When it Feels Like Your Dream Is At Stake…
I’ve had a lifelong dream of owning my own wellness retreat. Dance, raw food, personal development….everything I love and love to teach, under one roof in the most beautiful, tropical environment. Create A Life You Love intentional jewelry, clothing, journals, books – everything to support participants in creating a life they love. The most amazing space to discover, relax and just be…
So when I had the opportunity to buy land in Bali, I almost did.
Wasn’t this what I had always wanted? To buy land in paradise and build a retreat center of my own?
For one month I went back and forth – yes, I’m going to buy it, no I’m not. I’d wake up at night obsessing whether or not to move forward. Friends listened to me for thirty days when I was a “Yes” and then a “No”, re-hashing all my pros and cons for both choices (thank you, beautiful friends, for listening! :))
When finally, one afternoon when I was laying on my bed, I heard a voice in my head. I felt it in my body. My inner-knowing speaking clearly and simply:
“Now isn’t the time”.
Fortunately, I acted on that inner-knowing feeling right away – calling and telling my land lawyer, architect, friend and everyone else involved, that I was pulling out.
It’s now 3 weeks later and I am so, so glad I made that decision.
So why was the decision so hard to make? Because it was linked to a life long dream, I’ve always wanted and I was scared to say no to something that I “should” jump on now. And aren’t we supposed to “start before we’re ready”, especially if it’s our dream?
But it wasn’t the right choice for me, and as I look back on that month of anxiety, there were several ways I could have made a quicker decision. And I would have conserved valuable energy and simplified my life.
I also realized that I’ve done the same thing with at least 3 other major decisions in my life. So…after this experience, I don’t want to go through that level of sustained anxiety again, for any important decision will that come up in my life. When we’re stressed for long periods of time, it lowers our vibration and ties up energy we can use for bigger and better things.
How to Make Decisions with Ease, Clarity + Certainty
1. Is it a full body YES?
Cheryl Richardson talks about this in one of top 10 favorite books, “The Extreme Art of Self-Care”.
Is it resounding YES?
If it is, do it.
If it’s not, say No.
There are so many things that are presented to us in life – potential relationships, business projects, business partners, opportunities – we have so many things to CHOOSE from.
If it’s not a huge YES, then it’s a NO.
In my case with the land, it wasn’t a whole-body YES. I wasn’t going to the land every day filled with excitement that it would be MY plot to build on. I didn’t have a resounding YES in my body every time I thought about it. I wasn’t visualizing my retreat center on the land every morning. In other words, I wasn’t FEELING a YES.
2. Is it taking you a long time to decide? Are you going back and forth?
I’ve learned that for me, if I’m taking a long time to decide about anything – relationships, whether I want to take on a new business project or buy a piece of land, it’s actually a NO. Because if it was a resounding yes (similar to above), I would be all over it!
For example, when the opportunity came up to move to Maui-Bali, it was a resounding YES for me and didn’t take me any time to decide. I didn’t go back and forth on whether I should do it. I had a few normal concerns …but they took up about 1% of the “move to Maui-Bali” bandwidth. And my decision to move to Maui-Bali opened me up to so many MORE things.
But what if you ARE going back and forth (as I was with the land), what else can you use to help you decide?
3. Is the decision in line with what is most important to you this year?
What are the three most important thing to you THIS year?
For example, my 3 main goals for 2013:
- Re-brand + solidify Live Well International – my business and lifestyle company.
- Launch Create A Life You Love 7 Day Retreats – brand new company
- Discover what 2 countries I want to live more permanently in – my global relocation experiment
One of the reasons I was so conflicted with purchasing land and building a retreat now, was that it wouldn’t allow me to focus on what was most important to me this year: solidifying one of my existing businesses, starting a retreat + more company and living in a few different countries to discover where I wanted my two main homes to be.
My inner-knowing knew this.
Our subconscious is extremely powerful. If we’ve directed it with clear goals and visioning, then when a potential decision doesn’t fit (isn’t the same resonance), we start to feel anxious and worried. This is a GOOD thing…your feelings are you guidance system when something is off track.
What are the 3 most important things to you this year? Jot them down right now (you can go back and refine later) because they are crucial for designing your life AND for making any important decision.
4. Does the decision support your 3 Banner Words for the year?
These are 3 words that you choose to describe how you want to BE and FEEL in 2013. I learned this concept from the Handel Group (my favorite life-coaching company) and I love use this powerful way to set intentions for the year.
My 3 banner words for 2013 are: Simplicity, Alignment and Joy.
So, purchasing land and building a retreat wouldn’t support any of those…especially the “Simplify My Life” in 2013 intention – ha! And I’ll start to feel anxious and out of sync if I start making decisions that lead me away from Simplicity, Alignment, Joy and Simplicity.
What are your 3 Banner Words of how you want to FEEL and BE this year? Jot them down quickly because they can help anchor you to what’s most important to you this year.
