A friend was recently faced with a life-changing choice. She was temporarily stuck as she weighed up all the pros and cons.
Looking for some support, she reached out to me and asked for advice.
The best I could do was share how I do it.
What follows therefore is the strategy that I use after I have done all my research and weighed all the pros and cons.
Recently, for example, I needed to decide whether I should take on a hefty load of new work. I was uncertain which way to go. From one perspective, it was a good idea. From another perspective, it was problematic.
So here is how I make these decisions It is a process that I have used for a long time and it has proved reliable for me. (And God laughs when we make plans . . .)
At the end of this blog, I am hoping that you might want to add your own strategies.
Calm –> Question –> Answer
If you know me, you’ll know that I have a mind that can just whizz away. It whizzes very effectively and usefully, but sometimes I just cannot find clarity.
So I have learnt that I need be quiet and have a calm brain when I am faced with difficult decisions.
If I am speeding, aroused or anxious, then I know that my adrenalised nervous system will skew my thinking.
Especially when it is a challenging or emotionally charged decision, I can find it difficult to get calm. I have learnt therefore to locate these decisions inside my meditation practice.
Sometimes, however, I serendipitously surf a calm state, for example, when out in nature, or watching television . . . I close my eyes . . .
Inside this calm I focus softly on the issue.
I check that my breath and body stay at ease.
I then pose the issue as a very simple and straightforward question.
“Should I do this – or not?”
I then allow my body to either lean forward or lean backward.
If my body leans forward — it is a Yes.
If my body leans backward — it is a No.
It is as simple as that. I use my whole body as a dowsing rod, trusting that its intuitive wisdom will give me the right direction. (Like muscle testing.)
I 100% trust this process.
Afterwards I take no notice of any recurring anxious thoughts and feelings, except to comfort them.
Sometimes, when I am a few months into the new situation, I may have reasonable and rational doubts. I then repeat the process.
Also, of course, after a period of committed time, I may wonder whether it is time to exit. I repeat the process again.
Always, of course, this is within an ethical and reflective framework. Do no harm. Be compassionate. Do not abandon. And so on.
I hope that is helpful for some readers. And I am sure that many of you already use a similar method.
If you have your own decision-making strategies that may help others please feel free to add them.