How to Use Body Signals to Make Better Decisions

If decision making is hard for you, here's a technique to use body sensations as another source of information for decision making.

Can body sensations help you make decisions?

If decision making is hard for you because thinking about all the options drive you nuts, or executive functioning isn’t your strength, there are other ways to make decisions. Here’s one, a technique to use body sensations as another source of information for decision making. This workshop is geared toward neurodivergent folk and highly sensitive people. The presenter is likewise autistic and highly sensitive.

This is a recording of a workshop hosted by Heather Cook of Autism Chrysalis on 10 August, 2022.

The recording

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Here’s the full transcript:

0:06
So welcome to everyone. This is about how to use our body signals to make better decisions. And my name is Heather cook. And this is the 10th of August 2022.

0:22
So let’s go ahead and get started. So I

0:27
just mentioned to a couple of people to invite you to check in with yourself right now. Like how are you feeling? How resourced? Are you are you? Are you able to deal with things? Or are you just feeling like any one thing is going to be too much? If you’re kind of in that headspace, you might want to check in with the recording and take care of yourself for the next hour.

0:56
I’m a little in that category.

0:58
That’s totally fine. Take care of yourself. If you feel like you need to go away that’s…

1:05
I may duck out after a bit.

1:07
Yeah.

1:08
Yeah.

1:10
No worries. Alright, got a couple more people just coming in. We’ll let them join. And startthe intro stuff. I want to try to do a screen share here. Not screenshot but like, uh, there it is. Okay, so can you all see the slides and still see my picture in the corner?

1:51
Yes. Very nice.

1:54
All right. No, it is apparently on like autoplay. That’s not what I meant. Okay. Here we go.

2:12
So, this is the plan for today, we’re going to do a little bit of intro housekeeping, introductory stuff. Then we’ll talk a little bit about the theory about why we use bodies, body signals, why that’s even useful in decision making, and then we’ll practice this technique of using a body compass as a tool to calibrate what are, what we need.

2:39
And then we can use that to actually make a few decisions. There’ll be some time for questions and answers at the end, I hope. And I’ll share my contact info if you want to get in touch with me later. But this is not a sales pitch. So I’m not going to sell you anything today. But if you do find this useful, I’d appreciate it if you’d share it with someone.

3:04
So a couple of housekeeping details, you are welcome to have your camera off or on, to move around, stimm, doodle, there’s lots of ways to pay attention. And if you have questions, please share them either through the chat or through your voice, you’re also welcome to just listen quietly through it. And if you keep yourself on mute to reduce background noise that you might not be aware of, that would be helpful.

3:30
And the webinar is being recorded, and will be available publicly. I’m not planning on sharing the gallery view. But please do make choices of sharing things that you are comfortable with.

3:44
So I just said I’m Heather, and I’m autistic and highly sensitive and have sensory differences. And I’m also a certified Martha Beck life coach, and will the technique that we’re doing here is one of her tools that I use with my clients. So want to give her credit. It’s an excellent technique that I’ve found useful, almost daily, frankly, in my own life. And that many of my clients have found useful.

4:14
Okay, I also do want to acknowledge that I live on the traditional homeland of the Omaha, Southern Ponca, Ioway, Otoe, Missouri, and the Sauk and Fox tribes. And I’m the beneficiary of both their hardships and their wisdom. And I hope that we can use the time that we’re spending together today to help move in the direction of dismantling the thought patterns that lead people to hurt and oppress each other.

4:49
All right, any questions or thoughts before we get into the meat of this?

4:59
All right, So let’s talk a little bit about why we would want to even use body signals or body awareness as a decision making tool. That might sound a little bit odd.

5:13
But we, we tend to think things through make logical decisions. And logic is great. I’m a huge fan of logic. However, it only works up to a certain point, sometimes you can’t always tell what is the most appropriate choice just by thinking it through. Emotions are also useful, they can tell us what we really need, what we’re feeling, whether we like something or dislike something, whether something makes us angry or excited. But they can also be fooled at times. Because thoughts can create emotions. So what we’re thinking can change how we feel about something.

5:58
However, the body is never fooled, it always stays in our present moment awareness of what’s going on right now and what you need. So what I’ve found is that when we use these systems together: thinking and our body and emotions, when we use them in conjunction, we get a lot better at making appropriate decisions that will help lead towards a better life for ourselves.

