My brain is a bit cloudy as I take time for Receptive Surrender. This concept, coined by Barbara Stanny, basically means allowing surrender to serve an essential role in your eventual triumph.
I made the decision to change careers and use my life to help people and organizations grow. I got the goods and I want to use them. That’s my purpose.
But my personality is Type A x10 so I’m calling this my period of “Assertive Surrender” because I must constantly give myself permission to slow down for the first time in my life. I’m realizing I don’t have to work like a crazy woman to make good money.
Not everyone jumps the corporate ship. Not everyone wants to. But I did, and I wanted to. So how did I make that decision, commit to it, and feel I’ve made a good choice?
Well, I think we can all relate to how our body responds to stressful or joyful situations. My clients describe very negative experiences as producing a choking effect, or feeling sick to their stomachs, or tightness in their chests; and very joyful experiences as heart opening, freedom, and strength.
One day, I was clearly experiencing a very negative response. I felt anxious and looked around the meeting room to understand what was happening. Lo and behold, there was an undercurrent of unspoken sparring being played out. We weren’t really finishing up a project; we were watching two guys create difficulties in a joust for power. I watched in fascination. At that moment I thought, “Could it be this easy? Is it simply about following your body compass to get to the heart of the matter?”
Yes, yes it is. It sounds so simple. It IS so simple. But it takes focus to find your body’s response. Do you know how your body feels right now? It’s a good start to know. If you don’t, call me.
Making good decisions happens this way. Our physical response to what’s in front of us will lead the way. Think about something you’d like to do, or something you’d like to have happen. Write it down.
You probably have options when you think about how to proceed. Write them down. Don’t write pros and cons like many of us do when making decisions, just write down the options.
Let’s say you want to decide where you will live or work next, and you have three options. Sit back and submerge yourself into Option #1. Close your eyes, see it, see yourself there, smell the surroundings, hear what’s to hear, place yourself there fully, visualize everything you can about it…then FEEL it physically. How does it feel? Now do the same with Option #2 and #3.
The goal is to feel freer. The goal is to feel openness and strength, or whatever your most positive feelings bring. The goal is to have NONE of those negative physical responses present.
Athletes do this all the time. In fact, Carli Lloyd after winning the World Cup said, “I visualized playing in the World Cup and I visualized scoring four goals.” US beat Japan 5-2. Lloyd scored three.
Phil Jackson, one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, has his players not only visualize their success winning games, but he gives them guided meditations during half time to help players stay calm and focus on winning.
I know this is hard for those who live by their thinking mind. Thinkers are stubborn about their thoughtful thinking “way.” But trying to skirt your physical sensations won’t help you in the long run.
Once you’ve leaned toward your decision, you’ll begin to question or rethink it. But you must remember how you got there. You can always process the options again, too, if you need to. Or I can do it with you.
Remind yourself that you played with the options, felt the outcomes, and decided. Remember that you have processed the intricacies of your decision with a clear mind and body. If you’ve done this, the odds are heavily weighted on your side.
That last 1% is always up for debate, but you’ve done the best you can do for yourself.
There’s always a limited number of alternatives, and if your choice really, really sucks – just change it! Life is a journey and I dare say there’s not a lot of wrongdoing unless you’re intentionally hurting someone.
You always have your body with you, you take it everywhere, and it will never lie to you.
Let it speak.
Now…if I could only figure out how to make organizations as intelligent!