Discern: 1. to perceive by the sight or other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend. 2. to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate. That's what the Random House Webster's College Dictionary says about a process we use when it comes to decision-making.
Are you in a place right now where you face change? Are you trying to decide between one thing and another—or perhaps discerning among several options? When it comes to really large life issues, this discernment process isn't always easy. Several of my clients are thinking of switching careers. Some are making decisions about relationships. Whatever the issue, such discernment requires at least two essential foundational pieces: openness and attention.
First, it's important to stay completely open to all the ideas, thoughts, information and feelings that swirl in and around you. During that time of brainstorming, you don't want to rule out any options. Put everything out on the table. Make no judgments about anything initially; there's time enough for judgments and reality once the ideas are all laid out. Pay attention to your passions, your dreams, things others say, anything that can help inform your decision.
Second, pay attention. Notice what you're feeling as you gather information; your emotions are important clues. Get in touch with what jazzes you. What are your passions and dreams? While you may not make a decision based entirely on those, they are important pieces of the puzzle. And, honestly, at a certain stage of life, you might feel it's (finally!) time to follow your passions. Notice themes in recurring dreams. Pay attention to information that pulls you in unexpectedly. Clues are all around and inside you.
If you remain open to any and all possibilities—and you pay attention to all clues: thoughts, feelings, facts, dreams, values and all the rest, you might be surprised by what emerges from your discernment process. It could possibly be an option you hadn't even considered initially.
If you want help working through a discernment process, please contact me. Let's get you where you want to be in life!