What if there are no wrong choices? There are just…choices.
Now I'm not talking about the kind of choices that might actually cause significant harm to another person. There are many choices that we can agree are not good choices like taking the life of another human being, etc. So let's take those off of the table. I'm talking about everyday choices about relationships, like who you date, who you love, and who you partner with. Everyday choices about what your career path is, your lifestyle. Everyday choices about where you live or your diet.
So often, we cling to idea that there are right and wrong choices. Suddenly the picture we paint when we consider our options quickly goes from complex to over simplified. We boil the decisions down and desperately search for ways we can ensure that whatever choices we are facing, one of them HAS to be wrong. Simplification feels safer because what we often fear the most is having to actually showing up to the choices our soul deeply desires. To be vulnerable in the emotionally available relationship. To be truly seen in the public world of entrepreneurship.
Usually what we're really dealing with is far more complex than right or wrong. There is an infinite number of possibilities, realities, and outcomes. And if we find that we take a decision that does not actually seem to be as aligned as we thought, with rare exception, we can change that choice. Rather than embracing this nuance, I find people getting stuck in swirling and thinking about choice and ultimately making no choice at all for fear of making the “wrong decision.”
So this brings me to a question I get all the time: “How do I let my intuition guide my life?” First, take the binary understanding of right and wrong off of the table. Seriously, throw it in the trash because that dichotomy is toxic and definitely going to keep you trapped.
When intuition is guiding our choices, intuition is never seated inside fear. Intuition lovingly guides us DESPITE our fear.
I learned this after I devoted an entire year of my life to walking straight into the metaphorical fire of my fears. I decided that leaning into fear was where my growth and greatest spiritual practice was hidden and so I made some scary decisions. First, I made the terrifying decision to turn in my resignation to my tenured government job to pursue a full time path of teaching coaching, healing, and spiritual study. My fear told me that if I left my job I would not be able to financially support myself and would definitely end up homeless or back in the same place. I left the job anyways. Second, I made the heroic choice to get back into the dating world. This felt almost crazy because I had gone through a divorce and wanted to never be in a relationship again after leaving an unhealthy and abusive marriage. I was sure that I might end up in the same situation. I started dating anyways. And not just any kind of dating, but the kind that felt the most fearful to me...online dating. (I was sure everyone on there was creepy!)
I also made smaller decisions that felt scary, like, starting to learn how to rock climb, because I had a fear of heights. And putting myself out into the business world by attending networking events where I knew no one and still wasn’t clear on my “perfect business pitch” or who my “niche audience” was.
What I discovered in the process is that fear is often a companion on a path of great growth.
Fear shows up for me when I am going to grow...a lot. And when it does, I consistently decide to move forward anyways. Overtime I developed a strange devotion in some ways to fear, seeing it as a wink from the Universe that I was onto something as I juggled my decisions.
Not everyone needs to leave their job if that is what they are most afraid of, or start online dating. The question is, when you get quiet, what might your fear be teaching you? And for me, fear was teaching me to tread my own path and put down my armor for love.
This process was and can be terrifying to say the least. You know anxious, gripping the chair, holding my breath, kind of decisions at times. And with each moment of moving past my fear I feel a little bit stronger, freer, honest with myself, and alive.
Many of the decisions I have made despite my fear, have been the best decisions of my life. Revolutionary to say the least. And fear still shows up in my life. Sometimes occasionally. Sometimes often. Because I'm still growing.
I live for growing, expanding, and learning. I love deep work AND sometimes it's terrifying. It's anxiety inducing It's stressful. In the end working with my fear is always freeing and well, freedom is probably the feeling my soul desires the most. So I keep dancing with fear because it’s initiated me into feeling free more often.
So back to the original question I get asked: “how can we let intuition guide our life?”
What if fear is actually the invitation to get closer to your intuition?
What if the fear is actually intuition nudging you? What if it’s not so much about fear versus intuition and more about learning from intuition sometimes as fear?
There are always exceptions. But often, I find fear is an invitation by our intuition to move in a new direction, to take a closer look, and ultimately...to grow!
And so for this week's joy tip, I want to invite you to think about where you are making a simplified right and wrong scenario around decisions that clearly are a lot more complex.
Consider where is fear showing up around decisions? And what if you saw fear as an invitation from your intuition? What would shift? What new choices would you make? What new decisions would you take?
If any of what I'm saying resonates with you and you find yourself curious, riveted even, or excited, then I would love for you to join me for my summer intuition series beginning next Wednesday, August 14th! For the last three Wednesdays In August, I’m leading three brief workshops on intuition. We start next week with a focus on sorting through the noise in our heads to understand fear and intuition. Together we’ll dive into even deeper exploration around what is the difference between fear and intuition? How can you tell the difference so that you may make decisions in a way that’s more clear and aligned to your truth? In other words, we’ll set you up to decide with intuition in the lead.