If I can’t even decide what to order in a restaurant, then, oh heavens, how am I supposed to make a decision like: Do I want to have a baby? Do I want to write a memoir or a “How To” book? Should I do another retreat to Italy or go to Aruba? Should I have coffee or tea?
I am in a restaurant having dinner. The waiter comes over.
Me: Which is better, the cedar plank salmon or the lobster baked potato or the gluten-free crust pizza?
Waiter: Ah, all so different. Wow, that’s hard. How about the pizza?
Me: I don’t know. Do I even want pizza? Is the salmon really good?
Waiter: Really good.
Me: Ok, I’ll have the potato and a Cabernet.
The waiter says “ok” and walks away.
I get up, run after him, and change the order to the pizza.
Some events and details have been changed to protect the innocent, but the point is, I have trouble making up my mind.
I always want someone to make my mind up for me.
This morning I taught a class which felt really off, like I entered the Twilight Zone and someone forgot to tell me. I walked in at seven a.m. to start, and there were four people (there are usually fifteen to twenty. More came late, but at start time there were four.) Four people and they were each in a corner of the room. It felt like a message, but I wasn’t sure what the message was except this is awkward.
The energy felt stuck and low, like it had gotten trapped on something and gave up the fight and stayed there. I tried to bring it back up to sea-level, or at least, I think I tried. It didn’t work. It was drowned.
Class ended, and one my sweet regulars said that she had felt like she was in the wrong class that morning. That it didn’t feel like my class.
Aha! So it wasn’t just me being sensitive as I have been all week. There was a marked difference in the air.
I talked to my friend Frank Gjata on the phone when I got home. I told him how my seven a.m. class is the least “Jen” class I teach.
I told him that I think about dropping it a lot. Not to mention, getting up early is not on my joy list. But I feel like I can’t drop it. I mustn’t. How could I? How dare I? Who was I to turn down work? And I “needed” it.
He suggested I give up the class. Drop it, he said.
That’s all he had to say for me to say, “Okay, I will drop it! You’re right!”
Why do I wait for someone to tell me what to do? To tell me it is okay? The right choice? To decide for me?
I didn’t realize that I did this until I said it out loud this morning on the phone to him.
He said something brilliant.
He asked me what brings Jen out the most? That is what I need to focus on.
I think sometimes I am scared to make up my mind because I don’t trust myself to make the right choice. Someone else’s decision will validate mine. What if I chose wrong?
So I chose wrong. There is no wrong, really. The pizza isn’t wrong. Keeping my seven a.m. class isn’t wrong (neither is dropping it).
There is only what makes me more right, more Jen.
I am taking back my life and claiming my power over it.
As I look back on areas of my life, I can see where I stopped depending on my own knowing and inner compass and started to look desperately outside of myself for any sight of land, so a wave wouldn’t swallow me up out there in the ocean.
Asking for help is okay. Not trusting your own judgement, your own instincts, your own love letters to yourself, now that’s a shame.
As things expand and heat up in my life, as they are at such a level, I sometimes feel as if I am in a pressure cooker. I realize that there are more choices to be made.
The more choices I have to make, the more in control I am, the more powerful. Powerful in my own life.
And therein lies the rub. That is the great fear.
Having such power in my own life, having such control over what course I steer my boat. I want it so badly; I can taste the saltwater on my tongue, and yet, I am terrified because I forgot my life jacket.
I will go out without a life jacket and learn to swim.
I will focus on things that make me the most me. That bring out the best of me. That make me better than I was yesterday. That allow me to shine.
What about you? Pizza or salmon?
Jennifer Pastiloff was recently featured on Good Morning America. She is a yoga teacher, writer, and advocate for children with special needs based in L.A. She is also the creator of Manifestation Yoga® and leads retreats and workshops all over the world. Jennifer is currently writing a book and has a popular daily blog called Manifestation Station. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Jen will be leading a Manifestation Yoga® weekend retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires, Massachusetts Feb 1-3, 2013.
*Photo by by Sifu Renka.
This photo seemed to be a great choice. Part of the caption reads, “A concise menu whose curated list makes dining decisions difficult to make (because it literally all sounds great). A process made even harder when compounded with the fact that the affable servers were well versed with the list, and able to wax poetic about each item.”