Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Decision:Thursday's Reflection

Altar at Spiritual Practices Group
I vacillated for several days. Should I or shouldn't I? What will be the consequences if I do? Or if I don't? What is the right thing, the best thing to do in this circumstance? How will I feel when I make the decision? Is there something I could do or should have done differently?

You would think I was making a life-changing decision. Heaven knows, I have made enough of those in my life, as I know you have, too. But then again I don't know if this is a life-changing decision. 

This decision seemed simple enough: Should I cancel a group I was hoping to lead at church because I didn't have what I considered enough participants for a healthy, dynamic group or should I go ahead and hope that one or two people decide to join at the last minute?

I had made the decision to offer two monthly groups at church beginning this month. One, "Open to Spirit: Growing In Spiritual Practice" filled easily. We met this week for the first time, and I could feel a circle of trust and openness begin to form almost immediately. Oh, how I will look forward to our monthly sessions when we will explore spiritual practices as tools to deepen our connection to God and to expand the ways in which we encounter the Sacred in our lives. 

Registration for the other course, "Connecting to God and One Another: Group Spiritual Direction and Contemplative Writing," limped along with only four brave people signing up. This is where it got sticky for me. I didn't want to disappoint anyone, but I have experienced groups when they are too small for comfort. The few participants can feel pressured to share when they aren't quite ready to do so, and sometimes one personality can dominate that would have been tempered in a larger group.

What to do?

Well, of course, I knew what to do. Stop stewing about and sit with it. Sit with it and if it isn't still clear, walk away from it, and then sit with it again. By sitting with it, however, I don't mean focusing on it, agonizing about it. What I mean is sitting in meditation, resting my heart, turning my mind towards thoughts of gratitude and wholeness. Instead of fussing and reaching for an answer, as if there really were a right or wrong answer, I did some T'ai Chi, knowing my body often can help me move into a different space. I let the music of Enya move me, relax me, and clear the space. 

And then I returned to my desk to work on some material for another presentation. As I finished the work and thought lightly about the next task on my list, I had the answer. I need to cancel the class. 

Not all decisions are as clear. Many decisions need some space. Many decisions feel clogged by our fretting and by the need to be right and perfect and irreversible. 

I hope this was a good decision. I made it to the best of my ability--with my heart and my mind and my body working together. 

An Invitation
What do you do when you have to make a decision, especially a decision that doesn't have an obvious answer? I would love to know. 


  1. I think I would do exactly what you did. Meditating on a problem allows you to reach into some reservoir of wisdom—the answer is always within you. Just wait, and it will happen.

  2. And what happens may be quite a surprise. Stay tuned.


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