As we navigate through life, we often come to a crossroads. Shall I marry him? Shall I quite my job? Shall I buy that house? With every answer – essentially a simple yes or no – we go down one path and give up the other.

While the monumental decisions stand out, the majority of decisions are seemingly mundane. Shall I go to the meeting? Shall I stay a bit longer? Shall I say speak my mind? Yet every decision changes our life, often in ways we cannot foresee at the time.

So how do you know if it’s yes or no? It’s simple. You know the answer the moment the question is asked.

I am not talking about a cognitive knowing, the mental SWOT analysis, the ‘coulds’ fighting with the ‘shoulds’. I am talking about the deep knowing that is the gift of our embodied consciousness. Put differently: you can feel the answer in your body.

Because you always KNOW in your heart of hearts what it is you truly want or need. You also know what you wish to avoid or let go off. This is not a learned skill, but innate wisdom, something that has always been there.

The body speaks to us, loudly and clearly. But we fail to hear because we are not paying attention. We pay attention, yes, but to our inner critic, our gadgets, the expectations of others, our fears and our limiting beliefs.

So the next time you have to make a decision, any decision, take a moment to listen in silence to what goes on in your body.

Notice the little tightening of the muscles that indicate stress, fear or anxiety. Perhaps it’s your body’s way of saying no. And notice the little opening up, the lightness or the flickering flame that indicate desire, pleasure or happiness. You may be saying yes.

You don’t have to argue with or justify yourself. All you need to do is listen to what you already know.

Ilja van Roon

P.S. Once you start listening to yourself, you will begin to notice you have a rich and dynamic inner life.