We all know that making decisions in families can be tough—even when doing a fun activity together, these experiences can quickly devolve in to power struggles when we don’t come from a place of Oneness, accountability, and mutual support.
When we’re trying to decide what to do, we can be afraid that our needs won’t be met unless we “get our way.” Should we ride the carousel or Space Mountain? Should we go out to dinner or make dinner at home? Should I read to you or you read to me? Who should do the dishes tonight? And who should walk the dog? How do we make decisions that benefit everyone, including ourselves?
A wonderful practice that makes a big difference is what we call “Checking In.” To do this, we first let go of any attachments we have to what we want or what we think the outcome “should” be. Although this can be challenging, it is also liberating and allows us to open ourselves to new possibilities. We really commit to being neutral, even if we think that there is only “one right answer.” For example, the answer is anything but me doing the dishes! So first, we have to relax and get neutral. Our intention is important. Our intention to support the highest good automatically shifts our feeling about a situation, influences the questions we ask and the answers we hear. If we are intending to support ourselves in the narrowest sense, we will hear answers that lead us to take actions dominated by our egos. When we intend to support the highest good of all, we become neutral about our own narrowly-defined interests, and we are more likely to hear answers that truly promote the highest good.
Once we are all relaxed and feel neutral, then we intentionally ask the question: “Is it for the highest good of all, including myself for me/us to___________?” We allow ourselves to feel or hear what the answer is. If family members get different answers, it means we don’t have an answer yet. It’s not a vote. All we know at this point is that we don’t have an answer, because we are not getting the same answer. If we let go of agendas, become neutral and connect to our inner wisdom or higher consciousness, we should all sense or hear the same answer. Why aren’t we? Our lack of consensus could be signaling to us that we need more discussion at the moment, or it could be signaling to us that we are not ready to make this decision, because we need more information. Or it could be opening us to the possibility that there’s a third alternative we never considered. The fact that four of us get one answer and one gets another, for example, says nothing about the outcome. The only thing we know for sure is that we haven’t been able to get to the “right” answer, the one that is for the highest good, because if we had, we would all get the same one.
If this happens, we can discuss our attachments (e.g. “I did dishes last night and shouldn’t have to do dishes two nights in a row!”) and when we can really let go and be neutral, we ask the question again. Eventually, we will have an intuitive consensus and will also have learned and discussed feelings along the way as we become more neutral.
This tool is explained in much greater detail on page 288 in Beth Green’s phenomenal book Living with Reality, which is available as a free download if you sign up for our monthly newsletter!
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