6:28
Does that make sense?

6:29
Okay, so our senses take in approximately 11 million bits of information every second, that is sensory information about the temperature, air pattern, like air currents, things that we’re seeing all the different stuff that’s around us, the things that we’re feeling are clothes sounds in the next room or outside, things that we’re smelling, feelings from inside our own body, like all of these different things, we’re, our body is processing. And that’s useful information. However, we’re only consciously aware of roughly 50 to 120 bits of information. That’s almost none of what we’re actually experiencing. So it’s 11 million versus 50 to 120, depending on which study you come up with.

7:33
So we have access to all of that information, and we’ve had access to it our entire life. So as we’ve grown up, and as we’ve gotten older, we’re building this gigantic repertoire of information of what feels good to us in different types of situations.

7:50
Like every time we go to the grocery store, I feel this particular range of sensations, it’s rather an unpleasant one. Hence, I avoid going to the grocery store. Now I can deal with that, I can override my physical sensations to the point that I can get food for myself if I really need to. But I know instinctively, even when I’m not thinking about it, even before I figured out all of this sensory stuff. I just knew I hated grocery shopping. I hated clothes shopping, because I’d have to try on different textures, different feelings over and over in a fluorescent lit environment, I wasn’t able to articulate at that point in my life, why I didn’t like it, I just hated it. And every time I even thought about it, it would get me in a bad mood. And at a subtle level, my body was trying to tell me: that is not an environment in which I feel comfortable.

8:45
So we can use this to make those types of decisions of when your body is feeling stressed when your body is thinking about, say going to the grocery store or going clothes shopping, and you feel awful or when you think about talking to a particular person and you just feel awful. There’s information there. Now trying to figure out what that information is, is another layer, but you have information about what feels okay to you.

9:16
Here’s an interesting study that the University of Iowa did, and Malcolm Gladwell described in his book Blink. So there was an experiment set up in which participants were asked to pick cards from two different decks, there was a red deck and a blue deck and they got a certain amount of money for, like the the cards were tied to a certain amount of money or certain losses. And the the red deck was rigged artificially so that you could never win with it. It would have really big wins but also really devastating losses. And the participants would were able to figure out after approximately pulling 80 cards one at a time from either deck, and they could pick which deck they wanted, they were able to figure out that they couldn’t win with the red deck.

10:05
But after approximately 10 cards, they were already showing physical signs of stress, like sweaty palms, increased blink rate, increased heartbeat, their every time that they reached for the red duck, but not when they reached for the blue deck. Like their body was already able to figure out at some level, what was going on, like the red deck wasn’t their friend.

10:31
So the difference between how much information we need to consciously figure out something and how much information we need for our body to figure out at least some part of it, is huge. And that’s the difference between the amount of information that we have access to, and the amount that we’re able to consciously process through our thoughts. And so what we want to do here is to use both systems together to make better decisions.

10:59
So that’s the idea behind this. Any thoughts? Questions about this?

11:08
Yeah, I have a question. It’s Samantha speaking. I totally get this. However, I’m at the other end of the scale now where I don’t ever feel okay about something. I mean, that’s a little exaggerated, but I find now I’m aware of these feelings of being stressed. So like you say, going shopping, going to the supermarket, these environments that are no good for me, I’m finding it really hard to find safe feelings about places I do want to go to.

11:37
Sure, I totally get that I was there for a long time. So what we’re going to be doing is to look for the differences, even small differences between, you’ll see what I mean in a moment, but we’re gonna think of a situation in which you have to make a choice either do this or do that, how does it feel? Which one feels less bad? And it might be at that level of which one just feels less bad, it might not be which one feels good. After you start making more and more of those choices of things that are just a little bit less bad, you’re gradually, just one tiny bit at a time, making your life better. And it will take a while to get to that point that you’re making choices between really good things, and really bad things or things that are, or the difference might not be obvious. But even just a small difference. That small choice made over and over and over in different areas of your life can gradually move you towards making your life better. Does that make sense?

12:52
Yeah, that definitely makes sense.

12:55
Does that sound doable? At least theoretically.

12:59
Yes.

13:01
Alright.

