Stop deciding on things

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger

Not all the time. I mean, I highly suggest you decide to stop when the light turns red.

But just for a little while — 20 minutes in a day — stop deciding on things.

This is contemplation. When we sit and as soon as we notice that decision muscle working, we stop and… Well, we just stop. We rest our decision muscle. And when we do, something magical happens.

Make it a daily practice to consciously rest your decision muscle for a little while.

This is when a certain operating system of sorts shuts off within — the one that only runs programs based on ‘either/or’ commands. It’s binary. On or off. Black or white. Green or red (again, this one is nice when you’re driving). When this operating system is active, we squint through life. We constantly unknowingly parse the world in front of us.

And when that operating is turned off, I notice a new one booting up in its place. One that gives me a wider view. One that’s based on ‘both/and’ commands. It’s an expansive one that opens up and holds opposing things in the same place without having to obliterate one of them.

Like my improv brethren, it says, “Yes, and…”

What you’ll find is, the decision muscle doesn’t know how to rest. We’ve trained it since early childhood to stay flexed and active. As you sit there, if you’re like me, you find yourself deciding on the banalest minutiae of life. Not only that, but it blows these decisions up like they’re life or death.

But, no. This is your sacred space. You’re only here for 20 minutes. This is not the time to make decisions. You have 15 hours and 40 minutes (if you get 8 hours of sleep) to do that. Not now.

Relax that decision muscle. This is the small window of time you’ve set aside for release, not gathering. It’s apophatic, not kataphatic. It’s focus is on surrender, not obtaining.

Let that decision muscle rest and see anew.