On making life choices
Good evening to you all. As we move into May and some of us celebrate Beltane, I hope you are enjoying Nature more and more.
In our park, everything is growing and blooming. The park’s edges are decorated with pink, white and blue bluebells. It’s snowing cherry tree petals. It smells of gorgeous hawthorn.
My way from work to the home office is now dotted with beautiful flowers:
The allotment is shaping up, too, and I have finally managed to collect enough herbs for a home bouquet.
We took a day off on Friday to retrace our steps in the old (Oxford)shire just to see Oxford’s Christ Church magnificently in its spring blooms.
I sense Nature’s confusion between spring and summer – the two seasons blend in. Our tulips are only opening up now, and the horse chestnut trees are in bloom.
Regardless of the confusion, I managed to finalise my weekly schedule finally (after three months of testing it). I now work six days a week. However, this includes and allows me time for rest, connectedness and education too. The remaining one day is for family, and that is more than enough for a family of introverts.
Maybe it’s a radical choice to call rest, professional socialising and training “work”. However, I was thinking about the notion of tools of trade. Gardeners have spades and watering cans. Hairdressers have scissors. Teachers have pens and paper. What we, therapists, coaches and digital consultants use for work is ourselves – our mind and body. So it makes perfect sense to choose to make time for nurturing the tool of the trade: ourselves. The bottom line is this: if I am not rested enough, I cannot listen to my clients with the attention they deserve.
My week was incredibly intense, full of major milestones and some pretty significant decisions too. I come out of it with a weekly schedule of clarity and a good sense of direction for at least the rest of this year. Making choices can feel challenging, but with a little bit of embodied intuition and good advice from those around us, we can do it effectively.
Today I invite you to practice making choices. In coaching, we help clients a lot in exploring various aspects of smaller or larger choices in their life. There are many ways to explore the pros and cons of both, or even many options. Here are just a few ideas:
Q: Can you list all pros and cons of each option in front of you? List them until you explore all your ideas. Once the lists are full, it may still be worth asking: “Have I missed anything?“
Q: Can you talk to a trusted friend about each option and explore its benefits and risks? Imagine a debate in which you need to take a particular side and really dig deep into the reality of the situation: how would your life look like if you chose one path or the other?
Q: Can you write a letter to your older self explaining the reasons behind your choices today? Write a small letter for each option ahead of you and explore its consequences.
Q: If you play a game in a virtual environment which allows you the creation of new landscapes, like, for example, Minecraft, can you design visual representations of your future after making your choice? Immersing yourself in the virtual experience of your future reality may support exploring all aspects of your decision.
(As I slow down for the evening, I wish you a soft first week of May!)
This post was originally posted on Substack in our Syl’s Liberation Psychologies Newsletter.