13:09
Okay, so what I’d like you to do is pull out a notepad, or you can just think about this, but I prefer to write it down so that you don’t have to remember what it is. We’re going to make a decisions menu, before we get started in this so that you will have a couple of decisions easily in mind that you don’t have to think about later. So I’d like you to start with a couple of small decisions that you need to make.

13:45
Okay, so what are two to three small decisions that you need to make today or in the near future? And we’re looking at things that really don’t matter that much. Like should I make a new thing for dinner or have leftovers? Should I return this item to the store or keep it? Should I pick up my kid from school or ask someone else to do it? Not should I pick up my kid from school or leave them there, but like, when you have to clear options.

14:13
I think I actually just, by force of habit, used the word should, like, should I do this or should I do that? But on the slides I have “Do I,” like, do I make this for dinner? This is betraying my own inculturation, should I call it.

14:41
The word should is so intensely grounded into a lot of things. And yet we don’t really, like, most decisions in our life are not actually moral imperatives. It’s not really about should I.

15:03
But here’s the interesting thing. When we are infants and we’re just starting to reach for things, or crawl around or toddle on our little wobbly legs, the adults and older people around us start teaching us to do what they tell us. And there’s very useful reasons for this. They’re trying to keep us safe, to some extent. And there’s other reasons, that may not be so charitable. But we get a very strong education in obeying other people. To the point that even after we’ve learned how to keep ourselves safe, and not to run into the street, and how to make decent choices on our own, we still often think of things in terms of, Am I allowed to do it? Or will other people find it acceptable? Not what do I actually want? Or what other options are there than the obvious ones that have been presented to me?

16:10
So I’m trying to weed this out of my own vocabulary. But I’d like to point that out. It’s, it’s not about, should I do this? It’s about, Do I do this? Am I choosing to do this?

16:25
And when you’ve got a couple of those small decisions, either written down or in mind, I would invite you to write down one or two medium level decisions. For example, do I start on a new project that you’ve been thinking about? Or do I take this class or participate in an event? Or do I try this new vitamin supplement? Things that aren’t going to make or break your future, but take a little bit more thought than dinner.

16:58
And then, finally, you might want to try out one larger decision.

17:07
Something like, do I take that new job? Do I invite this person for a visit? Should I call this person? Some phone call that you’ve been putting off. It doesn’t have to be major life changing decisions, but something that’s a little bit bigger, that you would call a big decision. Maybe something that you’ve been sweating over for a while, or procrastinating about.

17:36
Let me know when you’re ready. I’ll give it another minute or so. I see a couple of people writing.

18:29
All right, you’re welcome to continue writing if you’d like. I’m going to move on.

18:39
So here’s the idea. What we’re going to do is to calibrate what Martha Beck calls our body compass. And we can use that compass to make decisions towards what she refers to as our own true north. So here’s the overview. And then I’m gonna turn off the slides and we can just do this together.

19:00
So first, we’re going to check in with our own body and find a neutral place and call that zero on a scale of negative 10 to positive 10. And then we’re going to find where our negative 10 is; a situation that was definitely not a good situation for you. And I’d like you to give that a name, a name that’s very personal to you and feels appropriate. And then we’re going to find our positive 10, I’d like to end on a good note. And we’re going to think about a situation that was very good for you. And then we’re going to name the feelings associated with that situation.

19:39
And then as you notice these three different, this range of three different feelings, the the neutral feeling, the situation that was definitely not a good situation for you, and that situation that was definitely a good situation for you. You’re going to use those feelings to evaluate, like to think about doing the different things that are on your decisions menu and see where it feels on that scale like, is it feeling more towards the positive thing? Or is it feeling more towards the negative thing? And if both of the options are on the negative side, that’s fine. They might be. But which one is farther negative? Which one is worse? Go with the one that’s a little bit better. So that’s the idea here. Any questions before we get started?

20:36
So this calibration thing will probably take about 15 to 20 minutes, and then we’ll be able to use that and you’ll be able to use it for the rest of your life. Often, we only need to calibrate this once, or maybe every few years, as your life changes and things hopefully get better, or whatever happens. But you don’t have to do this every single time you want to make a decision. Once we’ve calibrated the body compass, you can use that for a long time.

21:04
All right. So I’m gonna stop the screenshare.

