Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Let It Ripen

When we have a crucial decision, we often feel that we have to weigh our options, make a list of the pros and cons and then, based on the information gathered, make a decision. The temptation is to look first for formulas; if I do this, then…and if I do that, then…. But often, formulas just don't work.

There was a time when I thought making progress and developing myself meant finding the right formula and pushing through crucial decisions. Often, I would resist the push. I was tired, scared or unsure of what I needed/wanted to do next. But my mindset was that I could not make progress without quickly moving myself through the decision.

Now, for me, decision making is much like the yoga I've been practicing for 30 years. In a yoga pose, I inhale, exhale, and move deeper into the pose. Inhale, exhale and move deeper into the pose. Inhale, exhale and move deeper into the pose. At some point in the process, I will experience some pain from the stretch. At that point, I back off just enough to relieve the pain and hold the pose.

And in decision making, I am now much more apt to take a step/action towards what I want and check for discomfort. If there is none, I breathe, take another step and check for discomfort, breathe, take another step and check for discomfort. At some point in this process, discomfort will likely come as it often does with each new endeavor. At that point, I back off slightly and hold the pose.

I was recently visiting with my friend, Maggie Foley-Burgess. She came up north for the weekend and brought her famous banana bread. We were discussing this month's newsletter and she said it's often our “drive-thru” mentality that makes us feel we have to decide/act instantaneously in order to get satisfaction as quickly as possible. However, Maggie says, "this does not sustain us." I agree.

Often what we have when we are facing a large and crucial decision is a green banana. And in “green-banana” decisions, our option is not to make the decision but to let the whole thing ripen.

It's not the action we take, but the insight as we "hold the pose" that grows (evolves) us. Let it ripen.

“Banana bread is just no good with green bananas.” ~Maggie Foley-Burgess

“When you see geese heading north or south, depending on the season, you know that there is one part of the world that knows where it belongs and it's going there; it's on its way.” ~David Whyte

"An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions." ~Robert A. Humphrey

"It's all right letting yourself go as long as you can let yourself back." ~Mick Jagger

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