December 5

needing clarity + inspiration for life’s big decisions? here’s the recipe.

I’m sitting on the living room floor, Christmas tree lights glowing, blanket wrapped tight, puppy snuggled close.

On the surface, all is calm.

But look beneath the surface, and I’m in an ocean of change. A place where important decisions about the future need to be made…soon.

In approaching these decisions, I feel this crazy pull between two options:

 

Option 1: You better figure this out ASAP! Think, think, think! Don’t stop thinking, hurry! Priority #1 is to FIGURE. THIS. OUT. *commence banging head against wall*

-or-

Option 2: You just need rest. Like a total break from even thinking about any of this. Turn out the lights, take a nap, and stay inside. Shhhh…don’t focus on anything but resting. *commence napping for three weeks*

 

Does this resonate with anyone? I get caught between these two options all the time. But, especially this time, neither one holds the answer.

Forcing fresh inspiration can cause super-frustration. But exclusively resting seems too much like avoidance.

So…

Then…

What do I do? What will help me find the clarity I’m craving?

It took me a few days to figure this out, but here it is:

 

I need to fill my cup with things that will inspire new thoughts and ideas. Things that will challenge and change the way I view the world.

 

Where do I find those things?

Specifically, in three places:

1. Books

“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.” -Ursula K. Guin

2. Relationships

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” -Anais Nin

3. Adventures

“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self….And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.” -Kierkegaard

 

That’s my formula.

Books, relationships, and adventures.

And along the way, I have no doubt the answers will become clear. :)

 

 

So, now that I’ve shared this, I’m curious:

Do you have a different approach? What do you do to find clarity when you’ve got big life decisions looming?

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14 Responses

  1. I know it’s cliche but journaling helps. I tend to doodle (vs write) out my ideas. Also, prayer and talking through ideas with friends.

  2. One more thought: this book is pretty amazing, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. She’s one of America’s greatest choreographers and she talks about her process which is easily translated into other creative fields. Check it out! You’ll love it :)

    • admin says:

      I’m REALLY excited to read this book, Tiffany! Also, journaling = totally not cliche! I find so much clarity journaling too. :) xoxo Caroline

  3. Caroline –

    This is SPOT. ON. Take some time to indulge and explore these three things. The answers will come. Prayers your way.

    xo
    S

  4. Breanna says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am naturally an introvert, so I can totally relate with wanting to hibernate and read all day. But I’ve been learning how important relationships are. God always opens my eyes to a fresh perspective when I simply talk things through with another person.

    • admin says:

      Love this, Breanna! I’m glad to know you relate, and you’re right–it always seems to renew my perspective when I chat with a friend. xoxo Caroline

  5. Journal + read God’s word + talk to God about it. He always answers.

  6. Lisa S says:

    Thank you for posting. I am going through the same thing right now. It is an exciting place and also a scary place. I recently wrote about this on my blog. I look forward to finding rest in this crazy life and really let God speak to me. Good Luck!

  7. Steph R says:

    Ah, yes! I’m in a similar circumstance and a solution isn’t in sight…yet. I FINALLY had a chance to read a book over Thanksgiving and I totally hear you. And I’m SO glad others mentioned journaling – it helps my mental clarity. Something that may sound too simple, but I find works for me…God knows what’s right for me, and he’ll make that known in his time. So I just keep struggling, keep trying, and I know that the answer will be there when it’s supposed to be.

    So for me – reading, praying, chatting with those near and dear, writing, listening, and persevering in “the struggle”.

  8. Shannon says:

    This is a great post! And the story of my life. Here’s to forging ahead into the unknown with peaceful confidence :)

  9. Victoria B says:

    Hello! I’m a new reader of your blog, and I love it! This post really speaks to me because those three areas are the exact things I really want to focus on in the new year. I also think long walks outside really helps clear the mind.

  10. Journaling, because processing in a state of prayer always helps me. I also try to go back to my big idea / personal definition statements.

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