On this new moon, a day of new beginnings, I want to shed some light on a murky– sometimes even treacherous– process that often precedes our boldest fresh starts.
With every new path you forge, you need to make a decision first.
That decision could be something relatively minor, like whether or not to visit your family next week.
Or, it could be something major, like whether or not you should leave your current relationship, move to a new state, become a mother, or chart a new career path.
This past year of my life has been filled with an unusual amount of dramatic endings and humble beginnings; and, in between all of these, I’ve had to make a dizzying amount of Big Life Decisions.
Because I always aim to make my suffering useful to others, along the way, I’ve compiled some (often profound) tidbits of wisdom–from close friends, mentors, and my own inner SHE–that have helped me tremendously. Today I want to share the best of these with you.
While no one can make a Big Life Decision for us, the dark waters of uncertainty can be scary and depressing to navigate alone. We need all the inspiration and encouragement we can gather during these transitional times to help keep us afloat until we’re standing on the solid ground of clarity and conviction once more.
HERE ARE MY ACCRUED INSIGHTS ON HOW TO MAKE A BIG, LIFE DECISION FROM YOUR FEMININE WISDOM:
- Simplify for a spell.
When you’re making an important decision, you need to funnel all of your emotional, mental, and spiritual energy in that direction. As much as you can, create more space in your life. Cancel meetings, postpone projects, call in sick to work, do an at-home retreat, stay off of technology. Create space for silence and solitude. If you live with other people or have small children, see if you can stay in a hotel for a night or two– or squeeze in small pockets of white space during nap time, when they’ve gone to sleep, or while they’re at school.
- Prioritize practice.
As you start to reduce or eliminate excess noise in your life through simplifying for a short amount of time, simultaneously turn up the dial on your spiritual practices. Set a morning yoga date with yourself (or go to your favorite classes). Meditate every morning. Dance. Write in your journal. Pray. Go for contemplative walks in nature. Paint. Draw. All of these things will help you access your feminine wisdom, or your SHE. It’s from this wise, resourceful center that you will ultimately make your decision.
- Gather feedback.
Call on your most trusted astrologers, tarot readers, mentors, and psychics to listen to their perspectives. Ask your closest friends and family members what they think. Use all of these as reflection, not the final say in what you’ll decide. Take everything in and let it all simmer in the pot of your process.
- Nourish yourself.
Eat well, take hot baths, and get some sleep. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Gallbladder and Liver are in charge of making decisions, and the hours when these organ systems are most active each day are between 11pm-3am. By making sure you’re asleep during these hours, you’re ensuring that your body will be processing the decision in your unconscious dreamtime. This is oftentimes why we wake up with answers to lingering problems.
- Let yourself be a Hot Mess.
Don’t try to make your process neat and tidy. Don’t try to rush it to a premature completion. Become unravelled. Embrace uncertainty. Cry. Rage. Laugh. Don’t be alarmed if you vacillate and keep changing your mind. The more you let yourself feel all of your feelings, the more you’ll be able to arrive at a wise, considered decision when the time is right.
- Write in your journal. A lot.
Make lists of “yes,” “no,” and “maybe.” Write down and visualize all the possible scenarios. See how each of these feel in your body.
- Give yourself a timeline.
While we don’t want to rush the process, sometimes staying in uncertainty for too long can bring an unnecessary amount of distress to our lives. If you’re going on a week-long retreat, decide that you’ll arrive at your answer by the end of the retreat. If you’re doing an at-home retreat over the weekend, tell yourself that you’ll have your answer by Monday morning.
- Take breaks to goof off.
Being serious all the time is never a good thing for you– or those around you. When things start to feel too intense, take a break. Go to the movies. Call a friend to go for a walk. Take yourself out for pizza. Watch a show on Netflix. Do something to move the energy and then return to your process.
- Trust yourself and your life.
Ultimately, it’s your own intuitive knowing that will be able to make a Big Life Decision for you. While I mentioned it’s important to gather feedback from your closest advisors, remember that, ultimately, this is your life. And only you know what’s best for you. Look back and see the decisions you’ve made prior to this one and who you’ve become as a result of those. Do you like who you’ve become? Do you trust that your life is here to teach and grow you and that you’re not here to try to “do” life perfectly?
There are no pat and dry answers. Ever. There are pluses and minuses to every outcome. Mistakes and wrong turns are inevitable. They’re how we grow and become wiser and more resilient.
All of the greatest human qualities– humility, compassion, courage, vulnerability, and generosity– grow out of the soil of our failures. Rather than trying to avoid falling down, let’s resolve to keep failing our way into our next success.
I’m wishing you all the strength you need to surrender into the next, big decision that life is asking you to make.
Trust yourself. I do.