?Let?s do the time warp again? Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Thursday, 19 May 2011 15:36
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Tell me, girlfriend. How do you make decisions? No, I don’t mean as in head versus heart, but rather whose head or whose heart.

See, most of us grew up in a good-versus-bad kind of straightjacket: if you did what you were told to do, you were good; if you didn’t, you were bad. “This kind of discipline undermines a person’s ability to find their own moral centre and to trust and be guided by their own inner self,” writes author Madisyn Taylor.

Still, many of us feel a tsunami of badness approaching when we do something we were taught was wrong, even if we don’t agree with it. Just like we feel chuffed with ourselves when doing something we were taught was right. And so we end up smack-bang in the familiar old straightjacket again.

An important part of becoming yourself involves growing beyond what you’ve learned so that you can take responsibility for your life on your own terms. The first step is to get away from the good-versus-bad and the right-versus-wrong labels. Rather see each decision as a growth-versus-stagnation option. Only you can know the difference.

Odd how many of us spend such a lot of time and energy evading these decisions. I’ve long suspected that we get caught up in our to-do lists and overwhelmed by our busy schedules so that we can dodge spending time with ourselves, avoid looking at our lives.

Madisyn says that one of the reasons it could be uncomfortable to sit with ourselves is because when we do, we tend to open ourselves to an inner voice, which might question the way we’re living or some of the decisions we’re making.

So, how do you begin the process of being less absent in your decision-making process? If you find it impossible to contemplate making a decision without getting some sort of feedback on it first, well, then I have a plan. We’re going to play a game. The 83-year-old American Monk, Burt Goldman, calls it quantum jumping, but we can call it anything we like.

Let’s name our game The Time Warp. Come on, all it needs is some willing suspension of disbelief. Say you have a difficult decision to make. You’re going to ask two people what they think you should do. The first one is your ten-year-old self and the second one is your eighty-year-old self.

Do you remember your childhood bedroom? Imagine sitting on your bed with all the dreams and ideals you had for your future. Weren’t you just going to fly to the moon? How would this idealistic child, who still believes that she can do anything, advise your grown-up self to be?

Then jump ahead in the time warp and imagine your eighty-year-old self. What would this self tell you? Maybe this would be the self who would tell you to take more risks, to walk barefoot more often, to grab opportunities while they’re still ahead of you.

Okay, but the game needn’t end here. Burt Goldman says that we can imagine a whole host of alternative universes and that we live a life in each of these. So, in one life you’ll be a politician, in another an opera singer or mathematician, artist or rock star. Go to these selves and ask them how to do the things your current self believes it cannot do.

“It’s never been about what work you choose, what gifts you develop, or what niche you fill - let these be for your pleasure,” writes Mike Dooley. It’s all about the way you think. “Think as only you can think, which will lead to feelings that only you can feel, from which connections will be made, lives will be changed, and worlds will come tumbling into existence.”

You choose the world you want. And if you’re not clear on that, ask your different selves for their opinions. See, there is nobody who can know you better than your own selves.

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