Uh-Oh and Uh-Huh

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The Guts of Good Decision-Making

It’s a slippery slope. I try to go with my gut. But I have a fierce brigade of Green Berets living in my head. They are constantly scanning the horizon– hypervigilant for incoming threats. Constant perimeter checks for decisions that will weaken our defense.

Patriotic to the protection– of­ me. 

They distrust delight. 

Prefer careful planning over pointless creativity.

It’s like having a bunch of highly decorated badass bullies living in your head. You want to evict them but feel bad because you know they mean well and would really do anything for you. 

So, this morning I did something radical. I gathered them around the table and told them to lay it on me. All of it. Every fear, worry, and concern. All of it. They set their green berets on the table. Looked relieved. And then, one by one they voiced it all. I did not interrupt. 

Each guy spoke his mind. It took a total of thirty seconds. I waited for more. Surely, the fears about the copious and calamitous dangers ahead required more than half a minute. They looked surprised too. Seems, being silenced had made them think they had more to say.

When they were done, I thanked them. I agreed that all their points made perfect sense. They looked exhausted. Their job wasn’t to decide what we should do, just to make sure I wasn’t missing any important information. Their shoulders relaxed. 

They leaned over and rested their heads on their velvety green berets.

They just wanted to be heard.

Once they were allowed to give voice to their voice, they fell immediately asleep. And my groove-shaking, soul-singing diva woke up. We rocked out before I sat down to write this. 

The decision to collaborate with divine kickass creativity requires ploughing through the shit-show of relentless resistance. With the bratty child who wants another cookie. The drama queen freaking out about the circumference of her thighs. The persnickety accountant debating the necessity of high-end steaks and high-top sneakers. It’s a house full of needy characters. 

They all just want to be heard. It seems like voluntarily signing up for a nonstop bitch session. But strangely, if you welcome every last one of them and listen to it all–  it’s over in a matter of minutes. Then comes a different kind of listening. From the quiet of what is possible, comes the questions of what to pursue.

The soul answers in a vernacular all its own.

Language has loopholes, limitations and pre-loaded perspectives. 

Endless landmines to get lost in. No is negative but necessary and has disappointment hard-wired into it. Yes is positive, full of potential and rife with responsibilities. Each has a trail of expectations and assumptions attached. Each is a lopsided see-saw of what’s missing.  

Moans, grunts and growls offer pitch pure direction

Unlike yes and no, right and wrong, good and bad– instinctual utterances have the benefit of being generated from the gut rather than the mind. There is no long list of pros and cons or pluses and minuses. It erupts out of personal truth.

It doesn’t wonder if you really have time, if you are really worthy, if anyone will really care. It doesn’t ask if you have the money, or the contacts or the energy. It doesn’t care. It IS. It LEADS. It is only up to us to decide if we will follow.

If we are courageous enough to back away from uh-oh.

Lean in to uh-huh. 


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