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Ever had a big decision to make? You have several options, and have weighed them all ... but are you are just unable to decide which way go. Have you ever flipped a coin to get an answer? Or, consulted a method of divination?
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From Wikipedia: Hydromancy - The calm surface of water after being disrupted. There are many methods attributed to Hydromancy, including noting the ripples, color, ebb and flow of the water

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For this Coffee Hour / Open Thread, beyond the fold, lets have a discussion about divination and decision making while enjoying our favorite beverages and sharing cookies. So, what things are you trying to make a decision about? And, how will you decide? As always, what is for dinner? What is on your mind? And, how are you today?

When I was younger I had to decide what college to go to. One was in San Francisco, and I had to get student loan to attend it. Plus, I had to take a long bus ride to get there. The other was local community college where all my friends were.
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From Wikipedia: Taromancy - Celtic Cross card spread
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I could not make up my mind. So, while on a visit to the one in San Francisco I determined it was time to decide. I went outside on the street and reached into my pocket and pulled out a coin.
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From Wikipedia: Palmistry or chiromancy - The Fortune Teller, by Caravaggio (1594–95; Canvas; Louvre), depicting a palm reading

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I said to myself that no matter what I would let the flip of a coin decide. I said I'm going to stick with the coins decision and see it through. So, I picked a side of the coin and tossed it in the air and allowed it to hit the ground.
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From Wikipedia: Tasseography - The practice of tea leaf reading.

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It came up indicating that I should go the the college in San Francisco. I returned into the administration office and started the process of the registration.
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From Wikipedia: Astrology

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Much later I came to the conclusion it was the best thing to do. The classes were more challenging. I left behind my friends at the community college. They were a distraction anyway. And I gained a degree of independence by commuting to the "big city" San Francisco.
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From Wikipedia: An arithmancer from Atalanta Fugiens (1618), by Michael Maier
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Please check out this list of Methods of divination. I'm amazed at the variety and number of methods.

So what method do you use to make a decision? This is an Open Thread / Coffee hour.

Poll

What would you do to help yourself make a decision?

5%1 votes
31%6 votes
0%0 votes
10%2 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
10%2 votes
5%1 votes
21%4 votes
15%3 votes

| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I pray/meditate to center my thoughts. (9+ / 0-)

    And work towards decisions that first do no harm and preferably create life for myself and others - though I'm not always successful.

    Howard Dean will always be my president.

    by 4democracy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:06:17 PM PST

  •  I love the tarot even though I'm a rationalist (9+ / 0-)

    The way I am able to reconcile the two is by seeing the cards as a rich library of symbols and patterns.  My brain can then organize those symbols and patterns into a story that fits the momentary circumstances and gives advice or guidance that is meaningful to me -- a story that tells me what my own unconscious is really trying to tell me.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:13:49 PM PST

  •  All of the above at one time or other, (8+ / 0-)

    and I have a big decision coming up in the not too distant future: To go back home to the US or stay in Europe, where I have been living for the last 25 years. I hope I make the right choice, but I don't know how I will get there yet.

    „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

    by translatorpro on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:15:15 PM PST

  •  If the choices are all morally correct, (9+ / 0-)

    I tend to go with which would be the most fun.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:15:54 PM PST

  •  A Little Story (8+ / 0-)

    When I went to college (state school in Illinois) the college, statewide was putting in a program called Wellness. Wellness of Body, Mind, and Sprit. The thinking of if you could bring wellness to these three areas of your life, you would lead both a productive and happy life. In fact every incoming freshman had to take a class called Wellness 101. There were flyers. Table-top brochure in the Cafeteria. All kinds of stuff promoting the concept (which I still feel was way, way ahead of its time!)

    Looking back more than 20+ year later it was, next to typing, one of the better classes I ever took.

    At the time I didn't really know how to budget money. Balance a checkbook. How to use a library (alas this was pre-Internet days). I didn't really know about the Food Pyramid. A lot of things I should have known, well I didn't know. Another thing the class focused on was planning and/or how to make set goals and objectives and make decisions. I recall them giving us this huge piece of paper, like two feet wide and 5 feet long. We were told to plan and set goals and objectives for this semester, next year, one year, five years, 10 years, 25 years.

    I still have that piece of paper .....

    At this point I became and still am a near obsessive note and list taker. It is rare there isn't a mechanical pencil, little notepad (Moleskine is my favorite), and a legal pad more than a few feet form me.

    I make list about making lists ....

    So when I make a decision I tend to map out (doing a lot of Mind Mapping lately) the pros and cons. What the decision will mean. Or I just put thoughts to paper and then ponder said thoughts and make a decision. It tends to usually work pretty well for me.

    BTW: I realize this isn't exactly a spiritual way to approach decisions, but it fits in w/ my "Zen" approach to things, cause later I can ponder what I've written down while working out, which for me is where my mind is usually most focus and cluttered free :).

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:17:11 PM PST

  •  The decisions I have trouble with are 'optional'. (8+ / 0-)

    The big decisions are fairly distinct and if you have multiple options, you can usually discern a best path in those decisions.

    The little ones usually just involve preferences usually, so be honest with yourself in both big and little decisions and most decisions are clear cut.

    The most problematic decisions are those based in want vs. need and the preferences up and down those scales. I've wanted to spend money on some furniture all year, but my need was less than my want, though there is a need there too, but I have done without as well so could do without longer while I made my decisions.

    I spent months letting things just sit, and every now and again I'd go hunting for my target pieces to see what was new, what I did not find before and if any new deals had come up, and if there were old ones out there expired to no longer consider.

