We’re privileged to have the kind of choice that we do. But hot damn, if it doesn’t make things confusing. With all of the possible directions we could take, all of the possible routes and choices, it’s easy to end up in a swirl and, ultimately, paralyzed.
Add to this a couple of poor decisions and you’re kind of hooped. I don’t mean that it’s hard to recover from poor decisions, what I mean is that when we live fairly self-authored lives, it’s common to put a lot of significance on each choice we make since we know we have to live with the consequences. Once we’re living with the consequences of actions or inaction that didn’t serve us, it can undercut our confidence and trust in ourselves.
This, understandably, can make decision making that much harder.
This following practice invites you to play with the question ‘What shall I do?’
When I’m really struggling to make a choice I’ll often rely on my thoughts. Which you might think, hey, that makes sense. Not really. Those things are dodgy. The weighing, the fretting, the dance with the inner committee…what a nightmare. The mind certainly can do some great things with its rational logic, healthy discernment and its clear seeing wisdom. But let’s be honest, mental looping is rarely that.
This practice was originally co-created with an incredible client who is so beautifully leaning into this work and into the questions, ‘what shall I do?’
Let’s practice accessing the wisdom of the mind, heart, gut and spirit. First a little context for each, then the practice…
The Mind: Not your cyclical thoughts, running to do-lists or worry streams. Wisdom. Insight. Seeing. That which draws on both experience and perspective taking, to bring clarity.
The Heart: Love. Communion. Relationship. Heart wisdom is the feeling centre, anchored in care and embrace. Emotional wisdom lives here, your ache and desires. Pulse.
The Gut: Primal. Instinctive. The core and the root of what drives and holds being. The immediate whisper that might be a grunt if it were louder.
The Spirit: It’s greater than and coming through you. The You that’s becoming, that wants to emerge. Your higher wisdom. The body that’s not your body.
Holding a particular question, inquiry or challenge in mind, ask these four wisdoms to weigh in on their perspective. This may be what each feels should be done, or what’s important to each or what each feels or sees in response to what’s before you. (It’s important to note that you may not get the ‘right answer’, in fact, you may end up with some contradiction. But this is a PRACTICE to get closer to all parts of your own wisdom.)
To help you access each of these spaces or wisdoms, you may choose to assume a body posture for a few seconds or minutes that represents this wisdom, calling upon this part of yourself. Maybe a deep squat for gut wisdom or relaxed face toward the heavens for mind wisdom. Like that.
Get yourself four different coloured pens, one to represent each of these wisdoms. Moving through each of these voices or wisdoms, write down what they have to say.
Notice any impulse to ‘get it right’ or ‘figure it out’. Cynicism can also show up in a practice like this or wondering ‘is this really my heart wisdom?!?’ That happens. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, that’s the nature of practice, we fumble a little.
This practice will likely take at least 20 minutes. I’d recommend it once to twice per week over the a stretch of several weeks or even months. As you go, you’ll likely notice that you become more and more tuned in to the different aspects of yourself and will be better able to listen more deeply to what various parts of you have to say such that your full being gets to be included in the party of being human.
May this practice serve you in aligning with what you most want and need and support you in moving in directions of greater fulfillment.