Part 1: Are You Making the “Right” Decision?
Have you ever felt uncertain, confused or inadequate when faced with a difficult decision or challenge? During times of change, you need to be able to make decisions and receive guidance you can trust.
When you access your heart’s wisdom, you connect in your heart with your soul or Essential Self, and it infuses and informs your body-mind. Your intellect can become very adept at acknowledging and interpreting non-verbal information. The more you fully inhabit your entire body with awareness, the easier this becomes. In our head-oriented culture, even those of us who practice this can still feel as though we are teaching our intellects a new job description, as they often forget and automatically revert to their former roles.
Rather than being the sole decision-maker, your intellect can learn to work in harmony with your heart and soul. The intellect’s true function is to ask really good questions and to pay attention as the answers reveal themselves. This is a more important and engaging function than my intellect first thought. Initially it felt demoted from its position as CEO, of my internal organization, to a lesser position that seemed both unclear and insecure. It was a while before a true cooperative and co-creative relationship began to be established.
Since your choices in the present create your future, it’s necessary to be honest with yourself about what is really motivating you. Your intellect has limited information, which is often based on fear. Your heart can also store past emotional experiences as memories that, when unconscious, can affect your ability to receive clear guidance from your soul. One of the most powerful practices is to Witness whatever thoughts and emotions arise without judging or becoming identified with them. As you do this you will become aware of any past experiences which are being activated by your present circumstances. When you become conscious of them, you are at the point of choice. You can choose to let the past be the past, and allow your heart to create your future in your awakened present.
No matter how compelling a thought and/or emotion may feel, if you allow your breath to carry your thinking mind into your heart, the power inherent in your breath will begin to liberate you from restrictive thoughts and emotions. I’ve often noticed that when my body-mind wishes to clear itself, it makes spontaneous sounds, which can also be relatively quiet sighs or a slightly audible and very focused cleansing breath; it seems to adjust itself to my circumstances. Sometimes my body has begun making sounds before I even realized a fear-based thought or emotion was activated .
Often our bodies will immediately begin to release energy that does not feel harmonious in whatever ways are available to us. We all do this, consciously or unconsciously, through aerobic exercise, crying, sighing, taking long baths or showers. What works really well for you? Your contributions are encouraged in the comment area below.
Becoming increasingly aware of our internal states and consistently choosing responses which resonate with our hearts is life-changing. We don’t often think of this as “decision-making,” but in fact we are making decisions almost non-stop all day long and even in our dreams at night! What might each of our lives be like, if all our thoughts, words and actions were heart-based?
Nearly forty years ago, when I first began creating a relationship with my heart, I started a “spontaneous writing” journal. I wrote whenever I woke up earlier than my children or had other quiet times during the day. Writing in this way bypasses your intellect. Parts of you that have never been expressed have the chance to be heard. Some years after I began this practice, I started asking questions and spontaneously writing the answers. This was how I initially began to receive guidance from my own heart and Essential Self. I’ve explored many other mediums, including long-distance running, dancing, and various forms of art. How do you connect with your heart’s wisdom?
In my next post I’ll offer some specific guidelines for connecting with your heart for decision-making and guidance. May you keep deepening your relationship with your own heart in the ways that feel best for you.