21:13
And so I would invite you to start by simply taking a few deep breaths.

21:22
Breathe in through your nose,and out slowly through your mouth or your nose.

21:30
Check in with where you are right now. Are you in a comfortable position? Feel free to adjust where you’re sitting, or lying or standing to make it more appropriate for you.

21:44
And deep breaths in through your nose and out slowly. We’re not going to change anything here, we’re going to find our neutral place. We’re going to simply go through the body, one body part at a time from the toes up to the top of your head. And notice what there is. You don’t need to change it. You don’t need to adjust it. There’s no right or wrong. It’s simply noticing what is going on in your body right now, without judgment, without comparison. There’s no I “shouldn be feeling,” this is simply about noticing what you are feeling, what’s going on in your body.

22:27
So I’d invite you to notice your feet and toes.

22:34
Are they warm? Or cool? Can you feel your feet and toes without touching them?

22:45
And if touching them helps or wiggling them, that’s totally fine.

22:50
Try to check in with your feet.

22:54
Are they chafing against socks? Are they cuddling warm into your knees? That’s where mine are, I’m sitting cross legged.

23:06
And they sweating because you’re so hot?

23:13
How about your ankles and your lower legs?

23:17
What’s going on with them? Are you feeling any pain? Any relaxation? Are you feeling heat or a draft?

23:32
What do you feel in your legs and your ankles? Deep breath in through your nose and out slowly.

23:43
What about in your knees? How do your knees feel? Can you feel your knees?

23:59
If you need to move body parts to help feel them, that’s fine. Go ahead and do that. Sometimes that helps.

24:09
What about your thighs and your hips? What’s going on in there?

24:15
Are your hips in a comfortable position? Are your thighs sweating? Are they cool? Are they relaxed? Are muscles tight or loose?

24:34
Is there any pain in any of the joints or muscles?

24:41
There’s no right or wrong. Simply noticing what is.

24:46
And as you spend some time mentally checking in with that part, do you notice it a little bit more? Or not?

24:58
What about in your lower abdomen, your stomach?

25:09
What are your muscles feeling? What’s the temperature?

25:18
Is your tummy full or empty?

25:23
Is it gurgling or growling? Is anything too warm?

25:33
What about your lower back? What are you feeling in your lower back, your spine?

25:45
Moving up into your ribcage, your chest.

25:51
Deep breath in through your nose and out slowly. What do you notice in your chest?

25:58
And your upper back? Is there any tightness?

26:03
Any clenching feeling? Or is it relaxed? Is it warm or cool? Is there any pain? Or pleasantness?

26:23
What about in your shoulders? Your arms, your elbows, lower arms and hands?

26:36
How are your muscles feeling? Any tension or tightness?

26:44
Or is it relaxed?

26:50
If you think about something and you need to move it go ahead.

26:55
How are your joints feeling?

27:03
Moving up into your throat and your jaw. Is your jaw tight? Or loose?

27:21
Any other sensations?

27:26
What about your tongue, is your tongue laying at the bottom of your mouth or cleaving to the top of your mouth?

27:37
It’s a muscle unlike any other. Is it a relaxed muscle? Is it a tight muscle?

27:44
Anything going on in your mouth? Could be a sore.

27:53
Anything with your teeth. Maybe there’s some residue of a food that you ate?

28:03
Simply notice.

28:05
What about the rest of your face? Your nose? Your ears, your eyes? How do they feel? Are they strained? Are they feeling calm? Is your forehead wrinkly? Or smooth?

28:31
What about the top of your head, back of your head? Anywhere else?

28:38
What do you notice throughout your body now? Deep breath in through your nose and out slowly.

28:50
Allow yourself, allow your attention to expand into all of your body at once, if you can. If that doesn’t work for you, that’s totally fine. Just check in quickly with all the different parts then.

29:06
And notice that this is your neutral feeling at this moment.

29:10
And this is just this moment. When you’re feeling up to it, if your eyes have been closed, you can gradually open them.

29:31
So this is our zero point on the scale that we’re creating.

29:39
This is neither bad feelings or good feelings. This is just normal, neutral feelings.

29:49
In a moment, we’re going to calibrate the body compass with thinking about an experience or a time in your life that was definitely not right for you.

