Keep the job or go look for work elsewhere? Speak up and possibly trigger an argument or keep watching quietly? The red dress or the white top? Coffee or tea?
We face thousands of decisions every single day. Nearly every minute and in every area of our lives we are constantly making choices that shape our future.
Today, I chose coffee over herbal tea, even though my mind made the argument that tea is much healthier than coffee.
How can I know my decision was right?
More importantly: How can we be sure to choose correctly about not only the small things, but also the big things in life?
The mind is a brilliant instrument. Mine will happily give me a whole list of reasons, concerns, and possible advantages about the issue at hand any time I ask for it (and sometimes even if I don’t).
Yet, the non-verbal, subconscious part of the brain can process much more information per second than the logical part of our brain. Knowing this, could it be possible to receive even more accurate guidance if properly tuned in to our inner voice?
The non-verbal part communicates via the feelings in our body, felt within us. It is what helps us to make a decision actually on a larger amount of data, rather than just listening to the rational part of the brain.
I have tried to base my decisions on the rational thought in my mind, and basically, it didn’t work for me. I searched for other ways instead.
I performed an experiment, and because that worked so well I haven’t considered going back to any other way.
Listening to the Wisdom of our Body
When I made the decision about my cup of coffee I used the same process I use ever since I my little experiment began. Before selecting one or the other of my choices, I vividly imagine myself sipping tea and checked in with how my body would feel sipping this beverage. I pictured the cup with the teabag, the smell, and taste. With this image in mind, I scanned my entire body for sensations.
When I first learned this skill, it took consistent practice. However, this morning I could quickly identify pleasant warmth in my belly and my mouth started to water when imagining myself drinking the coffee, which were my queues that I was making the right decision.
I then counter-checked it by going through the visual image of coffee, the smell of freshly ground beans, and the slightly bitter taste. I felt even more intense sensations arise: my heart bounced with excitement and I caught my mouth joyfully smiling.
While the responses to both scenarios were very positive, upon direct comparison, the coffee would rank higher on my joy and happiness scale, which is what I trust as my Personal Guidance System.
Yes, but what about big decisions?
That was exactly my thought after I first tried this, so then I dared to try it out on a much bigger decision: where to live. At first I was not ready to actually let my body decide whether I was going to move to another country or not. I wanted to make the experiment, check in with my body, and then simply consult my mind to guide me along the way.
Only after checking in and feeling what my body had to say about the choice did I realize I already knew exactly what to do. The arguing inside my head stopped. I knew how it was going to feel like, for both of the scenarios.
Picturing the first situation, I felt uplifted and the muscles in my entire body relaxed. However, the other scenario turned my stomach upside down and I felt a heavy pressure on my chest, arms, and legs.
Needless to say, I chose the first one.
I could go on about this and give you more examples of decisions I made based on how my body feels, be it about hot beverages, shoes, holiday destinations, or my home decor.
This method works for both small and big decisions alike.
I call it my internal GPS; just like how a real GPS works, it will always point me in the right direction.
The wisdom our body holds
I am fascinated how much my life has improved since I started following my inner wisdom in this way. Everything I need is already inside my body; I am amazed by the simplicity and accuracy of this tool.
It has shown me a way to trust myself by relying on my own body. Based on my unique experiences and needs I can count on my internal guidance to point me in the right direction. It is this deep sense of knowing that helps me guide my choices from where I am to where I truly desire to go.
About the Author
Eva Gossenreiter guides creative, artists, healers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs to find the courage and confidence to design their own life the way they want it to be and actually build that vision in the real world. She is also a designer at heart and holds a master’s degree in architecture – a career she left to start up her own design consultancy and create her version of a stress-free and inspired dream life. For more information please visit her website here.