In the last post, we talked about intuition, where it comes from and why it’s a useful tool to develop. If you missed the post, click here to check it out.
One of the most valuable ways we can use our intuition is in decision making, and I’d like to share one of my favourite exercises, “Trying on a Decision”.
Trying on a Decision is kind of like shopping for jeans. Most of us don’t take a pair of jeans off of the rack, look at them and say, “yup, these will look good!”. No! We take several pairs of jeans into the change room and try them on. Have you ever noticed how the jeans you thought would look great are not flattering, and the ones you thought were kind of ‘meh’, look fabulous? Good thing you tried them on, eh?
The exercise: For illustrative purposes, let’s use the example from last time and say that we’re deciding whether or not to accept a promotion at work.
Step One: Take a few deep breaths, and relax your body. Then do a quick inventory of what you’re feeling in your body. Start at your feet and work your way up your body. Pay attention to any areas where you’re feeling pain or discomfort. Don’t dwell on them; just take note of where they are and how they feel. Also, do a quick check in and see how you’re feeling emotionally and energetically. For example, you may feel calm, but it’s been a long day and you’re kind of tired. This quick scan is what I call your ground zero and is what you’re going to use as your measuring stick.
Step Two: Take a deep breath and in your mind, make your decision. Using our promotion example, let’s decide to accept the position. Now notice how you’re feeling in your body. Pay particular attention to your energy level, emotions and any pains that may have appeared that weren’t apparent before, and compare how you feel now to how you felt when you took your ground zero measurement. If you find that you’re not getting much of a response, make sure that you really believe that you have accepted the promotion. Perhaps take a moment to visualize a day in your life in your new position.
Once you’ve felt the decision in your body, shake it off. When you’re first learning this technique, it can be beneficial to distract your mind for a moment and do something else for a few minutes. This will keep you from becoming wrapped up in the process.
Step Three: When you’re ready, check your body, emotions and energy level again and get your ground zero measurement. Now, take a deep breath, and in your mind, make the opposite decision. Continuing with our example, make the decision to refuse the promotion. Again, notice how you feel within your body, especially your energy levels, emotions and pain or discomfort. Compare what you’re feeling now to what you felt at your ground zero measurement and with the first decision.
For diagnostic purposes, queasy stomach, lowered energy levels, mood changes to depression/anxiety/frustration, feelings of dread, tiredness and increased pain in any area of the body usually means that this situation is not in harmony with what you need right now.
Feelings of elation, relief, excitement, anticipation, increased energy levels and an easing of pain within the body are signs that this would be a wonderful change for you.
Using a technique like this to make major life decisions may not appeal to your logical mind, and that’s fair. Why not include your “intuitive facts” with your rational knowledge to make your decision? Or start with small choices like what to have for dinner, which shirt to wear to work or which movie to watch and see how it feels to make intuitive decisions. There is no right or wrong time to pull out this exercise - I’ve used it with a friend in the middle of the bakery when we couldn’t decide which chocolaty treat we wanted for dessert!
The more you practice and listen to your intuition, the easier it will be to make choices that work for your body, mind and emotions, which leads to a happier, healthier and balanced life!
Lots of love!
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