How Your Body Helps You Make Decisions
I just didn’t want to work on this particular Monday, yet I had so much to get done. I had a long to-do list for the day, but…I wanted to GET OUT, my soul longed for adventure and to see something new or enchanting or enlivening. I could almost taste it I was so restless. I wondered what the heck was wrong with me as I tried to settle down at my desk. Then it dawned on me! I had worked all weekend. At this point I recognized that what I thought I wanted, wasn’t a want at all, but a need trying to get my attention.
You see, wants you can negotiate (If I get my work done today, I can plan an outing next week or in a few days). Needs are NON-NEGTIABLE and when you start negotiating them away you get into trouble usually ending up feeling neglected, used, unappreciated, exhausted, etc. The tendency at that point is to blame someone or something else for your feeling that way instead of owning that…you did it to yourself. I have coached clients through bouts of passive aggressive behavior as a result of their having negotiated their needs away in the name of keeping things moving along, keeping the peace and sometimes because it just seems easier, but negotiating your needs away can really catch up with you and create havoc in your life.
It isn’t always possible to just drop everything and meet a need, but being aware of the difference between it being a need vs. a want is very important.
Follow Your Energy
Recognizing my need, I thought about going to the beach and as soon as I did my entire self lit up like a child with a surprise day off from school. My energy was palpable. Such a strong physical reaction told me I was doing the right thing. I couldn’t WAIT to get in the car. It is a bit of a haul there and back and there have been many times I have thought of going to the beach, then nixed the idea, because of the long drive in all the traffic. This day I actually looked forward to the drive. The difference in my energy between sitting down to work and going to the beach was way to big to ignore. Now, I know you are thinking who wouldn’t prefer going to the beach to working, but this was much bigger than that. It was actually physical. My body tingled with anticipation and excitement.
I knew myself well enough to know that this little adventure would recharge me enough to get twice as much done in half the time in the following days (after I got back) and if it didn’t, I could reschedule some things. Doing so may make my life and time a little tight, but again, the recharge would enable me to manage it.
I packed up some of my work and took it with me knowing that I could even do some of it while there, IF and only IF I was so inclined. It was a cool and cloudy early spring day. I could walk and just inhale the fresh air I love so much in the un-crowded environment and then work in the car for a bit, where I could look out on the water whenever I wanted and hear the waves as I was worked, — IF I chose to work. I didn’t choose to, and had a fabulous day of rest and restoration that energized me for the week.
Learn Your Body’s Language
The point is, you can learn how to use your energy, not just to guide your decision-making, but also to confirm it by checking in and monitoring how your body is physically reacting to decisions you’re making or have made. Your body is always talking to you. It’s just a matter of learning to listen and understand what it’s trying to tell you. Doing that requires getting quiet and focusing on the sensations you are feeling as you are thinking. It can come in the form of a tingling sensation, a feeling of heat (especially in your palms) and even an unintentional change in the depth of your breathing. And so much more.
Are You Listening
Learn more about how YOUR body talks to you and how to understand what it is telling you. Schedule your FREE EXPLORATORY SESSION here. I promise, there will be no hard sell. I have no personal attachment to the outcome of our conversation beyond your feeling better for our having had it. For more information about living authentically, click here and get your FREE copy of my “GUIDE TO AUTHENTIC LIVING: Ten Things People Who Live Authentically Know And Do…And So Can You.”