Refine your way through decision stuck-ness.

Morning, friends!

How long did it take you to make your last decision? Do you even remember it? If it was a big one, probably. Otherwise, likely not. And you might not remember, because there's too many to process. Some estimate that humans make about 35,000 decisions in a single day.

We dismiss those "easy" decisions, but the cool thing is that they're quite powerful, and actually could help us hone our ability to take on the toughies. The stuff like when to accept a job, end a relationship, make a big purchase, get a pet, have a kid, deal with a health crisis, move, decide to get bangs...and so on.

The thing is, when we get to those moments, it's common to feel stuck. That's decision paralysis. I know that when I have decision paralysis, it's because I can't figure out what my "gut" is telling me. 

It's been fascinating to watch this expression of decision-making among my two young nephews. Here I go again into proud aunt mode... My brand new nephew is just an infant, so his decision-making is reflexive and based on the senses. Hungry: eat. Full: sleep. Cold: shiver. His older brother is another story. He understands consequences, and has preferences. He deliberates, and can make decisions—but he doesn't know quite as much about the world yet to always make good ones. That's why when I ask him if I should get bangs, first he says yes. And then 20 seconds later, he says no. Do not trust a 4-year-old when it comes to your hair.
But both strategies, it turns out, are instructive here. What if you could take the sensory infant-like abilities, and combine them with the imaginative toddler qualities? That is the recipe for honing your intuition.

I'll explain.

The Meditation Version of A/B Testing

If we want to make big decisions with ease, we have to slow down and meditate on the easy ones—the kinds of decisions you'd entrust with a toddler (meals, outfits, etc.) This was an exercise shared by fabulous D.C.-based healer, Jessica Mahler, in a workshop I recently attended. Here's how it goes:
  1. You come to a seated meditation with eyes closed. Conjure up a low-risk decision you have to make. Let's say you ask yourself, "What outfit should you wear tomorrow?"
  2. You hold two options in your mind.
  3. Then, with option A (jorts, a tank and a pair of Crocs), you go full sensory mode, imagining that experience to a fine degree of detail. You see the colors and the surroundings while you'd wear it, the feeling of the fabric, the smell of the air, taste sensations—the whole scenario in specific detail that you hold in your mind's eye.
  4. You check in with the body; does it feel constricted or expansive?
  5. Then, you do the same thing for B (kaftan and sandals).
  6. At the end, you take a step back in your mind and you assess. Whichever one felt expansive seems to be where your intuition is leading most strongly. Perhaps both are expansive, perhaps both constrictive.
The purpose is not to arrive at a "correct" choice. You can't go wrong between kaftans and crocs anyway. The idea is to refine on your inner knowing within the context of options that you already understand. This way, when eventually you get to choices in life where there's more unknown, you've conditioned your mental-sensory-imaginary muscles to investigate the possible senses of a future reality.

But don't do this exercise with a real life decision. Again, just something you'd let a toddler decide for you.

As we sat in this workshop which clearly was eye-opening for me, it became apparent that intuitive development is where knowledge meets imagination meets trust. It's also a bit like A/B testing. If there are too many variables for assessment, you'll never be confident in the result. That's why refinement of options is key.
We all spent some time in the garden over the weekend, and my little buddy helped to dig the holes to plant the flowers. My mom and I had a tray of vincas, and we'd ask him, "Which color next?" He'd announce: "purple!" or, "white!" without hesitation each time. Each time as if it was the only correct answer.

The answer is a purple kaftan,

Try this at home ✍

I recently counted the number of apps on my phone: 171. 171 APPS!?! That's way too many options. It's a recipe for intuition-clouding. Count how many are on your phone. Would it be freeing to delete them, even if to eliminate the unnecessary presence of options that aren't even interesting? Also, try the meditation A/B test, and if you do please hit reply, and let me know if you try it!

Quote of the Week

"Fallow time is part of the work cycle, not outside of it." 

- "You Are Doing Something When You're Doing Nothing At All" // Bonnie Tsui, NY Times 

~Retreat into your intuition~

Speaking of intuition (synchronicity anyone??) I'm hosting a retreat with Catherine Andrews in the beauty of Shenandoah, Virginia September 25-27...and we will explore all that and more. Early birds who sign up before July 1 can snag $50 off, and as Om Weekly subscribers you get another 15% off the listed rates. Honestly? This retreat can't happen without you. Deets are here.

Tunes 🎶

I forgot to share the recent playlist to tap into your inner child—here it is. And as always go ahead and stream this playlist all day every day to help support this newsletter!
Do you know anyone who is feeling stuck right now? Decision paralysis mode? Forward to a friend, you never know what might click.

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