5. Is it on your 5 Year Fuckit (FiL) List?
This list is one of the best and most SIMPLE transformational tools that I’ve seen. I am absolutely in LOVE with this resource introduced to me by Rick Cowley, founder of Surf LIFE FulfiLment (which is also one of the best retreats I’ve done recently). Don’t let the title throw you off if you’re not a huge swearer. FiL = fuFiLment. And you have to admit, it grabs your attention :)
For the list, download it from the website HERE:
This list teaches you to identify what is most important to you in the next 5 years. And then to be OPEN and NOTICE when that opportunity presents it to you. So you also want to balance #3 and #4 questions with, “Is it on my FiL?” Because if it is, GO FOR IT!
For example, even though my current business, my new business and finding my countries to live in are my 3 top priorities for this year, calling in a heart-centered, beautiful, amazing partner is on my 5 year FiL list. So if it (HE) he appeared at any given time, that would trump (and co-exist with) #3 and #4.
Why? FulFiLment goals don’t always come to us in the way, or in the timing, we think they are going to. It’s our responsibility to get really clear on what we want, visualize it, feel the feeling of having it, and then be unattached to how it comes to us.
One more thing: If it’s a resounding YES in your body, that always trumps #3 and #4 as well. Your body, inner-knowing and your FEELINGS are your guidance system. #3 and #4 questions work best when you’re feeling a lot of anxiety around a decision…they will help explain why you might be fighting your subconscious.
6. Is there anyone you are scared of disappointing, or is there any fear of loss attached to saying No?
I realized that I was scared of disappointing my friends who had helped me so much in finding and brokering the sale of the land. I was also worried that I would be missing out on an opportunity to start living one of my huge dreams NOW.
However, being scared of disappointing others, or fearing the loss of something, is never a place to say YES from.
It’s a right decision when our desire to HAVE or CREATE it, is much greater than our fear of LOSING or not HAVING it.
7. Does the choice INSPIRE you?
Does the decision, he/she, the opportunity, the project or the business partner INSPIRE the heck out of you? Do you feel JOY, excitment and EXPANSION when you think of it? Do you feel “lit up” when you think of choosing it? (By the way, butterflies in your stomach are a GREAT way to tell you’re “lit up” by something. Dread, heaviness and contraction tell you the opposite).
Inspiration is THE place to live from. Go towards what brings you absolute joy. Do what makes you feel ALIVE. There is nothing more worthy of your attention and focus, than that which inspires you. And when you align with THAT, you can never, ever go wrong.
Always say YES! to what inspires you.
Now it’s your turn…
How do you make important decisions? What works for you? What advice would you give others?
Is there a decision in your life that you need to make that you can use this formula for?
How do you use INSPIRATION in your life to make decisions?
As always, share any insights, your feedback and questions you have underneath the blog!
Be Happy…Be Vibrant…
Lots of love,
Awesome blog! :) This is why I look forward to your Bali retreat next year!
Thank you Cindy! And I can’t wait to have you on the retreat! :)) Carmen xo
Love the blog this time. Great messages. Thanks, Carmen.
You are so welcome Dani! Thanks for letting me know too! See you in a couple of months!! Carmen xo
This is really great Carmen. I love the idea of a “whole body yes”. I feel that way about York chocolate treats.
It so interesting that sometimes when you *can* attain your goal that the journey you took to get there has changed your desire for it once you arrive. I have experienced this a lot as I’ve grown older. Often what floats-my-boat the most is the question – “What else can do without?” I seem to get the same buzz from getting rid of stuff that others get from acquiring it.
Thanks for putting your life/art/learning out there for us!
Hi Adam! Ha…York choc treats :)
Yes…it’s so interesting how our goals shift and evolve over time. And that our feelings and our body will always tell us whether they are still in alignment with who we are today and where we’re headed. Amazing guideposts.
I’m with you on getting rid of “stuff”…just moved to a new villa here in Bali and so much joy in throwing up MORE stuff :)
See you and Courtney in LA! SO looking forward to hanging out with you both and continuing our never-ending conversations :)
Carmen, thank you so much! I just read this in my inbox and got so excited, this is exactly the coaching I needed today! Such great information! Thank you for sharing your heart!! Xo Daphne in Peru
Hi Daphne! Always so great to hear from you. You are SO welcome – and thank you for letting me know it was helpful for you. See you in 1.5 months! Lots of love, Carmen xo
Oh Carmen great post thank you! I love that you provide practical tips that can be applied immediately as part of our daily action plan. I’m sure your man will be your heart-centred, beautiful, amazing partner as I describe you as a heart-centred, beautiful, amazing mentor. Like attracts like. :)
Thank you Lauren :) Awwh…very, very sweet message to receive :) Carmen xo
Possibly the most relevant blog post I’ve read! And SO timely, as I prepare for my own MEGA changes. Thank you so much, Carmen! Now on to stomping out the indecision…xo!
Carmen, your experience sounds very much like Human Design. I’m glad you listened to your inner energy. :)
Description of Human Design: http://www.unifiedlifesciences.com/ftp/education_papers/Intro_to_Design.pdf