Decision Making: Version 2.0

Holding Paradox painting A good friend asked me how I made decisions in this new way of engaging with the world I have. She wanted to know how I decided when my heart leads and my mind supports.

What information did I use? How did decisions happen? What is my process? What does it feel like?

When she asked me, I really had to think about how to articulate what happened. It was difficult and strange to even talk about the process. I could talk about how I observe patterns in my life, but this didn’t seem to encompass all of what happens for me. So, I delved deeper inside of myself to see what goes on.

For most people out in our Western logical culture, decisions are something you make. You do the research, line up your facts, compare pros and cons, and logically step your way through to a decision. It is a simple, straight-forward process. Right?

Well, no, it isn’t.

This logical process doesn’t acknowledge the role of the intuitive, creative side of our brain. You’ve probably had the experience of making a decision logically, only to realize you are not happy with the decision. I know I have. I can’t put my finger on it, but I know I don’t want to do what I decided because it is somehow not the right decision. It is frustrating and can end us up in a place where we can’t make any decision at all. My daughter calls this being in the mush pot when you can’t make a decision and you keep vacillating about what to do.

What if we changed the way we approached decisions?

What if we looked at this process as something we come to - rather then something we make? Making something implies we are constructing something from parts. Coming to is about allowing something to come into view or focus.

Allowing the energies of the heart to lead is an organic, non-logical way of living. The reason I pay so much attention to patterns in my life is not just because that's how my brain works - it is - but because it gives me a window into the nature of the energies flowing, shifting, and moving in my life.

This model of flowing energy is very common. People talk about being stuck, riding high, zooming along - all unconscious references to how the energy in our life is effecting us. So instead of trying to make something happen, what about simply allowing the energy already moving through our life to bring what we need to do into focus? Instead, allow the decision to come to us.

I know. I can hear what you are saying. Accepting this way of deciding means letting go of logical control of the decision. That’s right. Letting go. Surrendering. And that means trusting. Yikes!

We can still do the research, list all the facts, and compare the pros and cons. These parts are an important part of the decision. What I am proposing is to recognize these logical pieces are only that - pieces and not the whole of the process. Coming to a decision means giving ourselves the space and time to feel, intuit, muse and allow a full-bodied decision to arise. Deciding from a place of alignment with our heart’s desire using both sides of our brain means we end up making choices we can truly live with.

Try this:

Approach the decision like a lover. Unwrap the decision like a present, layer by layer. Give yourself permission to feel your way into the decision. Feed the process all the logical stuff and then fertilize it with wonder and what if’s.

Ask:

What makes you uncomfortable? What resonates with your heart?

ArticlesAnnette Wagner