I’ve had to make some pretty tough decisions in my life. I remember deciding whether to take a job midway through my career. It offered better pay and more flexibility to handle my small children, but it wasn’t the work I dreamed of doing. It was a hard decision and I won’t forget the struggle associated with it.
You’ve probably had a similar time in your life, where you were struggling with a big decision and feeling anxious or stressed about how to move forward.
Maybe you had those agitated can’t-get-the-thoughts-out-of-my-head questions about what to do, how to proceed. Or even worse, fell into a panic about how to make the decision.
You felt alone in the enormity of the decision.
I remember having that hollow feeling in my gut when I was in the midst of the struggle, like I was anticipating a negative outcome no matter what decision I made. There seemed no “right way” out of it.
Maybe you’ve had that gut reaction, or maybe you zone out, or numb out. You dissociate your mind from your body, because it’s too hard to feel and to think about.
In reality, decisions seem hard because we feel we have to make them all by ourselves. We feel alone and not sure where to turn.
Or you feel a wrong decision could have disastrous consequences- one “wrong turn” could mean the end of your life as you know it.
When you find yourself in this place, it’s because your ego hasn’t surrendered to the bigger picture of what’s available to help guide your life.
You get stuck in the cognitive structures of your thinking brain, believing that there are formal and logical answers that can be rendered to every question, if you just contemplate it long enough.
But this way of being does not call upon all of your innate faculties, the instinctual and spiritual intelligence available to you.
This non-cognitive intelligence is available to help you move forward, to make decisions big and small. And it’s available because you are connected to a bigger picture.
There is an evolving cosmic structure that is more profound and purposeful than the decisions you confront that feel so overwhelming.
This connectedness includes not only you and me, but a bigger “we”, or all of us, and also includes the vast spirit of the universe that continues to unfold before our human eyes.
And the “miracle of we,” as Ken Wilber writes about it in Integral Spirituality, is an amalgam of the many I’s, you’s and collection of we’s that constitute our planet and the vast universe, the Gaia or web of life.
Your instinctual and spiritual intelligence is not just about the God of the great spiritual traditions, no matter which religion you follow, or not, but also about the spirit that lives inside of you and between us, you and me, and all the others. The Spirit that connects us all.
Many great post-modern philosophers and scientists can agree on the vast connectedness of the universe and beyond (Wheatley, Morin, Almaas, Hawkins, Katie, Capra, James, Goleman). However, it is our “I” or ego that must bow and surrender to the Spirit within us, and created between the large “all of us,” to have the life we’re meant to have.
If you desire to live the life intended for you, you must first get out of your own way.
Hard decisions become easier to make when you get rid of your ego that harnesses you to the limitations of your own imagination. Learning to allow the intelligences that we forget to call upon.
Recently a Spiritual Coach and colleague of mine, Dr. Shayla Wright of Wide Awake Heart, shared with me a method she uses with her clients to move beyond their thinking brain’s way of struggling to access their intuitive and spiritual intelligence. Shayla suggests that you:
Sit down, close your eyes, and feel your body from the inside. Rest and forget about everything you think you know about this difficulty in your life. Then call into your awareness whatever you are struggling with, what you feel obstructed by, troubled about. Then ask yourself, ‘What is the heart of this?” and allow that question to drop deep into the body. Then just sit and receive whatever arises.
Notice what feelings arise, what the sensations are in your body, and what kind of thoughts are happening in your mind. Then write a brief but complete description of how you experience yourself in this area of difficulty or suffering.
Becoming more available to your inner knowing, the intuitive and spiritual intelligence you already possess, will make it so much easier to make the hard decisions. To live the life you are meant to have.
If you are eager to learn more about how to get out of your own way so that you can access your intuitive and spiritual intelligence, to live your purposeful life, contact me for a Complimentary phone session to discover how we might work together.
Holly Woods Ph.D. is an Integral Life Coach and practices Somatic Experiencing, mindfulness and other therapies to help adults who are struggling with life’s ups and downs who want to live the life they’re meant to have. She works with people in-person, by skype or phone. She can be reached at 970-331-1639 or Holly@HollyWoodsCoaching.com.