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Five years ago, I would have said to weigh up the pros and cons. You know, write them down in two columns, and see which list is longest. And then cling to the adage: “The moment of absolute certainty never arrives.”

That was my method. I thought that was the closest anyone could get to making the right decision.

Happily, I have since stumbled upon a much more reliable method.

It involves the body. You know, that part of us we see as a way to get to places, or as a tool to impress. Other than that, we tend to pay little attention to messages we get from our own bodies. Body hungry? Tired? Thirsty? It had better wait for us to grant the wish at our convenience.

The truth is, though, that “the body has- and shares - its own brand of wisdom.”(Mark Sisson). If we familiarize ourselves with how our body speaks to us, and learn to trust it, we are not only healthier, but we make decisions far more confidently.

“At the centre of your being, you have the answer.”- Lao Tzu

Practise listening to your body regularly. Set your cell phone alarm to go off three or four times a day. When it does, stop everything for a minute and scan your body. Where is it uncomfortable? Or tense? Are you cold or thirsty? Is your skin dry? Hungry? Now help your body out. As you practise, you will become more proficient at understanding your body’s messages.

Once you start having a relationship with your body, and once you realize that your body is as much a part of you as your mind and your spirit and your soul are, you will start trusting your body and it will start trusting you.

At that point you are ready to start listening to it regarding decisions. Here’s how:

Decision-making for Dummies:

1. Have a question ready that has a potential yes/no answer. (e.g. Should I go to the movies with my friends or stay home?)

2. Imagine going to the movies. (Really get into it, imagining the evening in detail. What are you hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, smelling?)

3. Notice how your body reacts when you imagine all of this. (Does your body clench, tense or freeze up? Or does it feel relaxed and free?)

4. Now imagine not going. (Again, use your imagination. What will the evening at home be like? Use your five senses to make sure you get a vivid picture. )

5. Notice how your body reacts when you imagine this. (Do you feel shackled to a huge weight? Or does it feel as though a weight has just dropped from your shoulders?)

6. Whichever choice gives you the freer feeling, that is the choice your body (and your essential self) is telling you to take.

7. Go with that “gut” feeling, and start collecting evidence of how that works out for you, so that in time you come to know you can trust your body to give you the right answers to more important questions too.

It really is that simple. The answers you seek are already within. Are you listening?

You can find another example and more resources on the topic at

Susan Viljoen, Martha Beck
Certified Life Coach

Born to Shine Magazine