If you find yourself in such a quandary, find a quiet place where you will be undisturbed. Get settled there and spend a few minutes just breathing and trying to settle your mind.

When you’re calm, think about the choice you need to make and then phrase a question in terms of two or more options—each option should be very clear and actionable. Then ask out loud: “If I have to decide right now and forever, if I cannot change my mind after this, what would I do?” And continue to sit quietly until the first answer comes to your mind. The answer that comes might or might not be “the answer” for you, but it will surely give you an interesting perspective as to what your intuitive mind wants to do here. You can take this gut decision as is, or incorporate this information into your deliberations. Either way, you’ve gained a bit of information on your desires and thought processes.

This process works for big, life-changing decisions as well as for smaller ones. For example, if a couple is unsure whether they want to have children, it’s often because so many other factors are interfering with their thoughts about the idea. Each asks, “do I want children?” and the answers are “I don’t know because my job demands so much time,” or “I don’t know because parenting looks hard,” or they tack on some other thing that has nothing to do with whether they want to have a child. So, instead, if they ask themselves, “If I had to decide right now, for forever, with no changing my mind, do I want to have a child?” Often a clear yes or no will come into their minds.

They don’t have to act on their answers and start planning for a child at that minute, and they might feel differently the next morning. However,  the thought process they went through in reaching this decision can sometimes reveal deep information that’s locked in their minds, like “I definitely don’t want to go through life without having children,” which is something that can be surprising to them. After this exploration into their needs, they still must do the hard work and reach a decision they stand behind,  but it’s easier reaching that decision after having explored this dimension of thought.