This is a time of hard choices in uncertain times. Should you go to the hospital if you get short of breath, or should you ride it out at home? Should you let your child endure the potential damage of remote learning, or should you let your child go to in-person school where it’s allowed? Should you resign from your job so you can home school, but then how will you pay the bills and get your child’s social needs met safely?

Should you risk taking a front line job in order to create security for your family after getting fired from a company that went under?

Should you join a protest to stand up for what you believe is morally just when doing so could get you infected?

Should you divorce a partner who has shown you the dark side during lockdown and won’t get therapy?

Should you file for bankruptcy or let go of your house?

Should you fire your employees once the Jobkeeper runs out or liquidate your dwindling super to keep paying them?

Should you try to buy a piece of land off the grid and find a small circle of people who share your values so you can create a bubble of safety and shared choices? But then what about all the people who don’t have the power and privilege to do this? Wouldn’t it violate your values to turn away from those whose backs your privilege was built upon?

Should you go to see your ageing mother, or protect her by staying away, leaving her lonely, depressed, disoriented, and isolated but virus-free?

And those are just the big decisions.


Most people make decisions by relying solely on mental intelligence – and fear. You study the facts, weigh pros and cons, consider worst-case scenarios, try to avoid regret, and do your best to avoid all risk. Yet these are risky times when avoiding one risk means incurring another. While your mental intelligence still needs to inform your decisions, mental intelligence alone will not hack it right now.

So how else can you make decisions?

Our indigenous ancestors had access to many more decision-making faculties. While mental intelligence is very important, it is only one of the four Whole Health Intelligences I have written about previously.

Wise decision-making uses all four Whole Health Intelligences – your mental intelligence, emotional intelligence, spiritual/intuitive intelligence, and somatic intelligence, or what Executive coach and author of Whole Body Intelligence Steve Sisgold calls “whole body intelligence,” or “BQ.”

Many people have lost touch with somatic intelligence, usually because trauma has caused them to dissociate from the body, leaving them disembodied and cut off from the body’s wisdom.

So what is Whole Body Intelligence and how can you use it to help you make decisions in hard times like this??

Here are some tips from Steve’s “Whole Body Decision Making.”

Step 1: Unplug

Before you make your final decision, take a moment, and turn your focus inward and disconnect from any outside activity.

Step 2: Breathe

Take three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. On the out breath, loosen your jaw and take a sigh.

Step 3: Observe

Scan your body from head to toe. Take inventory of your body experience, body sensations, tensions, your posture, etc.

Step 4: Report

Report what you have noticed in your body—either out loud so you may hear your own voice, or say it silently to yourself.

Step 5: Adjust

Allow your body to return to a natural, relaxed state by moving in some way that shakes off or reduces tension. If you feel tense in your shoulders, for instance, and notice they are high up near your ears, relax and lower them.

Step 6: Visualise

Take a minute or two and notice if you feel more connected to yourself. Breathe slowly in and out.

Step 7: Decide

Now decide on the next purposeful action to take. Take one more conscious breath in and out, stay focused on your intention, and go do it!


Wise decision-making uses all of the four Whole Health Intelligences. Weaving them together like a conductor would orchestrate instruments, not using only one or the other, but consulting them all and making a holistic (whole) decision:

  • Those who claim to make decisions only by intuition often neglect mental intelligence, which can lead to ungrounded, even ignorant, or flat out stupid decisions.
  • Those who rely only on the body can miss out on the spiritual wisdom we can glean from our intuition.
  • Those who rely on mental intelligence without accessing emotional intelligence can hurt people, being ‘right’ without being kind.

When we blend these intelligences together, we can make very unique, individualised choices that also serve and protect the collective.

Times like these demand such decision-making if we are to live ethical, moral, empathic lives.

It can be hard to get your own needs met while also protecting and caring for others’ needs, without recklessly martyring yourself and throwing your own needs under the bus or selfishly feeling entitled to getting your needs met at the expense of others. Using all four of your Whole Health Intelligences will help you make decisions that are not just smart; they are also wise, kind, compassionate, and in integrity with your greatest values.

*This article has been edited, so for the full article please visit the below website.