Big decisions are paralyzing…
Thinking your way through a life change, trying to chart a course of action, is like navigating a maze – all paths seem to take you away from center. The endless lists of pros and cons; the strategies and plans; the resolutions; the final decisions, all morph back into more questions: am I really sure? Isn’t it better to do ‘that’ instead of ‘this?’ Is this really what I want?
I remember when was ‘planning’ my family, how obsessively I tried to figure out the best time to get pregnant, have a baby, take time off from work. After long months of endlessly going over the same ground, I came to a great “wow!” of a realization: there was no way to fit a baby into my schedule! My life was way too complicated.
I’m in the exact same zone right now – in a transition, trying to figure everything out, obsessively asking myself what to do and what I want. I say ‘this’ and then disagree with myself. I say ‘that’ and instantly discredit the idea. I think and think and think and think….
My brain’s like the grape vine that so overgrew my friend’s front porch that at noon on a summer day no light got through…
I’m a working yogi. I know better than to try to force myself into answers and solutions. I know that thinking doesn’t solve problems – in fact, a lot of time, it is the problem. And still I fall into the trap of determinedly trying to figure it all out – and the more confused I get, the harder I try. It’s embarrassing…
Years ago, I applied yoga to my family planning insanity, by giving up thinking about it altogether. I’m doing the same thing now – purposefully giving up all my what-do-I-do-now questions to my practice. I’m going to meditate on non-knowing.
It’s yoga for letting decisions make themselves. Here’s how it works.
- Dedicate your practice to not thinking about ‘it’ – whatever ‘it’ is.
- Find center, that quiet inner place when mind/body, body/gravity come into balance.
- Put all your questions, worries, obsessing into that place of quiet centeredness.
- Breathe into that space. Observe how your breath, slow and easy, like water flowing, dissolves them.
- Let your mind rest in your center and on your breath.
- Repeat the process whenever you feel yourself drawn back into the maze.
Eventually the answers to any questions you have, about anything in your life, will surface from that inner place beyond thought, where everything is clear…
I practiced not planning my family until one evening, washing dishes after dinner, I heard the word: NOW. The next day I went off birth control and 10 months later my son was born.
Last night, walking the dog, I started my practice of refusing to think ‘what-am-I-going-to-do-now? As I started to center and consciously breathe I could feel myself quieting down….
When I get quiet enough, and only then, I will hear the answer that is already there…