- Toss a coin? Are you nuts? That´s no way to make important decisions!
I had been sitting deep in my thoughts. I needed to make a big decision about my job. It seemed that the more I thought about it, the more complicated the issue became in my mind. My friend had invited me over for lunch and now looked at me with a slightly bored expression. No wonder - I hadn´t talked much, thinking about my problem.
- Why don´t you try? I have a special coin just for the occasion.
She opened her bag and took out a small purse. When she opened it I saw only one coin. A genuine old silver dollar.
- This belonged to my grandfather, she said, - And he always used it to make important decisions when he did not know which way to go.
- You mean your grandfather flipped a coin and based his decisions on it?
- When ever he couldn´t decide, yes.
Now I had know her grandfather and always thought of him as one of the most down-to-earth kind of a person.
- You can´t be serious… I looked at my friend, unbelieving.
She just gave me the coin. It felt heavy in my hand.
- Quickly. Decide which answer is heads and which is tails.
Oh what the hey - why not play along. I nodded to show I had made my decision.
- Now toss it.
- Heads. That would be "Yes". But that can´t be so! I mean if I did that, it would mean… What are you smiling at?
She really was, and looked very amused.
- You see: you got your answer.
- No, I didn´t! It showed "yes" but that can´t be right…
I shut up. I got it.
- Now you see why my grandfather used to toss a coin. He did not follow the answer it showed - head or tails, yes or no. Instead he listened very carefully what was his first emotional reaction to the answer the coin gave. And THAT was the real answer. With this coin he passed his analytical mind and let the subconscious wisdom come through.
I looked at the coin in my hand.
- Wow, I never thought about it that way.
- Well - now you know. Can I have my coin back? And perhaps we could have a meaningful conversation from now on?
That we did.
To toss a coin to get answers to questions must have been a habit of man for thousands of years. I remember reading one Donald Duck cartoon as a small kid where our poor duck got into real trouble by tossing a coin to make even the smallest decisions. I found the story hilarious and only later learned that it really is an ancient habit.
Mankind uses many ways to talk to the subconscious - but in the end the point is to listen to your own inner voice and not take any outside "oracle" as your guide. If you start directing your life according to outside advice only, you´ll soon find yourself lost.
Instead learn to know yourself, listen to your own emotions - and respect yourself as the person who best knows best what is good for you. When you learn to do this, there´s no need for you to toss a coin to get the answer - it is enough just to think of the question and the answer comes.
So do this little exercise every once in a while:
1) Relax the best you can.
2) Think of a question you want an answer to and then...
3) Be quiet. Notice any physical sensations you might have. Notice any emotions you feel. Those are signs from your own mind. With time you learn to interpret their meanings and the process gets quicker and more reliable. You are waking up your own intuition.
4) In the beginning you might want to write down your feelings - both physical and emotional. They are easy to forget.