“The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our inner state of being, the quality of the emotional states in which we consistently live. Destiny is the result of our actions and responses in any given situation. So, it is then that in our moments of decision our destiny is shaped.”
In our various roles in life, we face a constant stream of choices and the decisions and keep in mind that they only really becomes a decision when we act. Often such actions are taken from a disturbed inner state and we act so that we can feel that we are doing something to address the external situation. However, we often act in haste being driven to act based on a perceived threat or sense of danger. Our sympathetic nervous system kicks into action and we go to fight or flight mode. Unless we become aware of this fight or flight reaction, conflict builds through or repetitive thinking and obsession to a point at which we feel compelled to act.
So, if our inner state in moments of decision is so important, why then do we pay so little attention to it in those moments and how does this inner state arise?
A simple and yet profound teaching from OWA brought my attention to the very direct link between prominent thought patterns and the way that life unfolds. It stated,
“All that I am is the result of what I have through and what I have not thought – Thought manifests as emotion, Emotion manifests as moods, Mood manifests as temperament, Temperament manifests as impulse, Impulse manifests as action, Action manifests as habit and habit manifests as destiny – life’s reality in health, relationships, finances etc.”
What state are you making your decisions in?
“Decisions taken in a state of conflict rarely lead to intelligent action” Many decisions are taken either in a passive habitual manner lacking focus or are taken in a moment of crisis and inner conflict. As an example, many of us have the experience of decisions taken in an angry inner state and the fact that these decisions generally haven’t led to right or wise action. However, the same is true for decisions taken is all emotional states whether we choose to perceive these states as being positive or negative. Decisions taken in a state of high exuberance and excitement can be equally as unwise as those taken in the heat of anger or the depths of depression.
The Key to Empowered Decisions
The key to better and more empowered decisions to not act in haste and allow time and space for intelligence to come in the decision. One way to do so is to take control back from the sympathetic nervous system and enable the parasympathetic system which has an awareness of the problem and is focused on solution. In the eastern tradition breathing patterns are used to make this shift. To my amazement I learned at a leadership seminar presentation from a retired Navy SEAL Commander that a concept and practice I had first encountered as an eastern philosophical concept is used by the US Navy Seals in preparation for engagement. They use a simple breathing process to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system countering fear response of sympathetic system.
We will teach this breathing process at Finish What You Start as a way for you to unlock your warrior spirit and enabling the parasympathetic nervous system.