I’ve had a lifelong dream of owning my own wellness retreat. A place that offers everything I love and love to teach, under one roof, in the most breathtaking, tropical environment. Dance, raw foods, and personal development. Intentional jewelry, clothing, journals, and books – everything imaginable to support guests in creating a life they love. I could see it so clearly in my mind’s eye, this magical space of discovery, relaxation, and peace.
So when I had the opportunity to buy land in Bali, I almost did.
Until one afternoon when I was lying down and heard a voice in my head. I felt the vibration in my body. My inner-knowing spoke clearly and simply: “Now isn’t the time.”
Fortunately, I acted on that inner-knowing feeling right away. I called and told my land lawyer, my architect, and everyone else involved that I was pulling out.
I felt immediate relief.
Weeks and months have passed, and I am still so glad I made that decision.
So, why was it so hard to make the final decision? Because it was linked to a lifelong dream, to something I’ve always wanted. 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 tools I could have used to make a quicker decision. Had I utilized any one of those tools, I would have conserved valuable energy and simplified my emotional life.
I also realized that I’ve done the same thing with at least 3 other major decisions in my life. I now know that I don’t want to go through that level of constant anxiety ever again, no matter how important my future decisions may be. 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
Author Cheryl Richardson talks about this in one of my top 10 favorite books, The Art of Extreme Self-Care.
Is it resounding YES?
If it is, do it.
If it’s not, say No.
There are so many things in life that require us to make choices: potential relationships, jobs, homes, purchases, business partners, opportunities. How can we make sure we make the right decision every time?
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 visiting the land every day filled with excitement at the prospect of building on MY plot. I didn’t have a resounding YES in my body every time I thought or dreamed 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 if I’m taking a long time to decide about anything – a personal relationship, a new business project or the opportunity to buy a piece of land – the answer is NO. If it were a resounding yes, I would be all over it and no potential “cons” could stop me!
When the opportunity arose for me to move to Maui-Bali, for example, it didn’t take me more than a day to say YES with my whole heart. I didn’t go back and forth on whether I should do it. I had a few predictable concerns, but they took up about 1% of the “move to Maui-Bali” bandwidth. And ultimately, my decision to move to Maui-Bali opened me up to so many MORE things in my life, just as I knew it would.
What if you ARE going back and forth (as I was with the land)? What else can you use to help you decide?
What are the three most important goals you want to achieve THIS year?
My 3 main goals for 2013 are:
1. Re-brand + solidify Live Well International, my business and lifestyle company;
2. Launch Create A Life You Love Retreats, a brand new enterprise;
3. Complete my global relocation experiment and select the 2 countries in which I want to have permanent residences.
One of the reasons I was so conflicted about 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 several different countries to discover where I wanted my two main homes to be.
My inner-knowing knew this, even if my conscious mind was dragging me all over the place.
Our subconscious is extremely powerful. If we’ve directed it with clear goals and visioning, then it will let us know when a potential decision doesn’t fit. We will start to feel anxious and worried, and this is a GOOD thing. Your feelings are your guidance system when something is off track.
What are your 3 most important goals 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 intend to BE and FEEL in 2013. I learned this concept from the Handel Group (my favorite life-coaching company), and I love to use this powerful way to set intentions for the year.
My 3 banner words for 2013 are: Simplicity, Alignment and Joy.
Purchasing land and building a retreat wouldn’t support any of those intentions, especially my desire for more simplicity in my life, ha! I’ll start to feel anxious and out of sync if I make decisions that lead me away from Simplicity, Alignment, and Joy.
What are your 3 Banner Words for how you intend 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.
This list is one of the best and most SIMPLE transformational tools I’ve ever seen. I am in love with this resource that was 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. FiL = fulFiLlment. And you have to admit, it grabs your attention 😉
Download the the FREE list from the Surf LIFE website HERE.
This list guides you to identify what is most important to you in the next 5 years. From there, it teaches you to be OPEN and NOTICE when that opportunity presents itself to you.
So, make sure you balance questions #3 and #4 with, “Is it on my FiL?” Because if it is, GO FOR IT!
Even though my current business, my new enterprise, and finding my home are my 3 top priorities for this year, attracting a soulful, beautiful and compatible partner is on my 5-year FiL list. So if he were to appear, that would trump (and happily co-exist with) #3 and #4.
Why? FulFiLlment goals don’t always come to us in the way, or in the timeframe we expect. It’s our responsibility to get really clear on what we want, to visualize it, feel the feeling of having it, and then be unattached to how it comes to us.
One more thing: If the answer is 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. Your answers to questions #3 and #4 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 purchase 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.
Being scared of disappointing others, or fearing the loss of something, is never a place to say YES from.
A decision is right when our desire to HAVE or CREATE it is much greater than our fear of LOSING or not HAVING it.
Does the decision, the person, the opportunity, or the purchase INSPIRE the heck out of you? Do you feel joy, excitement and expansion when you think of it? Do you feel “lit up” from within when you imagine 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.
Sometimes, saying NO to one thing will make room for saying YES to something even better.
This might be the single greatest lesson I learned from my difficult decision to postpone my dream of owning a wellness retreat. Saying NO to a physical place didn’t mean I had to say no to the experience of it!
The process of saying NO opened my eyes and heart to an even more wonderful opportunity: the opportunity to say YES to hosting my first ever wellness retreat!
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 right now, that you can make with the help of this formula?
How do you use INSPIRATION in your life to make decisions?
As always, comment below – I love to hear your thoughts, responses and input!
Be Happy…Be Vibrant…
Join Carmen for the first ever Create A Life You Love Retreat in Bali, May 2014. If something like this is on your FiL list, or if your body is starting to tingle at the thought of saying YES, please go here to learn more about it!
A true entrepreneur, lifestyle master and international wellness coach, Carmen is the founder of Create A Life You Love™ and the SexyFit™ Nutrition Challenge. Carmen also works in partnership with the Handel Group Life Coaching and writes for Glam Fit Magazine as their Business and Lifestyle Expert. Visit her website, Facebook, and Twitter for more information.