Balancing Out Our Experiences- The New Interface of Decision Making
I have been blogging about how we have been living in a time when technology is capturing our linear thinking time and forcing us to develop our intuitive side. When we bring an open mindedness and consciousness into the process, we enter the territory from a new perspective. Our antenna is up.
Heretofore we have been very comfortable in our rationale and linear mind. It lined up resources in a predictable manner and when favorable enough, caused us to take action.
The new territory is the intuitive mind’s domain, but to feel comfortable in transitioning, the linear mind still wants a map: something that makes it believe it can count on it.
So how much do we trust to our linear mind and how much do we reserve for our intuitive mind? In reality we usually use our linear mind for as much as possible and accept the unknown as the domain for applying our intuition. However if we go about this process consciously we can decide to what degree we want to trust our intuitive mind.
How do we best do this?
The ideal way to practice is to consciously use our intuitive minds on situations which do not matter that much. Then consciously look at what happened and see how you feel about it. Chances are that it may turn out to be better than you could have imagined, and slowly you can put more to chance.
For example my friend, Rick, and I just returned from a delightful Mexican road trip to Puebla, Oaxaca, and Tlaxcala. The question posed to ourselves was how much did we want to plan out the trip and how much did we want to leave to providence? Our answer was that: (1) we wanted to minimize stress, (2) experience “flow. In this sense “flow” meant an agreeable sense of one event merging with the next, and (3) practice being both the observer and observed which amplifies the sense of presence.
To accomplish this we decided to drive for no more than five hours in a day. We used “Trip Advisor,” an on-line location rating service of traveler’s opinions about accommodations and restaurants, and lined up our places to stay before arriving. We also wanted to be able to garage our car wherever we spent the night. We had maps and a Tom Tom GPS to show us exactly what our journey would look like. Our reasoning was that we could have left more to chance, but that would have increased the stress levels. We wanted to use our intuition on lower consequential choices such as where to eat and what to see and let serendipity do the rest.
Once we got underway we looked for the payoffs. So what were they?
First the main journey was mostly on cuota (toll) roads which reduced traffic volume and moved it along. Secondly with our GPS we were advised when essential turns were necessary guiding us to our destination’s doorsteps. Some of the maps for Mexico were older so this did spice it up a bit. The driving experience was relaxing, timely and smooth.
We had selected in an old hotel right in Puebla center called the Puebla de Colonial for our first two nights. It was reasonably priced had a garage, and was perfect. Puebla was a planned city. Thought and beauty were evident. The buildings are quite varied and colorful. Ceramic tiles decorate many of the facades-something you don’t see in most cities anywhere.
Energetically the city felt relaxed with streets being laid out in a convenient grid. The Zocolo town center had side walk cafes and bustling traffic. A beautiful sculptured frieze lattice work formed a central art piece. We aimlessly wandered down quiet streets poking our heads into inviting passageways and shops. Suddenly we encountered a food court type market that ran for blocks. One stall or stand after another was turning out tasty appearing morsels but the crowd was moving like one organism seemingly unable to stop, yet they did. The next day after touring the revolution museum the remains of a Bishop Palafox, a saint, were being transferred amidst a parade of people to the central cathedral. We were invisible and yet in the midst of it, a rare moment indeed! Our tour on the upper level of the double decker bus we encountered intermittent rain. We had umbrellas. The city sparkled. In the evening we stumbled into a beautiful boutique hotel serving exquisite cuisine. It is one of two great meals on the trip. Puebla felt good the way a city can. We could not really have asked for more in such a short time.
Saying goodbye we drove on to a modern wide two way toll road through virgin country for the most part arriving four hours later in lush green Oaxaca. Our only hold up was outside of a toll booth. A hundred or more women with precise movements blocked our car. The leader came to my window with a can for donations to some local cause. We paid a few pesos. They smiled. We smiled back and soon were in Oaxaca. Our B&B, Casa Ollin, was rated #1 on Trip Advisor for guest satisfaction. It was in a quiet neighborhood, and one of those experiences where the sum is greater than the parts. The rooms were thoughtfully decorated and appointed and looked out on to a pool. Jon, a San Diego transplant, and his Oaxacan wife, were wonderfully engaging. This was the rainy season but our excursion to Monte Alban, the hill top city of the Zapotecas gave us delightfully sunny window. Here we arrived just in time to be included in a tour with a Chinese family which included a Mexican son-in-law. This seamlessly connected us to Juan, our tour guide, who then took us on a tour the next day to see the 2,000 year old Tule tree with the largest girth in the world (164 feet), and Mitla with its architectural marvel of a temple. We ran into our Chinese family again and met them for lunch. I had made fun of Rick for buying a carpet on the street the day before since we had traveled Turkey and bought our share of rugs. On our tour with Juan we stopped at Zapoteca village weaver who took us though the entire weaving process. Before I knew it I had bought a rug. Rick couldn’t help but return the jest. I laughed realizing how fast a karmic joke can transpire. Our day was thoroughly delightful. Oaxaca, large as it is and with its’ distinctly Indian heritage, gave off a patina of relaxation and measured pace. It was comforting. From it’s wonderful tree filled Zocolo, to streets filled with green tinted stone and brightly painted buildings there was a feeling of graciousness in the city, not better but distinctly different than our Puebla experience. Our final task was to find a nice place for dinner. We had some recommendations and for some reason seemed to walk past both of them. Wandering we finally stuck our head in a restaurant called the Oalla, run a woman who also conducted a cooking school. The setting reminded me of a setting fitting for a Tom Robbins novel. The meal and waitress were unexpected delights. Leaving Oaxaca we felt better than looked after. We felt in tune perhaps with the essence of a rich civilization that had once lived here and still does.
Our final destination was to Tlaxcala, a city slightly north of Puebla. It was raining and we would spend only one night. Arriving late in the drizzly afternoon we found our hotel on the zocolo. We had booked by internet with a credit card for two rooms. When we arrived, we were told there was only one room in the hotel left as a large group had gobbled up everything, and even this was not ready. It was one of those Zen moments where you realize that it is not what is happening to you but what you decide to do about it. We had a choice. We could have made a scene, gotten worked up or left to find some place else. We decided to take it in stride, wander around and get a cappuccino. The coffee was delicious and when we had returned, the room situation had resolved itself with an extra room having been found, and a very nice one at that.
Looking back on our journey we had intended to reduce the stress by planning out as much as possible on the big fronts-the accommodations and the driving route. The rest of the trip was left to simply unfold, believing that we would be pleasantly surprised with a state of flow. it had and we did. The serendipitous experiences were as good as, if not better, than any thing we could have known about ahead of time and planned.
Perhaps many who read this might say that this is simply the way life is and that we had a nice time. No big deal. Yet it was more than that. It was the conscious decision to see the difference between what we planned and what we left to reveal itself. Much less could have been planned and that would have increased the adventure. These are individual choices one can employ. The point is not how much you leave unplanned but the conscious awareness of it.
My book and guidebook( the latter done in collaboration with Dr. Kerry Monick MD.) have just been released. They deal with the interface of the linear world and the intuitive world, the conscious awakening to manifestation principles, and putting these into practice on a measured basis.
I would love to hear of your inner explorations in this area.