Our lives are defined by the choices we make.
The only constant in life is change, and living an awakened life involves active participation in each moment as it arises.
We do this by making decisions.
(Not choosing is also a decision.)
Decision-making has always been something of an issue for me. ‘Outside’ choices (those in relation to the world, my likes and dislikes, opinions and so on) are easy, but when it comes to making decisions for myself (‘inside’ choices) it’s always been a horrific tangle of interminable arguing back and forth, weighing of options (I am a good Libran after all), and considering every possible outcome (the control freak in me might also have a little something to do with that).
I’m happy to be able to say that nowadays decision-making is almost always easy-peasy for me (it can still get sticky when expectations of people I love are going to get disappointed), and that recently, in a somewhat ironic twist, several friends have reached out to me for help with their decision-making process (and each time a happy conclusion has been reached).
What I’ve discovered is that the best decisions come from the heart – not the emotions, but from within the deep well of quiet wisdom that each of us carries in our hearts.
These decisions do not require weighing of options, balancing of positive and negative aspects, an abundance of logical reasoning, or input from the ego.
They just ARE.
When we make decisions from this place we find that they just happen somewhere within us, without our minds being consulted. All we need to do is check in with our hearts to collect the answer. Living from this space, the act of decision-making becomes a process of decision-discovering.
For those of you who are questioning the wisdom of not having any rational input; the heart also has objective wisdom – we don’t have to rely on rational arguments from the mind. Heart-based decision-making is NOT emotion-based decision-making; it’s soul-based decision-making.
Our hearts carry the whispers of who we truly are. Of why we are here. Our hearts know what the best decision is for us, in each moment.
Often we are not conscious of it; sometimes we don’t want to know. A lot of the time we are too caught up in the chatter of our minds to be able to have even a hope of hearing the wisdom our hearts are holding.
Learning how to access that wisdom, and then learning to trust it, will change your life.
How to hear your heart
Find a quiet, calm space where you will not be disturbed.
Sit comfortably, spine straight. Breathe deep into your belly. E x h a l e, let your shoulders drop.
Feel your weight relax into the ground beneath you. Let your eyes fall closed.
Breathe deeply, and now place your awareness on the space between your eyebrows. Focus your concentration here until you can feel a slight pressure.
Now move your awareness down, through your face and neck, into your chest, and let it settle in your heart.
Rest there a moment, notice how you feel.
Bring the decision you need to make into this space. Just hold it there, not thinking, simply being with it, unattached to what happens.
Ask your heart what it would have you do?
And listen for the answer.
Fear vs love / contraction vs expansion
An easy habit to get into is to ask what is the fear answer/decision and what is the love answer.
Out of love, what would you do?
When we begin to consistently choose the love option instead of fear option, we get out of the way of our life unfolding. Decisions arise out of a place of BEing, rather than DOing as we allow our hearts to direct us, rather than our minds.
We can also ask how each option feels in the body; does it open you up, breathe more easily, let you expand? Or does it make you shrink, close, contract?
Your heart knows. Your body knows.
The best decision is not always the rational one. Not always the obvious one. Not always the one that’s easy to explain.
Our lives are the direct result of each decision we make, moment by moment, day by day. Learning to make decisions that nourish our souls and honour our truest expression is the fastest way to nurture our authentic development.
And when we learn to listen and live – to really listen and really live – from our hearts, our souls wake up in delight, and life becomes a fluid unfolding.
Photo credit: hmhippie.com