Each of us has to make a ton of decisions – big and small. Did you know that in medieval times, the average life span was 37 years old? These days, because we live so long, we have to make more choices than ever before. Yikes!
I’m a keen student of all kinds of change. How we decide which fork in the road to take is what really interests me. There are so many societal and familial pressures. We absorb these quite subtly. So how do we subvert that and unlock intuitively what is our way?
Figuring it out is one of the most helpful things we can do for ourselves.
For me, daydreaming works. I do it a LOT. I know it sounds laughably simplistic, but there is a ton of interesting research lately on the creative benefits of daydreaming. It seems that people who let their minds wander tend to be better at generating new ideas because it generates bursts of creative insight. Feel vindicated? I sure do.
DAYDREAMING – Do it Now:
First you have to stop your busyness. Thinking, over-analyzing, and pro vs. con lists activate only one part of you – your head! Drop all the reading, thinking, talking, and doing. Walk in nature. Cozy up under a blanket on the couch. Watch the clouds. The key is to be quiet and alone so you can just be your unmasked self.
Images are the language of the unconscious. Thoughts and words come after. Imagery helps us integrate mind and feeling. That’s why daydreaming is so powerful. Let the day-to-day stuff drop away and activate your inner visionary (not your inner critic). Have just one intention: to imagine the end result of each course of action. Make it as vivid as you can.
See what naturally arises without you forcing or manipulating or thinking. Does the daydream make you feel happy, excited, scared? What small cues and hints do you hear from your unconscious? Is there a story or maybe a voice that arises? Are you getting hooked by making it perfect? Let that go. Ditto for the naysayer telling you, “That won’t work… you can’t do that…” Remember, it’s daydreaming!
It’s true that we all have our own inner stories from the past that live on in us long after the actual experience is gone. Is your past story stalling you from creating a new one. Old habits, patterns, and stories can be replaced by new ones, but not by over thinking.
In the end, it boils down to asking yourself, “What do I really want?” The real answer can only arise out of stillness. For sure, you absolutely will need to think about the steps needed to take you there, and plan for obstacles, but that’s for later. For now, colouring in your big vision is the way to begin. The steps can and will follow.
My crazy but it works trick
After I’ve let stuff sit for a few days, I do my ‘ask the coin’ thing. People laugh about it until they try it. Heads I take the left fork/ Choice A, and tails the right/Choice B. I don’t actually make the decision based on the result of a coin toss… but if heads comes up and I feel disappointed, then a powerful truth just tapped me on the shoulder. Either I don’t want to do it or fear is part of the equation.
Seriously, try asking the coin. It’s a pretty neat way to make small mundane decisions too, like which movie to go to! Let me know how it goes. I leave you with this parting quote:
“It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.”
Celebrant Michele Davidson