30:01
But here’s the caveat to that. I’m going to ask you in a moment to think of a memory. That was definitely not right. But we’re not looking for traumas, we’re not looking for anything that’s going to be so bad it’s triggering. So bad but not awful. Not life wrenching.

30:25
So if you’re feeling okay with it, call to mind and experience, preferably an extended period of time, weeks to months, or maybe even years, that was definitely not a good situation for you, it could have been a bad job, or a boss, or a bad relationship, a year at school. A work project, something that was going on that you had to deal with, and you could manage, like you could cope, but you wanted out.

31:05
Again, we’re not going into trauma areas.

31:09
So think of a time in your life, preferably one very specific time in your life, not just general bad feelings. And during this very specific memory, I’d like you to think about how it felt.

31:31
If you can even narrow down into one very specific memory, that will help get you grounded in that, and your body is going to start reacting like you’re in that.

31:45
What are you feeling? In that memory? What are the things that you can touch in that memory?

31:53
Ground into that memory for just a moment. What do you smell in that memory? What do you see in that memory? Who were the people around you?

32:09
What are the pressures you had to deal with? The expectations? What are the physical sense sensations, the clothes that you were wearing that day? Just pick one of the days or one of the memories? What was the temperature like then?

32:45
If your body is starting to feel like that, for the purposes of this activity, that’s a good thing. And I promise it’s not going to last, we’re going to do something better after this. So you’re not going to get swallowed up by it.

33:05
So we’re gonna do that body scan again, not quite as slowly, because we don’t want to stay here too long. But we’re going to do essentially the same thing. While you’re mentally in that memory, how do your feet feel?

33:22
Are your toes curling up? Are your feet tighter? What are your muscles doing? What about your legs? Your lower legs, your knees, your thighs?

33:40
We want to create that same feeling. Just for a short little while. How are the muscles in your legs and your knees?

33:57
Do they want to move? Do they want to do anything? My legs are kind of wanting to curl up and curl into a little ball. That’s my typical stress reaction.

34:11
What is yours? What are you want to do? Do they want to run? Do they want to hide? Do they want to kick.

34:20
What about your hips? Your abdomen, your stomach?

34:25
What do you feel in there? Is there a clenching feeling? A numbness? A pit? Is it electricity?

34:39
What’s going on for you in this tummy? abdomen? Hips? Now what about your upper back, your chest? What’s going on in there? Is there clenching, a tightness, a numbness? Is your heart racing? Or are you not noticing much at all anymore? Is it a number feeling?

35:12
Is it a feeling like you need to run, to get away? To lash out? To curl in on yourself? What’s your feeling?

35:23
What about your shoulders and your arms and hands? Are they clenching up? Are they tight? Are they wanting to do things? Are you feeling like you’re really need to get up and move and just take care of a few things? And if you could just do something, it would be okay? Or do you want to not do anything again?

36:04
What about your throat and jaw, your head? What’s going on in there?

36:43
Let yourself feel your whole body at the same time, if you’re able to manage it. If you can’t, that’s totally fine. Just check in quickly with the different parts.

36:54
So this is going to be your negative 10 feeling. These are the things that you want to avoid in the future as you’re making decisions.

37:14
All right, now I would invite you to physically shake your body a little bit, we’re going to try and get rid of this sensation. Shaking can actually help. Animals do this when they’ve had a scare. If you want to get up and jump around, that works.

37:34
Here’s another one that I like. Swiping down from your shoulder to your hand. And switching to the other arm, you can do this on your thighs as well. Slide it down your legs, you wanna get rid of that icky feeling.

37:56
You can massage your neck or your jaw.

38:07
Stretch it out, twist move.

38:12
Take a few deep breaths through your mouth and let it out through your mouth through your nose.

38:19
When you breathe in through your nose, that actually activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax and feel good. When you breathe in through your mouth, it increases your sympathetic response. So breathing in through your nose can help you calm down a little bit. Breathing in through your mouth will help you activate and feel more intense, if that’s what you need.

38:55
If you got really subdued, you might want to breathe in through your mouth to feel a little bit more awake. If you got really intense you might want to breathe in through your nose to calm down a bit. Do what works for you at this moment.

39:09
All right. So now we’re going to do the good one, the happy one.

