One of the key characteristics that help turn lawyers into leaders is the ability to make reasoned decisions quickly and in alignment with the vision for the firm.
All of us make decisions all day long and, when we’re doing that, we are probably using a third or less of the innate intelligence that we have available to us. Making a decision from our whole self wisdom involved all three centers of intelligence available to us: the mind, the heart, and the body – or logic, intuition, and instinct.
It is likely that you are watching and thinking about this video using your mind, as that is the center of intelligence that we normally prioritize above the others. It is an ingrained habit in us to listen to the rational, practical voice in our head, especially as lawyers. Listening to our mind center is not necessarily an issue, but it is important to check in with all three centers to really get a full picture of how you feel about the decision.
Being able to listen to all three centers means that we can make truly authentic choices, rather than being influenced by outside forces, old habits or limiting beliefs. You may even relate to the feeling of not being fully aligned with a decision, and this is likely to be because there was resistance in one or more of your intelligence centers (i.e. my head says one thing but my heart says another).
The first thing to do with the idea of making a decision from your whole self wisdom is to take some time to think about how you normally make decisions. If it helps, open your journal and ask yourself “how do I normally make decisions?” and then see what naturally comes up for you. You should think of your heart, mind, and body as your decision-making committee. If one of them is not being heard, chances are you are not getting the best results that you could be.
Ask yourself – do you have a tendency to overly rely on your mind, or heart to make a decision? If so, bring awareness to it. Try and make an extra effort to pay attention to the quieter centers over the next few weeks to see what they have to say about things.
Next time that you have an opportunity to make a decision, take a few moments to get grounded and then scan yourself from top to toe. Ask yourself each of the following questions and place your hand on each center as you work through them. For your mind, this will be the forehead, the heart will be your chest and body will be your tummy, or gut. Here are the questions:
- THINK – what does my mind have to say about each option?
- FEEL – what truth does my heart know about this situation?
- SENSE – when I consider the options, what sensations can I feel in my body? Do my shoulders tense up with one of them? Do I get butterflies? Take time to feel into this and notices whether your body tightens or relaxes.
You may not get the same answer from all three centers, and you don’t need to in order to move forward. But an understanding of the resistance and a curiosity as to why that might be there will help you to take steps to limit any adverse impacts of the chosen path.
For example, your mind may be resistant to a job change, because it will cause a temporary dip in the finances, but your body and heart tell you that it is the right move. The knowledge of why your mind is resisting it will allow you to take practical steps, like saving money in advance, to help you navigate the path more smoothly.
The main thing is to check in with all three centers, as this will empower you and help you to embody more levels of your intelligence. Your decisions will become more authentic and true to yourself, and you will be influenced less by habits and your conditioning.
The more that you practice making decisions from your whole self wisdom, the more natural and integrated this process will become. This means that you can improve the impact of the choices because all intelligence centers will, hopefully, become aligned and united behind the decision. Even if there isn’t full agreement, giving consideration to all three centers helps you to make a more informed choice.
What do you think you tend to rely on the most when making decisions – your body, your mind or your heart?
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