June 1, 2017

Awaken Your Inner Wisdom, Buddhist-Style.

I simply cannot make decisions. I’ve had this problem since I was a teenager.

Life can present us with a lot of junctions and many of us are bad at recognizing the signposts.

We agonize over our options and are often unsure if we will make the right decision.

We know how hard it is to measure it all up, especially when the choices feel like 50/50—a halfway split. In these situations, we battle with the pros and cons and neither decision seems favourable.

We’ve all written that list, right? But we also find ourselves stranded with decisions that are not quite a half way split. Some of them tend to lean more to one and less to the other—more like a 60/40 split. A handful of one thing; a little less of the other.

And there’s always a compromise. Cheers for that! With the 60/40 split we need to go back to the drawing board to refine our priorities a little more.

But check out one that’s even worse: The 70/30 split. Now that’s one tricky motherf*cker! Heavily weighing one way, but yet, we can’t quite shake off the lesser 30 percent cousin. A dash one way and back again just to add a sprinkle of insult to injury. A stir of “Sod’s law” in the mix.

It often seems hopeless. A metaphorical crockpot of sleepless nights. Friends, relatives, and colleagues shrug their shoulders. “Only you can make that decision,” they tell us. F*ck off!

Then the ruminations begin: “What if I’m wrong? What if I defy my gut instinct? What if I’m incapable of even having one?”

If the 60/40 or the 70/30 could at least be an 80/20, then we’d know. We’d be 80 percent sure.

A 90/10 would clinch the deal. But it’s never like that, is it? Why do we have to go through this? We don’t deserve it.

There is often little illumination through the damp stagnancy of our semi-defeated caverns of thought. There can be: “Oh!” or, “What if?” or, “Of course…” Pings of thought that previously hung around, submerged in the foul pool of darkness that is the indecisive soul. A lazy little thought beastie that doesn’t want to surface. A cruel little egotistical worm that eventually slides out from beneath the rock in the pit of our gut to say, “I knew it all along and so did you.”

It rolls its eyes as ours widen. And then, there’s a shift.

There’s a shift and it’s unlike any other. When we feel that change in energy, something moves within us. Deeply.

It’s energy efficient. It makes us sit upright. The serotonin levels in our brain kick in and we see not only a light at the end of the tunnel, but a series of tunnels with interlinking side roads, signposts, and an overhead billboard with all arrows pointing “this way to crockpot central!”

To hell with those minor slip roads, this one is the one. It’s bright, it’s shiny, it has our name on it and—yes—that little worm was right. We knew it all along. It was right there slithering around inside of us, but now it’s out with a beaming smile.

Many of us are bad at making decisions because we haven’t yet discovered the awareness of the change of energy—that real knowing or inner wisdom, known as prajna in Buddhism.

We agonize over the options because we haven’t got to our core. And we certainly haven’t learned the art of patience.

Whether we spend weeks, days, or just hours on a decision—the shift happens. Maybe when we least expect it. And when it does, it’s a revelation. A weight rises from our shoulders and we knew it was there all along.

Find it and acknowledge it.

How do we recognize when the decision is right? How do we awaken our prajna?

>> It excites us; we begin to formulate options.

>> There now appear to be other associated options; a glimmer of hope.

>> It overrides any compromises; we accept minor ones.

>> It makes us feel lighter, like a weight is lifted.

>> We are ready to embrace the change; it now feels right.

>> We have no regrets; it’s definitely the right decision.

>> There is no other option—we did well.

And, so, when there is no other option, we raise a toast and stick two fingers up to the 50/50, the 60/40, and the 70/30. Our 100 percent was right there all along.

It’s simply a shift of energy that moves within us. Its depth, its submergence, and its final explosion of faith is all we needed.

Guttural energy and a gut instinct shift. Give it time and that foul pool in cavernous darkness will be an overflowing fountain of choice.

Why? Because we’ll just know.

It’s instinctive.

It feels good.

And we celebrate it.


Author: Shelley Dootson-Greenland
Image: Opensource/Flickr
Editor: Danielle Beutell

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