Choosing to Listen Closely

I’m standing at an edge. Feeling fear. Unsure.

Is it about stepping off or stepping back?

Is it fear of reaching my upper limits? Or is it about self-care?

How do I choose? How do I know?

“Remember,” I hear Jovanna say from previous conversations, “There isn’t a bad choice. Neither choice is wrong.”  I agree, but I know that for me,  a decision to step back due to fear does not feel good. It is not life affirming. So the question is really about how to make the decision, not from a place of fear, but from a place of deep knowing. A place that doesn’t need everything figured out, all contingencies in place, a place of trust. And so……

What supports me on each side of the decision? In the short term and in the longer term.

A choice to rest, to be at home, to heal from six weeks of virus attacks on my system. To continue healthy eating without distractions and outside influences. To be comfortable in my own space. To nourish myself with familiar foods and creative soul practice.


A choice to enter into creation in community, to build connections and relationships, to explore new  territory and potential partnership, to build skills. To live on an island and take a ferry to “work” for a week. To partake of city life.

I let the options sink into my body. I let them find their physical expression in my cells. Which gives fuel? Which gives energy? Take out all stories and judgement. The stories of “I should…”, “if only I..”,  “what if…..”, “you can’t..”.

I’m still unclear, but I am getting a sense of what is possible. What is possible if I don’t go? Spaciousness. Space to create, space to create, space to meet with possible partners here. That’s a whole different story than “What am I missing out on?”

I’m letting thoughts roll around in my head, like stones being tumbled around to find their shine. No attachment. No stories.

Make some soup. Make some granola. Let it all bake and bubble and percolate, along with the decision. Somewhere in that process, a shift starts to happen.

I think I’ll go. Surely I’ll be feeling better by Friday. I can work out the details that still feel problematic. I’m  feeling I can be in a place of trust on the rest. I’m feeling the lure of an adventure.

Then an email arrives:  “…as it turns out there’s someone we’d like to have attend the workshop in December, as Feb. will be too late for her. As we’re full up, it would be good to know what you’re thinking, and if you would like to postpone until Feb. it could actually work well. ”

The temptation to dive into story mode is strong. My little child self stamps her feet and crosses her arms. I see her standing there with her little pouty lip pushed out. She does not like this one little bit! My adult self sorts through the threads. It is still my choice. I can still go. But perhaps this is an indication that another time would be better.

The word “ease” comes to mind. Not “easy”, but “ease”. As in “flow”. Or the opposite of pushing hard, striving against, putting my shoulder to the wheel. That’s how I used to do things – push, strive, head down. I don’t know what life will be like in February – other than a strong likelihood of snowy and cold. But when I think of what would give me ease right now, the decision crystallizes.

I’ll stay home. Ease. That feels right. My inner protective guard  relaxes.

And immediately the floodgates open – all of the things that I had declined for the next 10+ days reappear and now they are possible. (Assuming the virus demon does not return yet again!).  I may not do any of them.  But there are project possibilities percolating here, and there are partnerships to develop here. And there are festive seasonal events that I had x’d off my calendar. What a delight! And I can put off my laundry yet again.

I’m relaxed and feel secure in my knowing. And I know that I could have felt exactly the same way had I decided to go. That’s pretty cool.

How do you decide? I’m really interested in knowing.


Photo from here.

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1 Response to Choosing to Listen Closely

  1. Janice says:

    Deb sometimes it is so easy to make those decisions and other times not and sometimes the decision is made for you. I signed up for a 10 day silent meditation retreat, no books, no writing, no nothing, just meditate, eat (not much though) and sleep and not much of that. I think I have to be up at 4:30 every day. I am not a morning person at all, but I guess really this is middle of the night!
    This course is one of those things that I keep thinking about and never doing. I really want it but I am terrified also and think ahhh maybe 5 years ago it was what I needed then but really do I need it now? Maybe not. In any case I signed up and then waited to hear if I got in. The longer I waited the more I questioned if I should be doing this. I could be working at my art which seemed more important. One day I check the Vipassana web site and it says there is only a waiting list left for the one I signed up for. Oh well, I guess that is my answer and I let the whole thing go. I let it go easily and with some relief.
    Last night I arrive home check the computer and there low and behold is an email from Vipassana “You have been accepted. Please confirm.” I wasn’t sure what I was feeling other than surprised but I knew then and there that I was going. I am happy that I will have done it and I won’t carry on forever thinking should I sign up for that. I kind of really want to do that.
    So that my dear Deb is how I make a decision sometimes or was that decision made for me? I like to think I made it because I could have still declined.

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