Making Authentic Choices
Making Authentic Choices
In the last few months, I have had many students and clients coming to me with the same dilemma. They are agonizing over whether or not they should take a certain class or training or series of sessions or initiations that another teacher or healer or coach strongly recommended to them.
The people I am referring to seem to be in pain as they contemplate the decision to take the recommended offering, or not. The idea of the particular class or offering has become an albatross around their neck—an unbearable burden. And yet they wonder if they should follow through. They actually express feelings of guilt about not wanting to take the class or offering and are afraid to tell the truth about how they feel. What is going on here?
As teachers and facilitators, we are always excited about the classes and sessions that we offer and we want students and clients to participate with us because we thoroughly enjoy the work that we do. A good teacher loves what they are teaching and has experienced first-hand the many benefits of what they are offering. They are likely to recommend the things that they are most excited about to all of their clients.
In their excitement and desire to have students participate with them, some teachers accidentally (or even intentionally) place energetic hooks into the student’s energy field. The student suddenly feels that they should and must follow the teacher’s advice--even when the class itself does not really resonate with them or does not work with their timing, or possibly does not interest them. It is as if they become bound to following through even when it is not really what they want. This problem is compounded by the teacher then telling them that their resistance is a sign that they must really need to take the class—not always what is truly going on.
This situation happens especially when the student is not really sure of what they want and is looking to someone else for answers about what will fulfill them. Or when they look up to someone so much that they lose themselves in the process.
When we are clear about what we want, we do not get hooked so easily.
When we are not clear, we are easily swayed and easily hooked.
The anxiety that I described at the beginning of this article occurs when inner desire battles the shoulds that are placed on us by others.
- You should take this class.
- This is definitely your next step--the only thing that will work.
- It is what you need to stay on the fast track--you have to do it NOW!
- Promise you won't do anything else until you do this.
I avoid speaking to my clients and students from a place of should and must because I fully honor their free will and timing. I trust their heart and inner guidance to draw them to what is best for them. They often find me out-of-the blue, telling me that they were guided to me. I always hold space for a soul-guided, spirit-driven process to unfold for them.
I gently mention or offer possibilities without manipulating or creating the energy of should and must. I do not press them in the heat of the moment to make a commitment or give a deposit. Instead of using forceful tactics, I ask them to tune in to their feelings as they consider different possibilities.
Does the thought of a particular class feel heavy, like a weight?
Does it cause tightness in the body?
Does it cause them to hold their breath?
Does the thought of the class uplift them?
Do they feel excited when they think about it?
Do they breathe more deeply?
Does imagining it make them feel more alive?
One unfortunate pattern that I see is people jumping on the bandwagon of the next big thing just so that they can keep up with everyone else who is jumping on that same band wagon. Monkey see, monkey do. The problem here is that they are not even stopping to consider if the offering in question is an energy that truly resonates with their individual goals. They are in competition mode, racing to “keep up with the Joneses.”
There is a sense of nervousness and adrenaline overwhelm associated with this type of decision making. It creates tension in the body and shortness of breath.
I encourage each of you to think for yourself and discover your own path rather than following the paths of others. Feel good about the choices you make and do not second guess them when they differ from what your peers are doing.
I also encourage you to stop giving your power away to the authority figures in your lives. When we look up to someone, we may have a desire to please them. This is natural; however, it is not healthy to sacrifice our desires and interests for theirs.
When in doubt, ask for clarity. And if you find yourself consulting with others about whether or not you should do something, it is possible that you don’t really want to and you are looking for a way out.
I fully support you in finding the courage to stand in your own truth about what is for you and what is not for you. A big part of mastery is about being true to yourself and discerning what you truly desire to co-create in your life.