How much is that doggie in the window?

Dr. Jenn McCabe

Founder of Radical Relating, Director of the World Makers Leadership Program, and CEO of Lead. Gather. Relate.

Are you pondering a willful act right now?

Maybe you’ve been on the fence about a new workout class? Maybe you’ve been thinking it’s time to look for a new job? Do you know where you are in the process? It can be helpful.

We all follow this path – want/intend/decide/do.


To want is to acknowledge that, well, we want something.

Duh. Right? Don’t worry, we’re going somewhere with this. I’m sure you can think of a few things you want – maybe it’s a job where people are pleasant to one another, maybe it’s a more loving, fulfilling relationship, losing 15 pounds, or maybe it’s a dog. Maybe you really want a dog. I know I do. Wanting is wanting, there’s not much action associated with wanting. There’s pondering, imagining, maybe even petting the dogs at the adoption event.

And there seems to be a dark side to the wanting. We start shoulding on ourselves. Pun intended. We should be working on our relationship. We should be exercising more. We should be looking for a new job. Or we go the opposite direction – we shouldn’t want a dog. Positive or negative shoulding isn’t helpful.

You want what you want.

Isn’t it okay that you’re just in the stage of wanting? Resistance to the wanting is simply a use of energy that is altogether unnecessary. Woof. Did I mention I want a dog?


To intend is to gather information.

This stage of our action is marked by clarifying our want. When you’re in this stage you may seek out other people and ask them about their approaches. You may also observe others who already have what you want. A big dog or a medium sized one? Maybe a dog that has the hypoallergenic fur? Hmm. A rescue dog? How much do the first year shots cost? How will I care for the dog if I have to work? Gather, gather, gather: all leading up to deciding.

Or not. Have you perseverated at the intend stage? Me too. It’s like a big pothole that swallows up my movement towards deciding to act. Gather, gather, gather can turn into a never-ending cycle that leads, well, nowhere. And maybe that’s the point.

Maybe you don’t really want what you think you want. It’s possible. So too is that you’re just not ready. Lots of my clients like to do a little self-beat down right about now. Please don’t. Please consider that you may need more time and that it’s part of the process – your process. Let it be whatever it will be. Beating yourself up is another energy drain and you are waaayyy too precious to be bringing yourself down.


Do you know what a decision feels like?

I wonder if you are thinking there are different kinds and therefore different feelings with each kind? I ask because I too used to think there were at least two types of decisions. One type takes a lot of convincing and then there are the ones that are light, effortless, and easy peasy. Are you familiar with the first? Let me draw you a picture – you’re dragging yourself through it. The decision feels heavy, hard, conflicted. You make it more or less to release the discomfort of the discomfort rather than from a place of sovereignty. In other words, this type of decision-making feels like crap.

Want to know a secret?

It’s not a decision… It is not a decision. It’s an act of the intellect that is leaving your body, brain, and most importantly your heart, soul, and will behind. Oops!

You know how I know? Decisions are acts of the will. Decisions are light, and when made take no effort. They’re life-expanding, not life-constricting. Decisions are just – ease. To decide = alignment. Alignment means not heavy & not hard. Just ease.

What to do with this? Well, if you’ve made a decision that feels anything but light, you might want to take another look at it. Maybe you aren’t ready to move forward or you have a different want that you haven’t given voice to yet.


What’s left after that? To do is to act.

Once there’s alignment, once it’s a decision marked by ease – act! Do it! Do it! Do it!


Continue Reading in Sovereignty

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