It is important to make decisions from a place of balance in your life, by taking a breath and checking in with heart and mind.
Each of the myriad decisions we make every day has the potential to have a deep impact on our lives. Some choices touch us to our very cores, awakening poignant feelings within us. Others seem at first to be simple but prove to be confusingly complex. We make the best decisions when we approach the decision-making process from a balanced emotional and intellectual foundation. When we have achieved equilibrium in our hearts and in our minds, we can clearly see both sides of an issue or alternative. Likewise, we can accept compromise as a natural fact of life. Instead of relying solely on our feelings or our rationality, we utilize both in equal measure, empowering ourselves to come to a life-affirming and balanced conclusion.
Decision making is partly intuitive, partly rational. emotion might creep in and start our judgement- anxiety, for example, might make us prevaricate – or our choices might be coloured by what other people think of us. Mindfulness, by homing our thoughts and focus, offers a way to such pitfalls. As we have said before our gut is our second brain and if we don’t have healthy microbiome plus have stinking poops this will result in stinking thoughts, deeds and actions.
In medieval Japan, a samurai warrior was expected to make adhesion within the course of seven breaths. Sometimes in our modern world, that will be possible, even easy, but our first thoughts are not necessarily the best. Big decisions, for example about moving house or changing job, benefit from analysis and reflection.
Balance within and balance without going hand in hand. When you are called upon to choose between two or more options, whether they are attractive or distasteful, you should understand all you can about the choice ahead of you before moving forward. If you do not come to the decision from a place of balance, you risk making choices that are irrational and overly emotional or are wholly logical and don’t take your feelings into account. In bringing your thoughts and emotions together during the decision-making process, you ensure that you are taking everything possible into account before moving forward. Nothing is left up to chance, and you have ample opportunity to determine which options are in accordance with your values.
Though some major decisions may oblige you to act and react quickly, most will allow you an abundance of time in which to mull over your choices. If you doubt your ability to approach your options in a balanced fashion, take an extended time-out before responding to the decision. This will give you the interlude you need to make certain that your thoughts and feelings are in equilibrium. As you practice achieving balance, you will ultimately reach a state of mind in which you can easily make decisions that honour every aspect of the self.
The core of your safety is, believe it or not, in your breath. Have you ever noticed yourself not breathing quite fully – taking shallow breaths that barely fill your lungs? Or that you have maybe even stopped breathing, stuck on an inhale or an exhale? Part of reminding your physical body that you are here, and that you are safe, is by breathing fully, infusing your body with life-giving oxygen.
Assignment: Pay attention to your breath. Does it get stuck? Is it full, or shallow? Is it quick, or extended, or relaxed? Just notice what tends to be happening to you via your breath during the day. It’s a straightforward way of tuning in to your experience at any given moment.
‘Practical Mindfulness’- Ken A Verni