I used to be tortured by ambivalence. One part of me wanted to take action. Another part stopped me, concerned that someone would not like it, that I would make a mistake, that it wouldn't work, or the like. It was horrible.
The tipping point, or at least the beginning of a new trajectory, started when I was 18 years old in a four week course called 'Artistic Decision and Self-Development' with AA Leath. This example sounds so over-the-top crazy that you'll see just how pervasive this issue of ambivalence was for me then.
We were given an assignment to get a piece of colored construction paper and a piece of colored chalk. I could not decide between light blue paper and yellow chalk or yellow paper and blue chalk. I know that sounds utterly ridiculous. But at the time, I was in my typical internal struggle. I was locked in and stuck in my ambivalence.
Finally, I got up to choose paper and chalk. AA (as he is called) came over to me and said, “I want you to put the paper down and go back to where you were sitting and appreciate your indecision.” I thought he was nuts. No one in my life had ever said such a crazy thing. How could anyone APPRECIATE indecision!!! But, a good student, I went back to my place and contemplated this nutty directive.
Finally, in a spacious moment, the clarity of what I wanted emerged. Calmly, I got up and chose my paper and chalk, returned to my space, and completed the assignment.
It was an epiphany. To stop all the effort and to go inside myself for the answer was novel.
I would love to say that I was changed completely and forever from that experience at 18 years old. But that is not true. I was, however, affected deeply. That experience put me onto a positive, new trajectory that included creating the spaciousness to look inward and find out what I wanted from my depths.