BIG decisions are tough. I’m not talking about choosing between a cappuccino or a flat white for your morning coffee, but whopping great life-changers — moving house, leaving your job, ending a relationship and the like. The dilemmas that fry your brain and churn up your stomach because you think life might go horribly wrong if you make a bad move.
If you’re teetering on the edge of making a big decision, the following pointers might help:
1. GET ALL THE FACTS
MAKE sure you have everything you need to make a fully informed decision. there is a logical, practical side to this process that you ignore at your peril.
Write everything down — lists are good — seeing your pros and cons in black and white helps to clarify any situation.
2. FIND YOUR DHARMA
DELVING deeper, behind the postures and breathing of a modern yoga class, there is a rich philosophy that makes intriguing reading.
One concept that features heavily in ancient Vedic texts is dharma. It has many different meanings, but dharma roughly translates as ‘righteous living’. Personal dharma is about following your true purpose in life and finding inner wisdom.
It might sound hippy-dippy, but you need to listen to your gut and be honest with yourself to make a sound decision.
3. ASK FOR ADVICE SPARINGLY
My WISE colleague Jacqui sent me an Oprah Winfrey supersoul Conversations podcast last week. it was titled Your Own Truth and I suggest everyone, especially those in a pickle, should give it a listen.
One sage remark from Oprah stood out. If you go around asking everyone’s advice about your dilemma, she said, it means you know the answer yourself but are too scared to admit it.
Of course, ask others to get a different perspective, but ultimately it’s up to you to figure out your own life.
4. GIVE YOURSELF SPACE
NEVER panic and rush into a decision. Give yourself as much time as you can. Devote some space physically and mentally to the choice you face instead of letting it whirl around in your mind all day long getting muddled.
I suggest finding a quiet place to sit comfortably. Become still and close your eyes. Feel your breath come and go. As your mind becomes quieter, bring your focus to the decision you have to make. Ask yourself the question, ‘Is this right for me?’
Sit here and ponder for a while before taking a deep, conscious breath and returning to focus on your inhale and exhale, letting your thoughts go.
Don’t expect an instant answer. It’s more a case of calming the mind and bringing your thoughts to the present moment so you can fully focus on the matter at hand.
Now forget about your dilemma. Do something you love — go for a run, sing, do the gardening, sew, read — it’s often when we least expect it that an answer comes.
5. STICK TO IT
ONCE you’ve made your mind up, stick to your decision or you’ll wreck your head! Whatever decision you make will be right — have the confidence and faith in yourself to know it will work out for the best.
I’ve made my own big decision recently — to leave my job here at the Mail. It wasn’t easy. I will miss my hard-working, talented, truly lovely team, I will miss writing my column and working in this office — I will even miss the routine and the headspace I get on my commute.
I’m excited and daunted in equal measure, but I can’t let fear get in my way. Change is good. With change comes knowledge and opportunity; a chance to grow.
After all, as it says in the Bhagavad Gita: ‘It is better to live your own dharma imperfectly, than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.’
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Published in the Irish Daily Mail, April 9, 2019