Nothing to Decide

A couple years back, my friend, Sharon was trying to decide whether or not to go to a Joe Dispenza retreat. 

I started asking some questions to help her find clarity, and then realized something: She hadn’t signed up for the event, she hadn’t bought plane tickets, she hadn’t booked a hotel room. According to the evidence, she was not going to the event. She was on a trajectory and the retreat wasn’t part of it. She didn’t have to decide whether or not to go, but rather she had the opportunity to choose to go, if she wanted to go. 

This may seem like a small distinction, but it has changed my life when it comes to apparent decisions. 

Before this discovery, I experienced decisions like a fork in the road that I couldn’t move past until “I decided”which path to take.

This can make impending decisions feel stressful. When I think I have to make a decision, I notice at least three different kinds of pressure:

  1. Time pressure or urgency, sometimes real, sometimes imagined.
  2. The pressure to make the “right” decision for myself or sometimes for someone else (and not make the “wrong” decision.”)
  3. The pressure to know what to do, rather than hang out in not-knowing.

When Sharon saw  she was already on a path and didn’t actually have to decide anything, much of the pressure disappeared. She already knew which path to take if she maintained her current flow and did nothing to change course. Now she was in a position to wonder about that second kind of pressure: Would staying the course or changing it be the “right” choice? 

That is a simple enough question, except that it’s an impossible one. 

As one of my teachers (I forget who) once said: The mind models the future based on the past. Any guesses it makes are based on what already happened instead of what will happen. The mind has some data but can’t possibly know what is “right.” We can guess, and we usually do, but what if the mind concludes that both options could be the right one? Or both options could be the wrong one?  

This is when we encounter the terribly uncomfortable experience of… drumroll please…Indecision.

Most of us think of indecision as an experience to get through, get past, or get rid of. We believe knowing is better than not knowing. We think this way so often that we make fast decisions rather than good ones, just to alleviate the discomfort of not knowing.  

But the truth is, we can’t know before we know. 

Indecision isn’t a problem, it’s just the ambiguous waters in which we swim – until the moment we do know.  We are amphibians when it comes to knowing and not knowing. We can and should hang out in both places as often as they come up in our lives.

Ever since that conversation with Sharon, I have begun to watch my “decision” making process more closely. I have discovered that, for the most part, there is almost never any decision to make

Regardless of the mind’s decisions or indecision, the body seems to  organize itself to do things or not do things. It takes actions. It signs up for things. It says “yes” sometimes and “no” sometimes. It follows through on commitments, or it renegotiates them. It goes places. It skips things. The mind may chatter about what’s happening, but no amount of “trying” to make a decision has led to any more clarity or peace than just letting life unfold. 

There is one exception I make to letting life unfold. Sometimes I’m feeling very tense about a possibility or opportunity. In this case, I use a process from The Sedona Method. The purpose of this process is not actually to make a decision, but to uncover what motives, feelings, or beliefs are blocking clarity.  

Listen to this 7 minute audio recording for a taste of the process of exploring indecision around any decision you may be facing. I made it for a friend who was unsure whether to sign up for my online or in-person workshop coming up in March and April. 

We will practice the decision making process at both events. There are still some spots open. And yes, that is a plug.

In the meantime if you prefer to practice on your own, here are some steps you can take to relieve the struggle around an apparently difficult decision. 

  • Notice your current trajectory, and become aware of the options that deviate from that plan. If you can, reframe your decision as an option rather than an impassable fork in the road. 
  • Notice a sense of urgency or time pressure you feel to make a decision before you know. Get to know what urgency feels like, where it comes from. 
  • Notice any pressure to make the right choice, and not get it wrong in some way. Get to know where the pressure to get it right comes from and what it feels like. 
  • Notice any discomfort you have with not knowing right now. Familiarize yourself with not-knowing, and what it feels like in your body, heart and mind. 
  • Check  for mental motives that might be pressuring you one way or another. Are you wanting someone’s approval? Are you afraid of missing out? Are you feeling unsatisfied?  What hidden thoughts or feelings are you serving to make the “right choice.” Will this choice satisfy someone or avoid something? 
  • Watch what happens. Does your body stay the course? Or does it change directions? Simply watch and wonder.

If you try this out, I’d love to know how it goes for you. Feel free to write back and let me know. 

With Love, 


To find out more about the Welcoming Way workshops coming up soon. Join either online or in-person

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