39:16
So we’re going to find our positive 10 on this scale. And I’d like you to think of a memory of a time that was really good for you. Now, here’s a couple of caveats to that. We want to pick a time. Like a very specific time. This one doesn’t have to be an extended memory but maybe it’s a day maybe it’s an hour in which everything was just going exactly the way it feels right for you.

39:47
Here’s the caveats. Pick something that doesn’t involve a lot of other people. Especially not grown up people, maybe a small child is probably fine. Another animal would work well, maybe time in nature, maybe when you’re alone.

40:06
But other adults or older children tend to bring in a lot of complicated feelings. And we want to keep this as simple feeling as possible. So small children usually create a fairly simple response, especially when it’s a good memory. Or animals generally provoke a very simple response. Time in nature does that. Time alone can do that if it’s a good feeling. So pick something that you can recall to mind.

40:50
And want to feel into that again, with as many sensory sensations as possible. So remember, what was going on, what you were doing, maybe you were just taking a hike, lying on the beach. Maybe you were petting your dog or your cat, a good happy uncomplicated memory of a situation that was just right for you. Even if it was just a few minutes or an hour or so.

41:30
What were you Where were you physically then? Were you standing or sitting, lying down? Were you walking? Running? What was going on around you?

41:46
What are you feeling? Like physical objects or clothes or chairs? That kind of thing? What is the smell in the air? Is there any food involved?

42:10
Anything else that comes to mind? What are you hearing around you? Are there bird chirps or the sound of water? In a river? Sound of a baby laughing?

42:35
Maybe you feel your cat purring on your lap in this memory? What are the physical sensations that you can identify with?

42:52
And notice how it affects your body.

42:56
How it can create those same physical sensations right now in your body, just to think about it.

43:02
We’re going to do that same body scan. Starting with the toes and working up, about the same pace we did last one.

43:12
So we’re gonna start with your feet. How are your feet feeling in this memory. Like right now, as you’re thinking about this memory.

43:25
Are they relaxed, curled, tight, loose, warm, cool?

43:33
If you’re in a heatwave at the moment, maybe you can try and remember how they felt in the memory.

43:39
What about your legs? Your lower legs, knees and thighs Are they relaxed? Are they loose? are they wanting to run? Are they wanting to sit? Are they wanting to veg out? What’s going on with your legs right now?

44:16
What about your hips? Your abdomen and belly? How’s your tummy feeling right now, thinking about this good memory? Is it loose? Is it tight? What does your belly want? What is it feeling right now?

44:47
What about your back? Your ribs, your chest? How does your chest feel?

44:57
How does your heart feel? What’s your heart rate, in this memory?

45:04
Is it fast with physical activity? Like the good kind of heart racing? Is it relaxed and slow? While you’re lying somewhere enjoying yourself? How’s your heart feeling? How’s your chest feeling?

45:37
And how was your jaw? Your shoulders, your arms, your hands?

45:49
Are your hands holding anything? Are they relaxed? Are they loose? Are they tight?

46:02
What are you feeling in your hands, your arms, your shoulders, your jaw? Moving up to your mouth, your eyes and nose and ears?

46:16
Is your forehead smooth and soft, or wrinkled? Like worry wrinkles. Do you have any worries at all in this memory?

46:32
Stick with the good feelings. If there’s a couple of those worried feelings, stick with the good stuff.

46:36
Now let your attention expand into your whole body if you’re able. If not, that’s totally fine. Just check in with different body parts one at a time. And feel this feeling of ‘things are just right for me.’ This is your good feeling this is your positive turn on that scale we’re creating.

47:05
This is your ‘everything is just the way I like it at this moment.’

47:17
It doesn’t have to be, like everything is perfect in your life, but right now, at this moment, everything is fine.

47:25
Take a few deep breaths in, in through your nose and out through your mouth. If you’ve had your eyes closed, you can slowly open them in your own time.

47:42
I invite you to check in with that list that we made at the beginning. Pick one of the small items, the small decisions that you’re thinking about, and think about those two options.

48:00
Pick one of the options to start with. and imagine actually doing that thing. As you’re imagining doing it, how does your body feel? Can you give it a number on that scale from negative 10 to positive 10?

