Have you ever been stuck between two ideas, two choices, two truths, or maybe a whole bunch of these at once? Choices and moments like this are so overwhelming and often exhausting.
Recently, I had the LONGEST week at work. I was exhausted, I was constantly complaining, and I was so incredibly burnt out. I dreaded work, and I drank more coffee than I’d like to admit.
I was trying to manage work, friendships, family, events, and even self-care; I was drowning. On top of that, I was expected to be at a friend’s house on a Friday at 6:00 pm. I felt this urge to be a good friend, honor a commitment I made, and curl up on my couch and cry.
What I needed, desperately, was to tap into my Wise Mind.
Wise Mind is the state of mind where both our emotions and the situation’s facts are considered. Imagine your feelings and logic sitting down and having a conversation before you decide what to do. It isn’t necessarily a ”place of Zen,” but rather a sense of knowing yourself at that moment.
Your Wise Mind is the place you can settle into when you need to figure something out, big or small. You could be deciding to end a relationship or deciding what you want to eat for lunch.
Wise Mind can feel elusive and hidden to many, and sometimes people even say, ”I don’t have a Wise Mind.” We all have a Wise Mind even when we’re struggling or not able to find it – like I was that Friday night.
I was sitting there between two choices and an overwhelming feeling of guilt and stress. I called my best friend, and she said, “Alyssa, you can’t show up right now. You have to take care of yourself. Stay home; it’s okay.”
As soon as she said, I felt my entire chest soften. She was right – she said what my Wise Mind was whispering to me. If I paused for a moment, I probably would have heard it.
A Wise Mind choice feels just like that – like relief and peace. It feels centered like the calm during the storm or your gut instincts. When you stick with your Wise Mind, you know it. As if it is saying, “Aha, yes! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.”
My Wise Mind choice didn’t make everything “better.” I still felt bad that I would have to ”bail” on my friends. It turns out that no one was mad at me (albeit a little bummed). Deep down, underneath my guilt and anxiety, my Wise Mind was begging me to slow down. So, I finally did. I chose myself, and I allowed myself to rest.
In her book Untamed, Glennon Doyle explains how to find your Wise Mind (or, as she says, her Knowing). She says it’s about doing the next right thing. Doyle explains her Knowing as this:
“HOW TO KNOW:
Moment of uncertainty arises
Breathe, turn inward, sink.
Feel around for the Knowing.
Do the next thing it nudges you toward.
Let it stand. (Don’t explain.)
(For the rest of your life: Continue to shorten the gap between the Knowing and the doing.)”
I encourage you to connect with your Wise Mind. You’ll know it when you find it. Simply do the next right thing for yourself as much as you can.