highly relevant and easily applied reminders you’ve stashed on your Soul Inspiration book shelf and now’s as good a time as any to dust off your gray matter and plunge ahead. Just look for that soft white light of knowing leading you back to that whole inner-being you are becoming each day. 


In Decision Making 101, way back before you even knew what yoga meant, there were some necessary rules (i.e., dictums, but gentler) to apply. They became your mental and physical mantras with diligent and regular practice. Are you a maker of to-do lists?  Great, you’ve made your daily tasks real, so that’s half the battle.  (Reminder: don’t beat yourself up if half of them are on tomorrow’s to dos—the top ones didn’t get done and the sky didn’t fall on you! Lesson Refresher #1: Do’s and Don’ts are often self-imposed, so don’t punish yourself: you are the ultimate decider. Next time, make your lists realistic and feel better when you’ve finished them. Results: you learned self-kindness, a different kind of discipline and did this with heart, mindfulness and satisfaction. Now those are good rules, the kind that make us feel some warmth and fuzziness toward ourselves. You will find these pesky practices aren’t so pesky as they seemed. After all, it was said back in more carefree decades: make Love … no Wait! See what I mean? You’re already taking surprising detours and getting lost has been kind of Fun, no? Or not ... okay. There’s more to learning than just one course and leisure, fun and creative adventuring are within sight!   

Wait! What’s that smoky smell coming through your window this autumn day? A cozy fire or outdoor fire pit? A deeper inhale and that sure smells like marshmallows or even the rare meat you indulge in occasionally, but have exchanged for healthier fare. Besides, it’s snack break, and then time for a brisk walk wearing that earth-toned poncho you snared at the nearby vintage shop. You have gotten through those Decision Making lessons and earned some rewards. You’ve learned a while ago that life is lived more fully among things nature, so get out there! Immerse yourself in its tempting smells and colorful sensuality for a well-deserved, self-affirming experience. As in most of Life, we are the final choosers of our ever-changing Nature—the judge and jury, so to speak, of what we do and don’t do to make our chakras and other parts happier. Make a mental check mark for remembering to hug Nature and double your dose of Holistic Health. 

Class is about to be dismissed. Remember: Do’s and Don’ts, while good tools, are whimsical, but you are Smarter, thanks to that Decision Making course you just aced. As for those unexpected catastrophic events that can invade our lives, you now possess the right ammunition to revise, alter or toss those to-do lists, and free up more time for communing with the healing Nature we all love—and it’s Free!   

And now for the end of the road. But don’t be surprised, those DODD’s—doers of dirty dictums—may pop up at any time. Meanwhile, strive daily to be that kind, searching and questioning soul who endures tough yoga moves among other twists and turns. Practice well and often and you’ll become that more meaningful person you strive to be. 

Be that kinder, gentler but more autonomous You (and leave those dictums to the DODDs that can appear when you least expect them to.) 

What now? New paths await you each day. Walk gently, listen carefully and leave something of yourself on them. You’ll find you always bring a better you on all of your future travels through this fascinating life. Namaste. 

Freelance writer Susan Hitchcock is happy to once again be contributing to this edition of Natural Awakenings.