Buddha was asked what he had gained from meditation. His answer was: “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost: anxiety, anger, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.”
“What have you gained out of meditating every day,” my friend inquires.
I paused and looked straight into their eyes: “That one moment of the decision.”
The cliche of fast-track living is so steadily anchored in our minds that success has become synonymous with an accelerated life. Speed has become a de facto way of being. We need to have opinions and we need to state them irrefutably fast, unmindfully prompt, instantaneously accurate. Truth be told, it doesn’t have to be this way, unless we choose to live fast-paced.
Breathing has been the wisest teacher I could have ever asked for. I always go back to the learnings that have sedimented after observing the very flow of life, the air that invades the body, washes all that is known and reinstates the truth of the present moment. As we breathe in the now, our decisions can also only take place in the now.
A clear mind takes sharp decisions based on what is true and useful. Only from a space of balance and perspicuity can we strive to go for the things that we truly need, that support our growth and assist us in being who we consciously choose to become.
Fear of making decisions
Many of us are trapped in this symmetrical system of good and bad which can encumber our decision-making process. If we believe that there is only a right way and many other wrong paths surrounding that only way, chances are we’ll fear decisions. Taking a stand and making a decision will come with effort and apprehensiveness in front of possible consequences.
What mindfulness and meditation do is to open the space for viewing many other possibilities that may unfold from that decision. The practice of making conscious decisions diminishes the fear, reassuring you that you’re choosing what resonates in that present moment. Knowing one self also plays an important role in reducing the fear of making decisions. Since you know your values and who you are, deciding comes as a natural process celebrating exactly that.
Responsibility for the outcome of the decisions
Responsibility is a word that gives many of us the shivers, isn’t it? Why? Maybe because we are brought up to believe responsibility limits our freedom, maybe because it is associated with guilt and punishment, or maybe just because it’s one of those words that sound complicated.
Responsibility is actually an amazing concept! Let’s look at it as the ability to respond. We’re going back to conscious decisions. Being responsible means that you have all the tools, knowledge and whole-heartedness to choose for yourself. You are taking your decisions, regardless of how complicated the situation might look like. And that comes with a lot of power and pride of being the leader of your life.
Shaping intuition to know what is right in that very moment
Right and wrong, just like good and bad and other dichotomic concepts, are all very subjective and open to interpretation. We are not talking here about universal values. Intuition is that gut feeling that makes you more inclined to going in one direction than another. Sometimes, that feeling is luring us into taking destructive actions, that are afterwards a source of regret, such as being mean, or procrastinating. When you get in touch with who you are and what you stand for, that gut feeling is also sound clear. So, go for clearing the way of your intuition through mindfulness so as to make decisions easier and more fulfilling.
Decisions are happening at every single step of daily living. The key is to learn to deal with taking decisions in a peaceful and natural way.
Now back to you, what is your relation with decisions and what helps you in taking decisions?