To Decide Or Not To Decide, THAT Is The Question

My husband and I take turns getting up with our early-rising kids. This morning was my morning off, and I spent at least 20 minutes of that lying in bed trying to decide whether I should go out for a walk or roll out the yoga mat and put myself through a proper practice.

It’s a nice conundrum to have, I realize. And yet, these mornings are precious – essentially free childcare when I can do anything I like. And I spent 20 minutes of mine hung up on what to do. Twenty minutes! Wouldn’t you love someone to say, “You’ve got 20 minutes to do anything you like?” Yeah, me too.

What I DON’T want to do with any of my time – but especially the time that is mine and mine alone – is spend it waffling. So I finally did what I know always helps me think more clearly – I gave my body an opportunity to participate in the conversation. While I was still lying in bed, I flipped over on my belly and spent a few breaths in a sphinx pose (which looks like this) – an easy backbend that, since it opens your chest and has you gaze straight ahead, has an outward focus. Then I pushed back into my favorite yoga pose ever, child’s pose – a forward bend that encourages you to fold in on yourself and retreat. I figured, the sphinx pose represented the walk, as that would require me to face the world, while the child’s pose was indicative of staying in and practicing yoga. And sphinx pose felt nice, but when I got in child’s pose it’s like my whole body said “Ahhhhh.” Decision made.

I hopped out of bed, knowing exactly what to do, and had a lovely 30-minute yoga session. It ended with my daughter creeping upstairs and finding me in my special yoga spot, then jumping on the trampoline I keep in there to keep them entertained in such situations. Which led to my morning Tweet: “Corpse pose with a 4 year old bouncing on a trampoline 6 inches from your head is better than no corpse pose at all.” (Are you following me on Twitter? If not, I’d love to have you! I’m @KateHan https://twitter.com/#!/KateHan)

The thing about decisions is that they cost us a LOT when we avoid making them: mental energy on weighing your options, opportunity costs on all the things you don’t do because you haven’t committed to a direction yet, mood swings as you cycle through imagining different scenarios and berating yourself for not deciding already. I could go on.

But your inner voice, the wisdom that resides deep in your body (whether you call it a feeling in your bones or a gut reaction) always has a definite opinion on what’s best for you in any moment. All you have to do is get in to a space where you can hear it. You can wait for that perfect moment when the phone’s not ringing, the birds are chirping, and you’re sitting at your table enjoying a cup of coffee, or you can put yourself in a situation that enables those inner whispers to be heard. And anything that gets your mind and body connected is just such a situation.

Once you’ve arrived at a decision, everything – people, animals, small children, the cosmos – respond to the confidence and forward-motion deciding affords you, and things start falling in to place in ways you couldn’t have planned.

What can you make a decision about today? And what will become possible when you do?

Take care, and keep breathing,
Kate

One thought on “To Decide Or Not To Decide, THAT Is The Question

  1. Lovely post Kate! I just finished reading your article in Yoga International and just had to come visit your site! Today (really yesterday after reading another article in Yoga International) I decided to re-commit to my practice of meditation in the morning. yes so hard to do with three kids in the house between the ages of 1 and 6. But the quite moments before the sun rises is priceless and REALLY helps me stay grounded during the day. Thanks for sharing!

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