All my life – up until very, very recently – I have struggled to make decisions. Not being 100% sure of who I was or what I wanted, every decision was based on what I ought to do, or should do, or thought I should do.
Any decision would involve hours of weighing up and pros and cons; of rationally thinking (clawing) my way to an answer.
I’m not sure any of this ever came from a loving or gentle place. It felt agonising most of the time.
Recently however, I have been using a different technique. It’s very simple. And it’s very easy (providing you manage to get out of your own way).
Over the years I have noticed that things that make me feel good, also make me feel light. Things that overwhelm me or make me feel bad, make me feel heavy.
On rare occasions, things that electrify me with happiness literally make every cell in my body buzz! (Sadly, I have only ever experienced this twice in my life – once when I was doing Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way course years ago and we were doing an exercise which involved expressing our true selves… and the second time happened last week when I did a visualisation exercise about my future and saw myself with a husband and two kids.)
So my new approach is to simply tune in to how things make me feel…LIGHT or HEAVY? (If I’m buzzing, I know I’m on to a seriously good thing!)
I have made several important decisions like this in the past few weeks:
I turned down a copywriting project… because it made me feel heavy.
I turned down a kind offer to be trained as a proofreader… because it made me feel heavy.
And I turned down the offer of starting a new business with a friend… because, whilst it didn’t make me feel heavy, it definitely didn’t make me feel light. Numb was the word for it. And I really don’t want any more ‘numbness’ in my life.
In each of the above cases, I didn’t think about these decisions; I tuned in to how they made me feel and that made the decision obvious.
Interestingly, I haven’t beaten myself up about any of these decisions, whereas in the past I would have ruminated and fretted for days… “What if? Maybe I should have? What do you think? But I need the money!…”
I know sometimes (often) we don’t have a choice (e.g. we need to take a job because we’re struggling financially). But at the very least we can honour how we feel and tune into our heart or gut so that we can be guided towards a future that is right for us. Whether that’s a new job, relationship, hobby, or place to live.
Admittedly, it can be hard to hear what our heart is trying to tell us because its message keeps getting drowned out by other voices that are shouting louder.
But I really believe all the answers are inside us, waiting for us to stop and gently (lovingly) listen.
(Image: Microsoft Clip Art)