Getting Unstuck, How To Make BIG Decisions
No matter how "together" you've got your life
going... we all have times when we get muddled by
our feelings and emotions--and we can't make a
When you get stuck and can't make a decision
about something important--what do you do?
If you're like us and almost every one else
we've ever met, you do something that works in the
short term but usually doesn't work in the long
If the decision really is causing you to feel
stuck-- you most likely withdraw, procrastinate or
Nothing new here, right?
We all do this.
Not every time we're faced with a decision but
in the times when we get stuck...this is very often
what many of us do.
The problem is that when this happens, we're
preoccupied and not truly "present" in our lives
and with those we love.
We're just going through the motions of life as
we try to work out the decision that's churning
When this happens, we've living in limbo and not
really living our lives to the fullest.
Susie had this happen one morning this week.
She's been mulling over whether she should go on
a really fun "Dolphin Retreat" to Hawaii that was
recently offered to her-- or whether she should say
She would love to go but she could also think of
all kinds of reasons why she shouldn't go at this
And a variety of emotions came up around this
subject for her. She not only felt stuck because
she couldn't make a decision but she felt
"lifeless" and "not there" to Otto during our
morning connecting time.
In other words, she wasn't really there with him
and since this time we devote to spending with each
other in the morning is so important--it didn't
feel good to either of us.
She was miles away thinking about the pros and
cons of attending the retreat when she should have
be there in the present moment
Can you relate in any way to what we're
Have you felt like you had to make a decision
and your emotions and thoughts in your head were so
overwhelming that you couldn't?
Now of course, Susie's decision about whether to
sign up for this retreat or not is pretty
inconsequential compared to other decisions that
most of us deal with at various times in our lives
like staying in or leaving a relationship, where to
live, what jobs we should take, where to send our
kids to college, what to do with aging parents
So what are the best ways to get out of your
muddle so you can think clearly and make your
We received a question from a reader yesterday
that we thought you'd benefit from as well as our
answer to him--that goes along this idea of helping
you make decisions...
It's a good one.
His question was not necessarily about making a
decision but rather about dealing with the feelings
and emotions that hold him back from healing from
In other words, his emotions are holding him
hostage and clouding his thinking much like Susie's
were when she was trying to make her decision.
The man who sent in his question is obviously a
searcher and has done a lot of reading and personal
work on himself and that's revealed in the quality
of his question....
Our reader friend wanted to know which type of
techniques are most useful for getting
He said that some teachers of relationships and
personal and spiritual growth teach...
"Mindfulness lessons where (you) just observe
your feelings and let them move from the head
'chatter' into your body."
While other relationship, personal and spiritual
growth teachers suggest...
That you "question your thoughts as they come up
and their validity" as a way or dealing with
ourselves when we get stuck.
If all these teachers are teaching something
different--then, what's right?
Our answer is that we teach and use both types
and we recommend both.
Pema Chodron is a favorite teacher of ours in
the "mindfulness" category.
In a very simplistic explanation of what she
teaches--she suggests to allow whatever feelings
that are there to be there--not making them good or
bad-- and in fact, making no judgments at all.
We teach to then breathe into those places in
the body that are holding these emotions to move
Become the observer and notice what's coming up
for you and together with the breath, those
feelings will pass.
Sometimes with intense emotions, this is
certainly easier said than done but it works...
We also take another approach with questioning
what the mind is running in a loop that tends to
keep the emotions churned up.
Byron Katie is a phenomenal teacher of
questioning your thoughts to get to what is
And when you get to what is true--dissolving the
stories you've made up about your situation--you
can find peace and actually live your life from a
Okay, so back to Susie and her decision...
Along with using both these types of techniques
to make her decision and to become present with
Otto--We discovered something else.
Because Otto has learned to "stay" as Pema
Chodron calls it and didn't get "triggered" or
upset by Susie being "distant" during our time
He didn't retreat and move away from Susie just
because she wasn't present with him.
He kept gently connecting with her, encouraged
her to breathe with him until finally she was
She could move through her haze of emotion and
indecision and meet Otto in a place of love and
Making decisions, even small ones, can be
We urge you to try different types of techniques
to help you move through what blocks you from truly
living and loving.
These are just a couple of the many strategies
that you can use to make your relationships and
life work at a much higher level.
Our best to you,
& Otto Collins
Other Relationship Issues,
and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners
who are committed to helping others create
outstanding relationships of all kinds. They
regularly write, speak and conduct workshops and
seminars on love, relationships and personal and
spiritual growth to audiences all across the USA.
They are the creators of the "Relationship Toolkit"
which has helped people in over a dozen countries
improve their relationships. It includes a video
Partnerships plus two
and Relationship Success
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by visiting their web site at www.collinspartners.com
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