How Do You Make up Your Mind?

July 24, 2011

Access Consciousness, a 25 year old self-improvement technique developed by best selling author, Gary Douglas of Santa Barbara, California, has a number of tools which can enable you to make choices that may create results more to your liking.

The first approach Douglas recommends, making every choice for 10 seconds only, really takes the pressure off of trying to make “the right choice”. Most people are trying to make the “Lord of the Rings choice”, Douglas wryly observes. “One choice to rule them all!”

A major drawback of the one-choice-forever approach is that it puts tremendous pressure on the decider to make the right choice, which some find paralyzing. And once you have made “the right choice,” how much freedom do you have to change it if it’s not working as you’d like? Not much! This determination to hang onto past choices hoping we’ll someday either be right, or at least not wrong, is responsible for many marriages, business relationships, and other arrangements that we hang onto long past their “sell by” date.

Furthermore, when you have to make “the right choice,” how much judgment do you have to use? And how much do you have to judge yourself about the choice that you’re making?

Judgment is one of the major obstacles to our awareness, says Douglas. That very judging to determine what is the right choice blocks our awareness of all choices that do not agree with our judgments. Is it possible that awareness of the choices available and what they might create exactly the information you need to make a choice that will bring you what you’re looking for? The choices that our judgment prevents us from seeing could be the very choices that will bring us what we’re looking for.

Making each choice for only 10 seconds takes this pressure of seriousness and judgment off your shoulders. The trick is to just choose, without any judgment at all. After choosing, what following through on that choice will bring will become clear to you. The results of your choice actually cannot be fully known before you make that choice. “Choice creates awareness, awareness does not create choice”, says Douglas. However, how many of us have been acting like the opposite were true?

A further advantage of the 10-second choice is that it is not a lifetime commitment. Just making the choice can bring awareness of whether that choice will expand or contract your life; another beauty of this approach is that you are not committed to following through. If the choice makes your stomach turn to concrete and the lump in your throat impassable, then could it be that that’s an awareness that the course you’ve chosen might not be bringing you what you hoped it will, or what will ultimately expand your life? Absolutely. What if using this tool allowed you to begin to trust your awareness more easily?

If your whole universe feels like it collapses after you announce your intention to make a choice, with the 10-second rule you can choose again. This may involve appearing to be somewhat blonde—but isn’t that preferable to creating constant disasters in your life?

A goldmine of pragmatic tools, Access Consciousness has many other techniques to use in making life choices. One simple way to choose between two or even more options is to imagine your life in the future if you make choice A, and then imagine it again if you make choice B. Which feels lighter? Which feels more like the life you’d like to live? Remember you’re waiting to perceive the energy; it may take a few moments. It’s not about coming up with reasons for and against, but allowing yourself to perceive what energy that choice will create in your life if you were to choose it.

The amount of time in the future you use to try this out depends on what kind of choice you’re making. If you’re moving house, you might want to look at how it will be a year from now. If you’re considering a 3-year higher education program, your life might not feel expanded a year from now, and a 5-year interval might be more appropriate.

Another method, is simply to expand each of the choices you’re considering until it’s as big as the universe. Picture each choice as if it were printed on a hot air balloon and then pump it up till it’s as big as the universe. Whichever choice gets bigger and lighter will be the choice that brings the most dynamic expansion of your life.

One woman used this method to choose if she was going to make a business trip to Australia. She’d just returned from a few weeks holiday with her family and was reluctant to leave her business again. Remembering this tool, she pictured herself staying home because she didn’t wish to add the hotels and other travel expenses to her credit card, didn’t wish to leave her business, etc. When she tried to make this as big as the universe, it just sat there “like a lump of coal.”

When she pictured daring to go ahead with her plans to go down under regardless of these considerations, her mental image of the trip expanded in all directions like a firework finale. After that, she notes, “It was a no-brainer, I had to go!” She took the trip, with results being that her life and that of many others’ around her expanded dynamically.

Another tool is as simple a tossing a coin. Heads is one choice, tails is the other. Flip that coin. If you’re happy with what comes up—that’s the choice that you most wish to make, whether you’ve admitted it to yourself or not. If you’re disappointed with the choice, that’s a great indication that the opposite choice is the one you really desire.

Don’t apply these tools if all your choices have been bringing you everything you desire already. If you suspect more is possible—or even more ease with what you choose—then you might wish to try them out.

What are the infinite possibilities?



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Jul 25, 2011

Wow, so helpful. I appreciate you sharing these powerful, practical tools on this site until I’m able to get to access and foundations class. I so used to wrangle over making the “right” forever decision and can’t begin to tell you the freedom and joy the 10 second decision is giving me. I did the balloon and coin toss for a decision I was wrestling with today and started laughing how consistent the answers were for me getting what I REALLY want.

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