One friend asks, “Should she change jobs?” Another thinks about changing her whole career. A coworker describes her internal debate: “Should she buy a house or continue to rent?” Someone else talks about graduate school versus yoga teacher training.
“A choice between goods” is one definition of discernment. Not right or wrong, good or bad, but a choice between goods.
But how do you “do” discernment?
Years ago a spiritual director gave me this list of tools for discernment:
Sitting still (several times a day)
Get quiet and listen for the subtle
Think and feel
Then use your gut, your courage and your integrity.
Another good discernment practice, if you have time, is this:
Fully describe option A to yourself: the graduate program, the classes, location, books, homework, money, and benefits, people. Declare (to yourself) that this is the choice you have made. Live as if that is the final choice—that and only that for two weeks. Pretend to yourself it’s a done deal and go about your life as if that is true. Pay attention to your body, energy, heart and head.
After two weeks again fully commit yourself, but now to option B. Again, make full mental commitment—two whole weeks. Now what do you notice or sense in your body, mind, heart, energy? Write about what you notice and sense. What messages do you get?
Talk to people who have chosen either of the options –or similar ones—and then pray for a sign.