There are so many large and small decisions we make every day without being aware of them as choices. Without measuring their cost and benefit.
That’s no way to feel any sense of balance!
We say yes to things because they are in front of us, whether it is checking our phones because we notice an inane notification or agreeing to something that, if we took a moment, we might prefer to do under specific conditions (or not at all).
When you are exhausted or otherwise energetically depleted, making aligned choices can be vital.
In the beginning, even just recognizing where we have choices can be tricky. So start with the beginning of your day, even before you get out of bed. You have a choice about getting out of bed, even if it doesn’t feel that way. In fact, you have many choices:
- will you get up immediately?
- Will you sit up first, and stay for a moment?
- How will you sit up?
- How long will you wait?
You can see how many choices you actually have in one small act!
This tool is one of the first things I teach my clients: to use their personal energy and the feelings in their body to make more aligned choices.
It consists very simply of checking in with yourself, of noticing what your body has to say about the choices in front of you. When you get ready for breakfast and are considering your choices, notice what happens in your body when you do.
Your body will give you indications about whether or not breakfast sounds appetizing, and if it does, whether the things you thought you would have feel aligned for it.
When you need to make choices about things that seem less immediately tangible or may feel harder to make, like whether or not you want to say yes to a proposal you are getting, your body will respond to the energy of the situation in a similar way to responding to breakfast.
My clients are often “people pleasers,” they want to be liked and know themselves to be good people. So they frequently feel inclined to say yes to others, regardless the cost to them. When they check in with their body, they notice resistance in the form of tightening of the muscles, a heaviness settling in, or other sensations. This helps them weigh whether that yes will cost them too much energy.
Balancing our Energy is the Goal
At the end of the day, we need to balance our energetic output with the input. So this exercise helps us be aware of how much a choice might cost us. For example, if my client decides that, in spite of the indications in her body she will say yes to the proposal, now she also knows that she needs to do something that will energize and replenish her so that this choice doesn’t leave her depleted.
What happens when you try this? Are there any surprises? And how do you handle choices your brain says you should make one way and your body says another?