Not to be confused with the very dramatic and dark writings of Edgar Allen Poe- although those dark musings and references to wine, black birds and touches of madness have always been mysteriously alluring. . especially when I’m listening to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (perfect complement to the intense lyrics and piano of No More Shall We Part) . . . this pendulum is a tool that I use often and feel rather than physically hold.
The pendulum swings in my own life- as a method of decision making and listening to what my intuition has to say. I’m not the best at hearing (or rather really listening to) those voices from deep inside. . . even though I can go on and on about the importance of listening to your “gut” until I’m cerulean in the face. Laziness, lack of time and motivation, or simply fear of really looking inside and hearing the answers?? Pushing responsibility for my life in any direction other than back to me??
Either way it happens, I find myself in turmoil of the emotional sort rather than caught up in “human drama” as a friend of mine so wonderfully put it. . . mine is also more of the solitary inner drama. It can remain something I struggle with alone, or it can begin to affect others when I lash out in frustration and a bit of self-loathing (due to the frustration of perceived inability to make the aforementioned decisions). . . and so it becomes confusing to those around me- this peaceful and mellow girl suddently turns snappy and edgey. . . impatient and cutting with her words- when really it’s just the frustration and maybe a bit of panic turned outward because I’ve refused to give it a healthy outlet.
But this tool. . . using your body as a pendulum for making decisions and listening to what is truly in accordance with our inner self. . . is something I’ve been returning to as of late. It can be used for something as seemingly simple as walking through the market and wondering what foods might be the best to consume right now- if I center and ask, my body tells me (if someone’s with you, the muscle test works well) by moving in the direction I know means yes or no. Or I use it for what I might call major life decisions, silly little thoughts about what I might do today and even a clue to what role people who have entered my life might have.
It works in the morning when you’re making lists (one of my addictions, and as I’ve recently twittered-YES, I’m addicted to addictions!), when shopping, planning, working, beginning to prepare a meal, before making a phone call; anything that may be causing stress or frustration due to the perceived inability to make a decision. We often seem to want to throw our hands up, push the decision entirely off on others, releasing our sense of responsibility for whatever happens (good or bad) and thinking it would just be so much easier if someone else would simply tell us what to do. I feel this wholeheartedly about many things in my life, and yet I’m also one of the most stubborn people I know and detest being told what to do (is it any wonder people tend to become a bit confused around me?!) so needless to say, this creates quite a lot of the back and forth drama- enough to drive a girl crazy.
Here’s what I do: I check in once in awhile to make sure the way my body communicates hasn’t changed but basically- by taking a breath to quickly center, and asking “Is my name Jenny?”. . . my body will move in a direction for yes. I ask a question for which I know the answer is no- inserting someone else’s name for instance and my body will move in the opposite direction and from there I can ask any yes or no question. . . taking a few breaths and shaking my energy out to center between each one. I’ve read that a lot of people rock forward for yes and backward for no, but of course I’m the opposite (it’s an admitted character trait of mine- good or bad- to always be different). . . a yes answer means my body leans back and a no answer tips me forward.
This isn’t used to avoid the responsibility of making decisions, it’s instead a way of double-checking them, and making sure my choices and activities are aligned with my true self (and also acknowledging that my true self is there and I haven’t forgotten and/or stifled her voice), and it takes away some of the stress that comes with making those decisions- “did i do the right thing?”, etc. Often there is no black and white definite RIGHT or WRONG decision. . . so the simple act of making that choice is the “right” decision in itself. You choose and accept and then move on. . . life is not meant to be put on hold while we hem and haw over these questions. There are no wrong choices. They’re all a part of our journey and I think how we react to them builds more of our life than the actual end result.
Just now, I heard loud honking and looking out the window of this late September morning, a flock of geese flew overhead and I realized that like the inner compass within every goose, there is a similar intuitive and instinctual quality to our decision making, if we learn to simply get out of our own ways and listen to that ancient wisdom.
This morning I’m sure there are pressing decisions to be made and I’ll get to them. . . but for now I’m craving mulberries for breakfast (another one of my addictions lately). . . but feel like I may be eating too many of them. . . Center, ask, and my body rocks slightly backwards. . . I grin and decide that a small handful would be entirely perfect.
And so it is. . .