What will you gain?
What will you lose?
These two questions often can stimulate a person’s problem solving powers when faced with a certain troubling thought or decision about her life. Try it out. Think of a decision you have to make, and then imagine the response. If I am a vegan that means I will not be to do wine and cheese pairing, I’ll have to be more selective with eating out, France will be a “no no” and I’ll say goodbye quark. If I stick with this vegan lifestyle, will I physically or emotionally feel more energetic and confident? Perhaps.
Now…just to let you know, I am always in the process of consideration. My natural state is one of questioning and analyzing. It usually is fueling, to take account of my blessings, my hopes and my thoughts or feelings and cast out decisions with intention. But sometimes, particularly when it comes to loved ones, I just feel stuck.
My stuckness is not is not really about what is “right” or what is “wrong” or “shoulds” anymore…but their very related cousin “best”: I want to make a decision about what would be “best”…..”best” for me, “best” for you, “best” for the recipe/weekend/patient.
Now….is there a “best?”
This leads to some unnecessary stress, I must admit. I think sometimes a person decides “this is for the best” because it validates our situation, or gives more credance to a decision that might be somewhat arbitrary. I have lived under the impression that if I do the “best” then I will be “successful” and therefore, happy.
It’s as if we are attempting to train an animal, and it starts with training ourselves. So we seek out “the best” house, the best car, the best body, the best degree, the best new phone and the best relationship.
Let me tell you. The best doesn’t exist. And when I stopped attempting to whip myself into shape and praise myself for fastidious discipline, something more powerful emerged. I naturally gravitated towards health.
Listen…sure, I can be rational. I can weigh pros and cons. I have made a bubble tree with answers to questions and related topics.But most people who know me have pointed out how emotional I am. I am moved and moveable. I have clear emotions, and I have learned that these feelings are a sign towards authenticity and thriving. When I listen to my gut, the emotional physical response leads me “home” every time.
And why is that? Well, because the gut knows things before I KNOW them. the gut is made up of the enteric (intestinal) nervous system and YES! It is wired directly into the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that orchestrates our thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals. When we get a feeling in our “gut,” it is because our prefrontal cortex recognized elements of situations that we cannot or have not yet put into words. The more I train myself to cue into these gut reactions, and combine them with my mental skills, the more effective decisions I’ll make.
Gosh! My gut is pulling me somewhere…..and it’s a little scary.
So I think I am going to stick with the vegan thing…it feels “right” right now, and has given me resolve, energy and awareness…unless I am France, of course. Or italy (this weekend!) or doing a wine and cheese pairing. Then I listen to my gut, thank you very much, and have a brief love affair with goat cheese.