Recently, I had an opportunity to work with a number of people who were in the process of making important life decisions. Have you ever had anxiety or fear about making the “right” decision? Yeah, me too. Well, what if you never made a wrong decision? What if we really don’t need to make decisions the way we think we do? Let’s take a closer look at the process, and I’ll share with you some of my own adventures in decision making.
One day at a time
When I was living in Philadelphia I danced in a modern dance company. Due to cuts in funding, the company eventually folded. Around that same time I discovered yoga, and thoroughly enjoyed the practice. It looked like I needed to make a decision about whether to continue the dance career or immerse myself in yoga. Instead of pressuring myself, I woke up every morning and asked myself, “What do I want to do: attend a dance rehearsal or a yoga class?” For a few days I alternated between dance and yoga. I began to consistently choose yoga over dance. The answer became apparent one action at a time, and in reviewing the steps, there wasn’t an experience of making a decision.
One breadcrumb after another
After I left my work, home and friends in Los Angeles, a world of possibilities emerged in front of me. I asked the Universe for signs about where to go and what to do. I was seeking a tangible answer, like Move to Bali. Instead, I received the answer: Follow the breadcrumbs of joy. Maybe that’s what life was showing me—to take one simple step at a time toward the most joyous, healthy and fulfilling pathway for my whole being.
The battle of option A and option B
A few months ago I found myself grappling with a decision. Then I realized there was something in me that felt alive and even turned on by this idea about having to make a decision. I could see my mind loved being engaged in some kind of dramatic inner battle. Rather than banging my head on the wall of a potential outcomes, I felt my way into the process. Staying with the felt sense, I let go of future concerns. It was helpful to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t project the outcome and didn’t know what the decision would bring. I tuned into the wisdom of the body through awareness practices such as iRest Yoga Nidra. As I became more attuned to the body, it became easier to FEEL joy, and then I followed the roadmap provided by my body’s signals.
Life provided an opportunity to go inward to explore the stirrings of my heart and soul. In that moment, the PROCESS of feeling into my truth was a gift, and equally as important as the possible outcome of the decision. Closing my eyes, I felt sensations in my body and listened to its messages. I gave space to my emotions and eventually sat still, relaxed and listened without seeking an answer.
Wait a minute
Recently, a former law enforcement officer shared with us some of his experience in life-and-death situations. He came to realize that the wisest thing he could do in most situations was to just wait. Now most of us don’t have to contend with such situations every day, and we can afford to wait. What a simple but powerful practice. Can you sink into the discomfort of waiting and rest in the great unknown? Can you sleep on it? Or wait for clarity to present itself?
Perfect! This is the juiciest place of all. A few years ago when I found myself in what seemed to be in an impossible situation, I finally threw my hands up in the air with exhaustion. I had a conversation with God/Spirit/Life (whatever you like to call it) and said, “I cannot figure this thing out on my own.” My poor little mind was running around like a rat in an endless maze and nothing was working. It was only then that surrender occurred. Something in me let go and gave up. I waited and life orchestrated what turned out to be a wonderful outcome, way beyond my imagination.
As an experiment, try on the concept that all of life is giving you directions to your highest path and potential all the time. What are the trees, clouds and wind saying to you? What piqued your interest in a conversation you had at the grocery store? What animal made its presence known to you? What are some of the lyrics to the song you happened to notice at the coffee shop? It might be fun to consider. The journey itself is enriching when we allow life to take the reigns. What would it be like if life made all the decisions? What if YOU are not making any decisions at all? Trust and experiment, whatever path is in front of you. Life itself is gleefully excited to explore new territories. If there seems like there is a decision that needs to be made, if nothing else, recognize that you could be in for a deeper exploration. Remember, there are no wrong decisions and it is ALL an adventure!
Still having difficulty?
You’re not alone. I would be honored to guide you—through processes that will allow you to feel into your body, understand the workings of your mind, and listen to your heart and soul. We can explore together!