How easy is it for you to make decisions?
Do you get stuck or overwhelmed or do you tend to make rapid fire choices that you later regret?
I’ve found that making decisions is so much easier when the mind and emotions are in balance because we have greater clarity in the mind and greater connection with the heart.
Last week, I talked about making empowered decisions from a mindset perspective. This week I want to explore a more holistic approach using Ayurveda, the traditional medicine from India.
Ayurveda gives us a beautiful framework to understand balance on a personal level, as well as tools to help us cultivate this balance in a way that works for us as individuals.
One of the simplest practices is to use the 5 elements (pancha maha bhutas) to notice what qualities might be out of balance in yourself, and thus affecting decision making.
Using the 5 Elements
The 5 elements are present in everything. They’re in what we eat, how we move, the habits we have and everything else that exists in the world. They are:
- Ether (i.e. empty space)
Signs of imbalance & the elements
- If your mind feels sluggish, muddy and very slow to make decisions, that indicates an excess of earth and water.
- If you’re super quick to decide, are reactive, angry or vengeful, that indicates an excess of fire.
- If you feel overwhelmed, forgetful, spacey or indecisive, that indicates an excess of air and ether.
How to regain balance
You create balance by using the elements that have opposite qualities. You can apply them in many different ways. Because everything is connected, you can influence your mind and emotions via other pathways like through movement and food selection. This gives you a rich array of options to help you feel better.
The opposite qualities
To balance excess earth & water, use:
- the heat of fire
- the movement of air (think wind)
To balance excess fire, use:
- the heaviness and stillness of earth
- the coolness of water
To balance excess air & ether, use
- the heat of fire
- the heaviness of water and earth
- the stillness of earth
Practical tips to balance the elements
Here are a few options that you can choose from, always adapting to meet your current health conditions:
If you have an excess of earth & water:
- Move your body more. Do 1 minute of vigorous exercise in the morning and throughout the day as needed. Dance often.
- Avoid oily, heavy or cold foods. Prefer light springtime foods in smaller portions.
- Heat the body frequently with a sauna or hot bath.
If you have an excess of fire:
- Take cold showers. Even just turning the temp down a tad for one minute will promote cooling.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and spicy food. Favor cool foods that have a high water content.
- Tune into love throughout the day. Practice forgiving others and yourself.
If you have an excess of air and ether:
- Do less. Reduce your schedule and information input. Reduce all stimuli.
- Move less. Create quiet space to observe nature or do restorative yoga.
- Eat warm, moist, oily foods that will help to ground you. Avoid caffeine.
When you give attention to your wellbeing on various levels, you will naturally move into a place of greater clarity. This creates the conditions for empowered decision making and a life that you love.
- Identify the elements that might be out of balance
- Do one thing from the relevant list above to cultivate balance (be sure to take this action out of a sense of love and caring for yourself NOT fixing).
Let me know how it goes.