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Friday, March 18, 2011

Which Way?

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
Tough decisions are tough. Which way should I go? Should I change jobs? Should I end this relationship? And, while it might be easy to say... "Figure out where you want to get to" first... it sometimes seems like answering that question is just as hard. Like Alice, we often don't know exactly where it is we want to get to. What to do?

How about doing nothing? Put it in the pot and let it simmer for a bit. But unless you like mushed carrots, you can't leave the carrots in the pot too long. So, here's a path:

First, assess the data. What are the facts? And by facts, I mean facts... not the stories you make up about the facts. Hard data. Times, dates, places... all the stuff a video camera could have recorded.

Next, get honest with yourself about the stories you are making up. What are the competing voices in your head saying? Admit it, we all have them, so cozy up and have a beer or cup of tea with each of the competitors. What do those inner voices want? How are they trying to protect you? How have they perhaps propelled you in the past but possibly sabotage you in the present? In any event... own your assessments, your judgments, beliefs, stories, predictions of the future, all of it.

And then... stop. And, feel. How are you feeling? Where are you feeling it in your body? Is that excitement? Fear? Sadness? Anger? Whatever you are feeling, just feel it.

My sense is that unless we are able to separate the facts, fiction and feelings the soup will remain in the pot on the stove. Whatever "wants" we might think we want will be clouded with un-owned stories and un-expressed emotions. So, we must do the hard work.

And then... go play! Really? Yes, play. When you want to connect with your deepest desires of who you are and what you want in life, go play. Do something creative. Something that is uniquely you. Enjoy yourself. Get dirty. Enjoy being you. You'll be amazed with what happens. And, if nothing happens, at least you will have had some fun. :)

Too often, we ask "what should I do?" when the better question is "what do I want?" When I am clear on my "want", the "do" part comes easily. Try it.

Be well,
V