middot humility meditation decisiveness in mind

decisiveness in mind

Written by  rebbetzin malkah

art-scale2The Hebrew word for decisiveness is harizut.  Harizut means to cause to run, or to expedite. 

The Hebrew gives us a slightly different spin on decisiveness.  It highlights that it is a middah that acts in a quick way. Once you know what to do, you need not delay. If we do not develop this middah, we can lose the chance at opportunities that may not make themselves known again. By assessing situations more quickly and understanding the choices before you, you can act more decisively and immediately.

The next time you are in a place of indecision, either instigated by you or someone else, practice this simple meditation:

Find a comfortable seat in a quiet place.  First, take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing brings oxygen to your brain and helps clear the mind. Close your eyes. Continue breathing until you feel relaxed.

Imagine that a scale sits before you on a table, the type with two scale pans hanging from chains.  Focus on a decision that is before you, waiting to be made.  Visualize this decision in a physical form, like a "weight", resting on the left pan of the scale.

Now, imagine all of the impediments that keep you from making this decision as "weights".  What are they?  Fear, cost, lack of confidence, lack of knowledge, lack of faith, etc... - what are those weights?  Put them on the right scale pan, one by one, and watch the pan lower and the left scale pan go into the air.  Look at what has happened to your decision....it is up in the air and out of reach.

Now, it is time to bring your decision close to you and deal with it.  Looking at the right scale pan, take off one of the "weights" - an impediment - and contemplate it.  Using the wisdom that Hashem has bestowed upon you and your inner faith, reflect on the possible results of choosing this course of action versus the "weight" before you. Ask yourself, "Will this action take me in right direction?", "What is holding me back?"  "Is this decision virtuous - why am I conflicted?"  As you search out each of those weights very intently and gently implore Hashem,  continue to remove these "weights" from the scale once you feel clarity.

If there is still a weight on the right pan that needs more information or time before it can be taken off, then leave it.  But you must commit to returning to dealing with the "weight" in the very near future so the decision can be made.

Perhaps you have removed the last weight and your decision lies before you: the left scale pan is resting on table, at your level, ready to be taken off the scale and made.  Take that decision and run with it - it is yours to be made.

Sometimes we know what to do, but we lack the strength to do it or we need more counsel, more information to help us make the best decision.   Many times we think so little of ourselves that we paralyze ourselves from exacting real and positive change.  What this exercise will have achieved for you is mental focus, lowering of your blood pressure, controlled imagery, and a moment to truly take decision-making down to a more basic level.  Making decisions in a frenzy or in a scatter-brained fashion does not do the world or ourselves any good. It is our duty to use the gifts that our Creator has given us to harness moments like these; in doing so, we can draw from that still strength that He gives us, be settled, and have the ability to listen and dialogue with the Creator in a less shouting manner.

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