Many times it's easy to know what to say and do in a given situation such as the everyday tasks in our lives. But there often are times when we are faced with the need to respond or act and we're not quite sure what to say or how to proceed. For example, I was faced with that recently when I was asked to participate in a project that I had some interest in, but wasn't quite sure if I really wanted to do it. When things like this are not clear to me,
I've learned three simple questions to guide me through what to say and do.
They are based in my desire to live intentionally so that I produce harmony, balance, and well-being for myself and with others. There are three important benchmarks that indicate well-being and harmony. They are energy, mental clarity, and positive regard for self and others. Here's what I mean.
Energy is the sense of aliveness and vibrancy that is evident when we're saying and doing something that is aligned with our conscious intentions and our integrity. For example, spending longed for time with a loved one or in an activity that we thoroughly enjoy will bring a hum of vibrancy to our energy. This is in contrast to engaging in a conversation that produces conflict with a loved one or an activity that we dislike even though we have a choice about it which may imbalance our internal sense of integrity or our goals. The general guideline is that if something produces positive energy, than it matches, if it produces a drop in your energy, think again about it.
Mental Clarity is the experience of seeing something clearly and connecting it with what has meaning and value for you. Your thinking about it is not marred by doubts or confusion. It's also not hijacked by anger and righteousness. With mental clarity we feel calm and not jacked up on adrenaline. For example, when there is a difference of perspective or opinion with a loved one or friend, we need to carefully consider what to say and how to say it to best express our care for our self and the other. Taking a righteous position clouds our mental clarity. Staying true to an ethic of caring creates a pathway to thinking with clarity about how to proceed.
Positive Regard for Self and Others is the state of being in which each person is held with respect, acceptance, and care. This produces the whole body sense of aliveness in relationship where each person matters equally and the circumstance that is being considered is opened to a creative response rather than one in which someone gains and someone loses.
When faced with a situation, consider each option and ask:
1. Am I feeling energetic?
2. Am I thinking clearly with my intention in mind?
3. Am I feeling and thinking positively toward myself