Location: A bathroom in Marlborough, Wiltshire.
Eight year old daughter: “Mummy, shall I have my hair in a pony tail or plaits today?”
Mother: “I’m learning about how our feelings are the best guide to what we want to do.”
Daughter (sounding a bit flat): “I don’t really have any feelings about either.”
Mother: “Maybe it doesn’t matter which you choose then?”
Daughter (suddenly full of excitement): “Well if it doesn’t MATTER then I’ll wear it in a ballet bun!!!”
Thus, the Ballet Bun Technique of Decision Making was born.
It works because it distinguishes between the monumental amount of stuff that we think we have to analyse and account for and what, when all of that disappears, we simply want to do.
The right decision is the simple, clear, obvious one. It is the so-obvious-there-is-actually-no-decision decision. It is the what shall I have on my toast decision. It is the coffee or tea decision. It is the stand up or sit down decision. The breathe or not breathe decision.
The right decision has nothing to do with securing the future. Because there is no such thing. All we have is a series of present moments with varying clarity of mind which gives us more or fewer options in that moment.
It has nothing to do with avoiding a bad situation. Because the only thing that makes a situation bad or good is our state of mind in that moment. Which means we are always one thought away from fabulous. Whatever decisions we make.
It has nothing to do with the past. How we remember the past is entirely dependent on our state of mind in the moment. Basing a decision on how an ever changing past will influence a non-existent future makes my head explode.
It has nothing to do with finding happiness because our happiness depends on our state of mind in that moment and never on our external circumstances. One day, I’m wandering through London blissed out with the diversity, the great fashion, the hustle and bustle. The next day, it’s crowded, pretentious, too busy. It is not the entire capital city of Great Britain changing. It is me and my state of mind. What I think will make me happiest at this moment will not hold steady into the next moment. There is nothing there to make a decision on.
It has nothing to do with impressing other people or making them happy or getting them to like us because who the hell knows what will do that?
When we are having difficulty with a decision, it is because we are trying to make it from a low state of mind. Getting it right matters because we believe that we are somehow limited, that we have to try to pin down our happiness, secure our future, factor in our story of the past or mind-read other people. We picture the disruption of making the wrong decision – the wrong house, the wrong job, the wrong course, the wrong investment, the wrong person…
Talk about a cluttered, insecure and stressed mind. Inspiration and simple knowledge can easily go unnoticed in all that anxious chatter.
The right decision comes when our mind is clear and we are in touch with our innate creativity, well-being, intelligence. In this state, we are also fully aware that what we decide doesn’t matter in the slightest. Ironically, when we realise this, we create such a clear space in our mind that what we decide will always be in our best interests.
We are designed to expand, to create, to flourish and to be inspired. And the way to decide is to let the perfection of this design take over.
Sometimes we will know simply, deeply and clearly what to do. Marmalade… Coffee please… Sitting down now… Where do I sign?.. I do…
At other times we will hear that insecure talk in our minds and we can use this as a sign to quietly ask ourselves, ‘Putting all that aside, what do I really know?’
Maybe the answer will come immediately. If it doesn’t, then we can peacefully accept the state of not knowing because there is never any need to know.
And in that peace, stillness, ease and acceptance, inspiration will always come. And it is always kind.