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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Inspiration #187: Take a Trust Fall

The call came (as it almost always does) in the middle of the night, from a far off continent.

"I don't know what to do," M said. "Help me. What do I do?"

It was one of my best friends. She was in the midst of a great life decision, one that very clearly would differentiate her life from before-this-moment to after-this-moment.  And so, I made a coffee, curled up with the baby sleeping against my chest and we talked. We talked. We talked. We talked. From my perspective, it was an easy decision. Only one choice made sense, but it was a decision that she had to come to herself. We talked about each option. We talked about what other people would think of her. We talked about the ramifications of each decision. Still, one decision or another didn't pop.

I asked her to close her eyes and envision scenarios #1. What does life look like here? Who are you with? What is happening in that moment? How do you feel? Then scenario #2. How did that one feel? Was she happy? This helped. She was swayed to one decision but not 100% certain. Sleepily, I said "What does your gut instinct say? The problem is you're too smart. You are trying to build this rational case for each one but what it comes down to, what instinctively feels right? Your soul already knows the right decision. What is it? 

"Well," she said. "If I go with the first deci-."

"No, no. No logic." I said softly. "If you had to make a decision right now, in this moment and stick with it, what would it be?" The words were still hanging in the air when she blurted out an answer. There it was. 

"How do you feel?" I asked her.

There was a long pause. I could hear the day starting around her as she sat quietly 6000 miles away from me trying to make sense of things. 

"It feels right. It feels, it feels like the right thing."  I heard her sigh the contented sigh of one who has completed a well fought battle and won.

"I love you," I told her. And as my breathing fell in sync with the baby's, my last thought as I drifted into sleep was of my friend and her pure laugh when life happily surprises her.

Yesterday, M called me. "It was the right decision," she told me as she was back in The States. "I am so happy I did this." She sounded content, happy, even after going through a challenging week in following through on her decision . "It was like you took a trust fall with your gut instinct," I said. I don't think that it's possible to make a wrong decision when you follow your gut instinct." The way I think of it is this: Your mind rationalizes things, your heart is passionate and makes its own choice and they come together in your soul which is like a judge who weighs all the evidence and comes up with the right decision. It just may take awhile for your conscious self to realize what this decision is. 

I think back on some of the most important decisions in my life which I made by trusting my instincts. I can honestly say that I did not make any poor decisions as long as I trusted my instinct. However, there were times when I listened to my rational mind or I followed other people's advice (albeit well meaning) and even though it felt wrong, I still made a decision based on what I thought I was supposed to do.  Several of these choices were disastrous. I look back and cringe. Even though every decision brought me to where I am now, I still wonder why I didn't trust myself enough. There's a misconception that if you use your gut instinct, that you're flighty or not serious. That isn't true. Yes, I believe in looking at the entire scenario, calling in the best people to give you all the supporting evidence you might need but it comes down to feeling, what feels right to you? What does the future look like based on one choice or another? If this were the reality, are you happy?

You have everything in you to make a happy life, to make wise decisions. Take your trust fall. It's going to be great, you know. 

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