Before life coaching, making decisions, little or big would send me into a spiral of indecision. I would use the pro and con method for a lot of things or I would defer my decisions to someone else and not make a decision at all (which in reality is making a decision). I hated making decisions. I always felt like I was making the “wrong” decision or a decision that someone wouldn’t like. I was always afraid that society would shun me or banish me to the lower rings of Hell. After I started to use the “body compass” tool to make decisions, I have become much more confident in my decisions and not so fearful of the outcome. Trusting your feelings and intuition is the way to go.
The body compass tool is designed to use your body, instead of your mind to help you make these types of decisions. You may be thinking well what does she mean by that? My body? How is my body going to help me? Don’t I need to sit down and write a list of pros and cons? Well, that is one way to make a decision, but the way I am going to talk about is based on the feelings and sensations in your body. These feelings can range in strength and are based on a positive/negative scale.
Author and Master Life Coach, Martha Beck, uses a compass as a metaphor for our bodies. She wrote a book called, “Finding Your Own North Star”, which is an awesome read! In her book, she states that our bodies can tell us where to go to reach our “North Star”, which is where we are happy, fulfilled and satisfied in our lives. When we are headed in the wrong direction our bodies can act out in certain ways. This could be in the form of pain, stiffness, queasiness, or other forms of bodily stress. This also works when we are headed in the right direction. This could be a feeling of walking on air or that excited feeling we get when something goes our way. For me, when I am headed in the wrong direction, I feel it in my chest; my chest always tightens when I don’t want to do something, but say yes for some reason. When I am making a decision I feel good about I get an excited feeling in my chest, like my heart is about the leap out of my chest, like when I signed up for life coach training!
There is a specific process to figure this out and once you figure out what it feels like to you when you’re headed in the right direction and the wrong direction, this can help you make decisions in all areas of your life. If your body is telling you that having kids is maybe a one or two out of ten on the negative side, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have kids. It may just mean that having kids isn’t a priority at the moment or it may mean you’re having some anxiety or stress about the decision. Maybe you think you don’t have enough money to have a child and or that you will lose too much of your independence by having a child. Having some fear is normal, but if those fears are holding you back from doing something you really want, it can create problems in your life. Having anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t do something!
About seven years ago, I remember talking to my now husband about having kids. We always said someday. You could say our “first child” is a bamboo plant that we still have in our living room. After a couple years with our plant, we decided to get a dog, which was a major decision too. We wouldn’t know what to do without our Beagle now. After keeping the plant and our pup, Daisy alive, we felt hopeful that we could raise a child and keep him or her alive as well. About two years ago, we had our daughter and it is the BEST decision we have ever made. Deciding to have or not to have kids is a huge decision and one that changes your life forever.
When I did the body compass on having baby number two, my body gave me a three or four out of ten on the positive side. I definitely want to have one more kid, but I do have some anxiety about how things will be different with two little munchkins running around. Using the body compass tool has certainly made me more aware of how I am really feeling about certain life decisions. Self-awareness can be an amazing gift.