A 5-Step Awakening and Action
Process for Life in the New Decade
Are you facing a challenge and ready to create a positive shift in your life?
We each face challenges, transitions, and fears. Sometimes we feel stuck, lost, or worried. Or we feel that something is missing in our lives. Rather than staying stuck or looking for magic answers somewhere out there, how can we discover transformative possibilities and next steps?
Drawing on ideas from the sciences of positive psychology, mindfulness, and neuroscience along with mind, body, spirit integrative practices, in this article I offer a powerful 5-Step Personal Discernment Process to assist you in moving through your current challenges to your next steps on life’s path.
Pause: Mindfully notice you’re breathing.
Listen: Tune into your inner voice – the still small voice that guides you. Listen to messages from your mind, body, and spirit.
Reflect: Notice and identify your feelings and reactions.
Discern: Where do you feel called? Sift through your awareness and intuitive wisdom along with realities, possibilities, and choices. What additional information do you need?
Act: What direction do you want to go toward? What’s the next right thing? Mindfully choose your next steps.
To follow this process, give yourself a few moments for reflection and discernment (Berns-Zare, 2020):
1. Pause: Create an intermission in your day with a few moments of quiet contemplation to help you tune into your inner voice. Make sure you’re in a safe space. Let yourself get into a comfortable position and gently become aware that you are breathing. Simply notice your breath as it flows in and out of your body, breathing mindfully as you meet the moment. Pause here, noticing the flow of your breathing for a brief time that feels right to you.
2. Listen: What’s on your mind and in your heart? What challenges, transitions, or fears are you dealing with right now? Gently notice where your attention gravitates and let yourself lightly be with this challenge or fear for a moment. What is your inner voice, your intuition – the voice that offers you guidance and wisdom – letting you know? What do you know deep inside that perhaps you don’t often let yourself notice? What are you sensing with your inner compass or guide? Perhaps an image, a hunch, a fleeting feeling, or a knowing just waiting there for you to become aware of.
3. Reflect: What are you noticing about how you feel – excited, content, sad, worried, resentful, angry, hopeful, or another reaction? Try to name the feeling or feelings for yourself. What are you noticing in your body? What is your experience?
4. Discern: Consider these kinds of self-inquiries: “What is most significant for me to pay attention to right now?” “Where do I feel called?” “Where do I feel inspiration, such as: energy, joy, understanding, happiness, openness, gratitude, zest?” “Where do I feel desolation, such as: frustration, confusion, anger, restlessness, meaninglessness?” “What do I want to move away from?” “ What beckons to me to move toward?” “What am I aware of now that I hadn’t noticed or let myself see before?”
5. Act: What changed for you during this process? What did you learn? What direction do you want to go toward? What is your next right step?
Are you ready to make a positive shift in your life and put these steps into action?
I share my 5-step Discernment Process in individual coaching, keynotes, and workshops. If you’re ready to contemplate a positive shift in your life or work, or if interested in exploring this 5-step discernment process further for your company or organization, please contact me.
Pause. Listen. Reflect. Discern. Mindfully choose your next steps.
- Berns-Zare, I. (2020, January). Strategies to re-energize and flourish during life’s changes and transitions. Seminar presented at Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Copyright © 2020 Ilene Berns-Zare, LLC
Ilene is a Featured Author on PsychologyToday!
Read her blog series Flourish and Thrive: Navigating transitions with mindfulness and resilience.
Are you ready to give yourself a few moments for reflection and discernment?
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Ilene Berns-Zare, PsyD, PCC, CMC is an ICF Credentialed Professional Coach, Psychologist, Educator, and Speaker. Ilene helps people live their best lives by bringing mind, body, and spirit into flow with their strengths, callings and potential. She inspires clients to find fresh perspectives and access their full potential as creative, resourceful, whole persons. Find Ilene online and access free resources at http://ileneberns-zare.com.
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