Changes are inevitable! The current world’s scenario is asking us to leave our comfort/familiar zone and change. Some of us are being invited to change, but most of us are being forced to. Life doesn’t come with a warranty plan. There is no way to guarantee that a marriage is going to work forever or that we will have a lifetime job. The only permanent aspect of life is impermanence!
Change forces us to go deep within, whether we like it or not. But we also have the choice to be superficial by reacting to change instead of responding to it. However, we will pay a price for that; most of the time it brings substantial disappointment. Making a decision is the most important feature of the change process. And how hard that can be!
Sometimes, people say “I am going to do that because I don’t have a choice!” This statement is the most common way to limit ourselves. It is also a false statement because we always have options; the point is that we are not always aware of them. It happens because we live from the ego-mind perspective, which believes only in the rational mind. How precarious it can be! The rational mind is responsible only for 10% of human behaviors. Thus, we keep ourselves prisoners of our own ego-mind. It is very frustrating and depressing because the amount of uncertainty that comes with the rational mind is overwhelming. It is not a surprise that we are living in one of the most anxious times. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of techniques and professionals that can help us go within and discover hidden resources we have that provide a more peaceful way to make those decisions.
I would like to share an exercise with you that I use with my clients and myself that can be helpful when you have to make a decision. But first I would like to clarify that I am not saying that we should ignore the rational mind. Rather we have plenty of resources within that we rarely make use of them, such as intuition or gut feelings, body sensations, awareness, subconscious mind, and superconscious mind. All of them can be coupled with the rational mind, which enable us to be more grounded when making a decision.
First Step – using the rational mind – get a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line, dividing it in two columns. One column is about the pros and the other about the cons. It is very important that you handwrite the positive and the negative points of each decision you can possibly make it. The act of writing down these points with your hand stimulates certain areas of your brain that bring clarity and insights. When you write, you leave the abstract – “world in your head” – and make it something “concrete.”
Second Step – feelings and body sensations – after brainstorming the pros and cons of each decision you possibly can make, it is time to “feel” it in your body. Body wisdom is a vital point when making a decision because it can bring new possibilities and clarify the cloudy aspects of the situation. So, close your eyes, take three deep breaths and place both hands over your heart. Bring to your mind each of your options and pay deep attention on how your body feels when you think about each of them. This step brings a level of awareness that you didn’t have before. Next, write down those feelings or any memory from the past that this step of the exercise brought from your subconscious mind to your conscious mind.
Third Step – working with the imagination – Eisntein once said that imagination is more important than knowledge. I can understand why he said that, although I personally think that both are important. For this part of the exercise, please, close your eyes, take three deep breaths, and relax. Imagine a beam of white liquid light coming from the top of your head and going down to your toes. This light feels great! It is warm, soft, caring, and gentle. It relaxes each cell of your body and you feel wonderful. Now that your body is relaxed, call on this light to relax your mind. It soothes your thoughts, making you less anxious and more present.
Next, visualize, in details, the best realistic outcomes you can get of each decision. For example, if you don’t know if you should move to the mountains or to the beach, imagine walking on the beach, feeling the breeze in your face, the sun warming your skin, the seagulls flying away, the blue clear sky, the sound of the weaves, and so on. Repeat this experience with the mountains. Also imagine what could go wrong and how you would deal with that. Which one was more appealing to you? If you lost your job, for instance, and want to start an online business or find a job in another field, imagine the best of both situations and how it feels for you. Then imagine what could go wrong and how you would manage that. When you are finished with this exercise, take another deep breath and slowly come back to the room, to your body and finally open your eyes. This exercise makes you feel more supported when making a decision because you are having not only your rational mind input, but also an input from your subconscious mind and your superconscious mind.
Now you have a broader perspective of your choices, so it is easier to make a decision because you are not reacting to it, but responding to it.