Is This Wise Mind?

Wise mind: the place where reasonable mind and emotion mind meet. It is being able to see the value in both reason and emotion, plus tapping into a felt sense, our intuition, our inner knowing. Wise mind brings with it a greater sense of peace, openness and clarity. So why is it that wise mind decisions can be so hard?

One area of my life that has taken the spotlight for wise mind practice lately is in the process of becoming a Mom. I’m currently pregnant and growing a baby has been one of the most beautiful journeys I’ve ever been on. At the same time, it involves a lot of questions and hard decisions that started right when I found out. When should we tell people? Should we find out the baby’s sex? Where should I give birth? What kind of exercise is safe? When should I take maternity leave from work? Do I get the COVID vaccine when pregnant?…

So what makes wise mind so elusive when finding answers to these questions? Well to start, there is no “right” answer. I’m not a fan of this. I want to be able to collect the data, analyze and determine THE answer. I begrudgingly realize that this isn’t reality though. Instead my aim is to make the next best decision. This means there are no guarantees and it requires me to embrace some level of uncertainty.

I’ve found that another challenge for me is when my wise mind doesn’t quite sync up with other people’s wise mind. When there is real or perceived judgment about the choices I make from people I care about. How do I navigate objections or opposing advice? Even worse, what if the disapproval comes from the people I love? I’m finding that if something is truly wise mind for me, then the most loving thing I can do for everyone involved is to potentially dissatisfy someone else over disappointing myself. This prevents future resentments and maintains integrity with this inner guidance system we call wise mind.

Is This Wise Mind?

For all of these reasons, the practice is one that I return to often. To be clear, this skill practice isn’t a linear or choreographed sequence, but more of a freestyle used over time. It includes:

– Taking moments to pause and let my attention settle in my center. This is the space in my body where wise mind lives. Tuning into this space helps to quiet down some of the emotion mind chatter or reasonable mind rationalizations.

– Evaluating pros and cons. Making sure to highlight short term versus long-term factors that I’m considering.

– I talk to my wise mind people. One of the greatest gifts that I have in life is my support system. I utilize this resource by consulting with them.

– Asking myself: is this wise mind? Then pausing to see what happens. If I notice forcing an answer, I keep my eyes peeled for emotion mind.

I frequently return to these practices and try my best to listen to that still, small voice when it’s nudging me towards (or away from) something. I listen closely and often.

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