48:27
What does it actually feel more like? And how close to that extreme bad or the extreme good are you getting? And when you’ve got that feeling, go ahead and think about the other option, and how does that feel? Where on that scale, would you rate it?

49:08
Now what’s the difference between those?

49:14
Maybe you get two very different numbers. Maybe they’re just a little bit different. What is your body telling you that, between those two options, is better for you? Which one is closer to the good feeling?

49:38
And you coming up with those numbers?

49:46
Anyone would like to chime in, you’re welcome to, you absolutely do not have to share. I don’t want to pry into personal stuff. But I would like leave the opportunity available.

50:03
I just wanted to say that I think it’s interesting because both are on the positive end, but one is more positive, which makes me think of what you replied to Samantha when she was talking earlier. Like, which one feels less bad?

50:15
Yeah. It’s nice that you have two positive options.

50:21
Yeah.

50:23
And this is good for some of those situations in life where you’re like, I don’t know which one to choose, because I like them both.

50:30
Right.

50:31
Which one feels better to you? Which one feels closer to your ideal, good version of yourself and of the life that you want?

50:43
Even if it doesn’t, if you don’t necessarily know why. Sometimes you can’t actually explain it. And this is why these body sensations, they often, we can’t understand that logically, like it doesn’t make sense in our head, why one would be better than the other. And maybe, logically, one of them does sound like a better option, but one of them feels like a better option. Our body holds so much wisdom about what is right for us that we can’t put into words. But that’s real.

51:22
So try this with another decision on your list, you can pick another small one, if you’d like or one of the medium ones.

51:33
Think about doing one of the options. Imagine yourself actually doing it, and check in with your body about what the sensations are that you’re feeling. And check in with the other one, imagine yourself actually doing it. Where are those two on the scale?

52:24
So here’s my suggestion. We are often better at doing this with small decisions, things that aren’t like life changing things to practice on for a little while. If you want to just jump into the big decision go ahead and see if you’re getting a very clear response. But if you want to stick around with the smaller and medium decisions for a while, that’s totally fine too. It’s up to you.

53:01
Do you get a very clear answer?

53:06
If you want to stick with smaller decisions, medium decisions, see if you can get clear answers with some of those.

53:42
Alright, so any other questions? Or feedback, anything you’d like to share? So I’d invite you to, on your own time, you can go through all the decisions on your decisions menu that you wrote down, and one by one, go through them and just see what feels right. And maybe there’s other options. Than just the two.

54:41
When you come up with new ideas, new strategies for meeting the goals that you have. That probably sounds weird. That actually, probably should be its own whole workshop, I’m just thinking.

54:58
Let me rephrase it this way. When you come up with new ideas on how to have new options for doing the things that you want to do, or especially the things that you don’t want to do, you can check in with each of those new options to see where your body feels about it on that scale from negative 10 to positive 10.

55:24
So I would appreciate

55:25
if you would give me a little bit of feedback on this workshop so that I can make future ones better, I’ll put the link to this feedback form in the chat in just a second. And if you want to contact me, here’s my contact information. You’ll also get this in an email that I’ll send out with the recording, probably tomorrow. So you can watch this over and over if you feel so inclined. Alright.

56:04
Oh, and I do have, if you’re willing to stick around for just one more minute, I would like your input on what workshop we should do next. So I have two different ideas. We could do a practice, on anti-anxiety practice for reducing unwanted thoughts. Or how to start investigating your own sensory differences.

56:32
I’ll probably end up doing both of those at some point, but what’s more interesting?

57:00
Alright. Any last votes?

57:09
So that’s a pretty clear. There we go, that’s everyone. Okay, so the, the overwhelming majority opinion is to talk about how to start investigating your sensory differences. So that will be probably in October.

57:35
I’ll send out the information about that shortly.

57:43
All right. That’s what I’ve got for you today. Any last thoughts?

57:48
I just wanted to say thank you.

57:52
You’re very welcome. All right.

57:59
I hope that this was helpful for you that you can use it throughout your life. Take care. Have a neuro wonderful day. Bye.

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Heather Cook

Heather Cook

Heather Cook is an autistic writer and autism coach. She finds joy in helping neurowonderful adults, teens, and parents find and remove the hidden barriers that are holding them back, so their natural strengths can shine.

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