    I finally decided on what I wanted. I'd seen a few things that were compelling but requiring double to triple what I had budgeted and the pieces had other issues, but I went with pieces I knew I would like and want to have long term. I just did not think the novelty f something triple what I had budgeted would last.

    So, the fact that the optional preferences existed and that there was a scaling want vs. need factor, and I had done without those things for so long anyway made the decision much harder.

    Adding to the difficulty was the spending itself. I've had to learn to spend money again as I went a long time denying myself things for others, that even though I am stable now, I still have this desire to deny myself some things and hold on to what I have just in case.

    I think rational honesty with oneself will make most 'best' decisions obvious.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:18:23 PM PST

  •  Am horrible at making decisions (10+ / 0-)

    There are times that I have simply thought too much, ultimately driving myself crazy and becoming so stressed that clear thinking was not possible.

    I am a big believer in prayer and that helps in calming me and bringing things back into focus.
    Talking to my husband helps a great deal, too.
    Some times I find it better to do nothing and let things take care of themselves, and there are occasions where that works.
    It depends on the decision.
    There are times I just forge ahead without reason, and usually that works out, too.

    Dinner was cheese on crackers with a barbecued hamburger.
    Not very hungry today and not complaining at all about that, but I think my subconscious is preparing for the BIG feast this Thursday!

    Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

  •  Ask mrs exlrrp (9+ / 0-)

    She knows everything, just ask her

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:25:00 PM PST

  •  Hello everyone (9+ / 0-)

    Nasty weather here in Oregon.

    My home is surrounded by very old and tall fir trees.

    We are going to remove the trees, but have to wait until next Spring. The ground is too wet now.

    We are having to watch for moving tree roots. May have to evacuate our home.

    I apologize for last Wednesday's diary not being posted. I had one ready and then Dkos went down. Hope to post it this Wednesday. It will have some Fall photos of Oregon.

    "the Devil made me buy this dress!" Flip Wilson as Geraldine Jones

    by BlueJessamine on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:25:19 PM PST

  •  I generally don't do any of those on purpose ... (9+ / 0-)

    ... but I will sometimes follow the "recommendation" of a chance event that strikes me as an omen.

    I'm not entirely sure I believe in omens as such, but ... essentially, if my mind seizes on something and says yes, that's a message, it's telling you to do X, it probably is a message -- and whether it's from God or from my subconscious, I ought to pay attention.

    I also sometimes take the advice of this little verse:

    “Whenever you're called on to make up your mind,
    and you're hampered by not having any,
    the best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find,
    is simply by spinning a penny.
    No - not so that chance shall decide the affair
    while you're passively standing there moping;
    but the moment the penny is up in the air,
    you suddenly know what you're hoping. ”
    ― Piet Hein

  •  Although I chose 'know what to do' (10+ / 0-)

    it's simply that I pretty much always either just make a decision, one way or another, on the basis that any decision is probably going to be better than none, if things are that evenly balanced based upon the knowledge to date, or I choose the one with the least immediate downside - that is, the one that, if it goes bad, will still give me more time to deal with the bad, even if the bad might be worse.

    On the other hand, large portions of my life have occurred based on bets.  I went from my bachelors all the way up to the PhD based on a bet with a friend about which of us could stay continuously in school the longest. (I lost, he did a post doc.  Then I went back for a few more degrees, but it was too late to win the bet, since I'd had a gap in between.)  I did win the one about which of us would stay a bachelor the longest, but really, ignoring the cash and scotch, I still think he won there too, since his wife is gorgeous, intelligent, and generally an all around good person.

  •  I flip a coin. (8+ / 0-)

    If I don't like the result I flip it again until I get result I like.

    What are their names and on what street do they live-David Crosby-"If I Could Only Remember My Name"

    by IB JOHN on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:58:34 PM PST

  •  Being of a logical and scientific turn of mind (7+ / 0-)

    I always examine the entrails of a goat that was born a second twin to a second twin.  None of that primitive superstition for me

  •  I do occasionally take advice. (7+ / 0-)

    My second told me once to get the bedstead I really wanted instead of the one that was okay and would do because I would be living with my choice for many years.

    I did, and will never regret doing so.  

    I've taken that particular piece of advice several times since in regard to other purchases.  And will never regret doing so.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:06:16 PM PST

  •  Procrastinate (7+ / 0-)

    Never decide today what you can put off until tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 03:58:56 PM PST

  •  Do something (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ooooh, translatorpro, SchuyH

    Always do something. At least it makes you feel you are doing something useful.

    One must be careful however. It can very much be like taking a wrong exit at an over pass. It may take awhile getting back on the main path. It will be a trip never the less ... No?

    Say, I have heard that Ami Bera just won your district against incumbent Dan Lungren. Many congratulations to you on this. I know you and others in your district worked hard to get out the vote.

    I had no idea Vallejo and environs had a large conservative streak.

    No more gooper LITE!

    by krwada on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:44:33 PM PST

    •  Vallejo's Congresscritter is this guy: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SchuyH, krwada

      http://georgemiller.house.gov/

      I think the next district over (north-northeast) is Ami Bera's.

      PS. I don't live there, but am originally from the East Bay and have good friends in Vallejo, so I do try to keep up with the political scene there. I think Sacramento is somewhat more conservative than the Bay Area, and Fresno is the home of the guy who founded the execrable Free Republic website (won't link there), so yes, it's a mixed bag.

      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

      by translatorpro on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:19:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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