Are you making decisions with your head or heart??
I’ve been exploring this question in my own life and practice, especially over the last several months.
The meditation class I guide over at Take Five Meditation is called Using your Body as a Compass. While discussing what this even means with the group, one of the questions that came up was,
‘How do we know when a sensation or feeling in our bodies is a gut response or anxiety or fear coming up instead?’
This is such a great inquiry and one that often explore within myself, students, and private clients.
I would suspect that most of us have had a ‘gut feeling’ before. We may not always follow it but you likely have had the experience of just ‘KNOWING’ that something was the right choice…even if it made no logical sense and even if the people around you did not understand your choice AT ALL.
Not all heart centered choices have to be illogical. But it IS important to connect more with our bodies so we can tune in, make the choices and trust they are the right ones for us.
This may be the way you operate or you might be someone who lives with a lot of anxiety in your body. Perhaps you experience regular headaches or stomach aches? Maybe you second guess yourself all the time? Perhaps you ask other people for their opinions and trust them over your own? Or maybe when you have a figure something out, you tend to overthink, get foggy, shut down, or feel drained of energy?
We’re not really taught how to feel in our society, but we certainly are encouraged to think and analyze all the time. I’m not suggesting that thinking and analysis are not helpful, but when we don’t balance them out with feelings, our choices may be logical or look good on paper, but they don’t necessarily feel good, nourish us, or fulfill us on a soul level.
The first step to making heart centered choices, in my experience and opinion, it to be able to experience a sense of calm in your body. It doesn’t have to be all the time. It could be a few minutes a day to start. It’s helpful to know what an internal peaceful state feels like so you know when your system feels really off.
Most choices made from a state of panic or overwhelm usually do not turn out great. As you find ways to access more calm states within yourself, you will begin to notice that your body is trying to give you messages ALL THE TIME! When you learn what these sensations mean for you in particular, you can use them to guide us and our life choices.
Simple in theory, more challenging to implement… it’s requires some level of commitment to yourself to sit with yourself and actually notice what is happening in your internal world and be willing to engage with it. I find that we’re far more skilled at talking about what is happening rather than sitting with the feelings of it… so in service to that, my work is all about helping people to feel their discomfort and work with so they can start to clear it from their systems. Depending on your own personal history, this can take some time. Perhaps you have trauma in your childhood, maybe you grew in a super anxious household, maybe you don’t even know it’s possible to feel any different? It’s not magic, but the lightness you can feel when you release some of the anxiety from your system can feel like a magical sense of freedom.
Imagine moving through you days with a sense of confidence in your choices because you are so connected to yourself.
If you need support around this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or see my work with me page to learn more. I would love to support you through yoga, meditation, bodywork, or share tools and techniques you can use to access your wisdom within.