Betting on the Flip.

Heads or tails. Right or left. Buy or Sell. Sign or don’t sign. Begin or don’t begin. End or continue. Stay or go. I’ve been reflecting lately on how we can be going along, living our lives, when we are suddenly presented with a choice to do something very different – or keep things as they are. These events happen to all of us every now and then; sometimes a big choice, sometimes a smaller one.

Whether it’s keeping a steady job, or taking a chance on doing something completely different. Selling everything to travel to new places, or staying put. Deciding to make changes in a relationship, or not. Entering into the training or education for a new profession, or keeping a present career. Whichever it is, if we then decide to make that choice for change – when we flip that coin – we are inevitably betting on the outcome.

Periodically in my life I’ve been faced with these big moments of decision – a crossroads – where I am presented with a choice that will change my life. Often I’ve suspected that a choice has been in existence for a fair amount of time, it’s just that I haven’t been ready or able to make it. These decisions aren’t easy – it can be hard to flip that coin and accept massive life adjustments. I’m also aware that these choices have the potential to take a human toll on others in my life.

I am experiencing just such a time right now. I don’t know if it’s because of Dad’s recent death, freeing me to do something different, or because the planets are aligning, or what – I am just in the middles of big choices and changes. What I find interesting is that this year appears to be a year of change, transition, or transformation for a lot of the people in my community. Almost everyone I know is facing huge shifts. I’d be curious to know what the astrological reasons for this might be!

Betting on these decisions can be agonizing, especially because I am not especially a risk taker; I generally like things to remain as they are and I find change to be difficult. But I find that when I open my mind to a change, and begin to think about what a different life may look like, and it appears to be the right way I’m supposed to go, there is something that always happens that tells me I’m doing the right thing.

For everything I create, or contemplate, or plan, or write, or whatever, I create a sort of three-dimensional structure in my mind for how it could look, or work. I ponder the possibilities, do research, think ahead to possible outcomes and problems, and look at the solid logistics of doing what I propose to do. Whether it is the outline of a book, the beginning or ending of a relationship, the decision to move, or how a potential event or action needs to go, if that structure disintegrates when I test it, then I know that’s not what I’m supposed to do. If it holds strong, and things start to happen, and move, and appear just when I need them, and slot into place, then I know I’m on the right track.

While I’m trying to decide, I have to acknowledge that there is always a chance that I’m taking the wrong path, giving up what may never come again, making a major mistake. Sometimes it takes me a long time to make up my mind to take that leap, because it is scary. With all the research and thought in the world, I could still be wrong. Sometimes deciding what to do almost does come down to a coin flip!

Fortunately, I have always had help, because it is difficult to impossible to make this kind of move alone.  My therapist, Jill, has given me great advice and a sounding board. People I love have listened to me talk about my fears and dreams, ad nauseum, and helped me find the courage to take the step I knew I needed to take. In addition, I try to believe that exactly what I need will come when I need it; it has happened before, over and over, and I strive to believe that it will happen again. It just takes a leap of faith.

Why do it? Why take that painful step? In my mind, it all comes down to evolution, which is an act of courage by an organism. If we are placed on this world to live our short lives as fully as possible, then don’t we need to live it? For me, it comes down to deciding whether you’re willing to give up too much time to a situation or place where you don’t feel like you’re living fully. If you don’t, then maybe it’s time to take that other path that is being offered to you.

Looking at the course of my existence, I feel as if I’ve had several evolutions, based on the major choices with which I’ve been presented. In each case, although the transformation has been painful and difficult, I have gone on to greater opportunities and amazing blessings. I have to date, never regretted betting on that coin flip.

I believe in using as much of life as possible, and since we only have the one, I suggest we keep betting on those flips. While they can be scary, they can also be transformative. So roll those dice, flip that coin, make that choice, because you never know just what good things, what transformation – what amazing evolution – might happen as a result. Go ahead and make that bet, and see what turns up.

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