Decisions can be tough.
Some decisions feel agonizing. A decision gets made, then self-doubt and second-guesses creep in. It’s easy to end up going around in circles, trying to make lists of pros and cons. But none of it helps.
It can often seem like a decision is a battle between the head and the heart. Rationally, it seems things should go one way, but your feelings pull you in another direction.
As long as the decision hangs over you, you feel stuck, and the sense of frustration over not moving forward adds on to the pain of being undecided.
An important decision shouldn’t be made by either the head or the heart.
When decisions are hard, it’s because we have multiple parts of us pulling in different directions, making it hard to find a clear way forward.
Each of those parts has something it’s trying to help you with, or trying to protect you from. What seem to be contradictory directions might actually be different ways to get to the same result.
When you understand and acknowledge what each side is trying to help you do and feel, new possibilities often emerge.
Decisions don’t have to pull us apart…they CAN pull us together again!
Decisions — especially hard ones that create internal conflict — are opportunities. They are profound moments in which two (or more) sides of the self need to be honored and heard in order to move forward from our wholeness.
Often, when it seems there is insoluble conflict, a third way can emerge, one that takes into account the positives of both sides.
In the process, you can get in touch with your deeper needs and values, what really matters to you. You affirm your own power to choose, and move forward, even if what you ultimately decide isn’t perfect.
Get a free taste with Ann’s mini-course
Watch a webinar replay to learn:
- The secret to why some decisions are impossible to feel good about.
- Find out what isn’t right and what is right about either side of the choice… and find your own inner sense of rightness.
- How to find your inner sense of rightness about either side of the decision.
You’ll also learn more about the upcoming course, At the Crossroads.
You’ll learn how to:
- Be open to the possibility that neither side is completely right…and find out what to do then
- Deal with that inner sense of urgency or impatience that can actually make the decision more difficult
- Revisit past decisions that leave you with regrets – so that the feelings of regret release or become milder
- Discover the experience of flowing, grounded action that emerges from your whole self – and find a new way forward
- And so much more…
This course is right for you if:
- You find decisions hard, put them off, or flounder after making them and want to find a better way.
- You want to make choices with more confidence and feel assured that you’re weighing what’s really important to you in the process.
- You want to make daily decisions and choices in a way that’s sourced in your embodied “sense of rightness.”
About Your Teacher
Ann Weiser Cornell struggled with painful addiction, anxiety in social situations, and an inability to do the thing she most wanted to do – write.
Ann created Inner Relationship Focusing with her long-time colleague, Barbara McGavin, to help alleviate the thinking and feeling cycles that kept her stuck in hard places. It changed her life, and it became her mission to help others create quiet miracles in their lives too.
For over 35 years now, Ann’s been teaching this practical, revolutionary process to people all over the world. With her At the Crossroads audio set, you get the benefit of Ann’s expertise and the chance to practice the simple, yet revolutionary process of Focusing with her gentle, compassionate guidance.
A Personal Note from Ann
One of the biggest decisions in my life was when I decided to move from Chicago to San Francisco in the summer of 1983. From a logical perspective, this choice really seemed like a bad idea. Chicago had so much for me – lots of friends, a Focusing community, my work – and most of all, Gene Gendlin lived there, so it was the center of the world for Focusing. Everything was going so well for me in Chicago.
At the beginning of the year, my boyfriend told me he wanted to live in San Francisco. We discussed it… over, sideways, and backwards… and finally, I said it was clear to me that I needed to be in Chicago.
He said, “OK… so we’ll have a long-distance relationship,” and scheduled the moving van for his things. I was fine with that. It was the “right choice.” I helped him pack, and I waved him goodbye.
Almost immediately after he was gone I began to have a distinct pain in the lower right back. It was so definitely present that I went to see a doctor… but the doctor could find nothing wrong. So I did Focusing with it… and the words came, “Staying in Chicago was the wrong choice.”
I did not want to hear that! Chicago had everything for me. The only thing waiting for me in San Francisco was a boyfriend. No friends, no work, no prospects. I was 33 years old. I hated the idea of starting again, like a student, living with housemates, and doing low-paid work.
But the pain in my lower right back was still there… and every time I did Focusing with it, it showed me the same thing. Me in San Francisco felt good. Me in Chicago felt bad.
So I shifted the question. I asked my body: “What would make it possible for me to do this?”
The answer came: “Start a Focusing newsletter.”
Chicago was the center of the world for Focusing. If I had to leave, I wanted to take a part of the center of the world with me. Focusing was starting to be known worldwide but there was no newsletter, no way for the international community to connect.
I knew nothing about starting or running a newsletter. This was not only before the internet, it was even before personal computers. Nevertheless, I knew I could do it, absolutely, without question… and starting a newsletter would make it possible, even interesting to go to California. As soon as I made this decision, the pain in my back vanished.
So I, in turn, called up the moving van. I arrived in San Francisco just as my boyfriend found an apartment for the two of us… dark, small, and cheap! To start my newsletter I wrote to thirty-some Focusing people around the world, asking them to help me by contributing articles. (One of them was Barbara McGavin, my first contact with her.) The first issue was published in March 1984, produced by typewriter and rubber stamps.
Thirty years later… The Focusing Connection newsletter is no longer published. But it went for 29 years, connecting the world of Focusing and opening doors for me that I never imagined. Being in the San Francisco Bay Area also opened doors I could never have imagined. Looking back, that was a decision that could not have been more right.
I’m fascinated by the use of Focusing for decisions. Today I make Focusing-based decisions every day. And as in my story, I’ve learned that the key question isn’t always “What is the right thing to do?” Sometimes it’s “What would make this possible?” or “What’s in the way of feeling whole-hearted about this?”
I love sharing what I’ve learned about decisions.
Ann Weiser Cornell
When decisions seem to pull you apart, Focusing can help you come back together again.
Discover the practical steps to making decisions with your whole self. Join us and explore how you can:
What People Are Saying About At the Crossroads
- -Taj"Growing up in a family where being ‘right’ was ‘god’, making a decision was, for me, fraught with anxiety. At The Crossroads is layered with baby steps that showed me how to discover what my body knows about the right decision for me. So now, I not only have a way out of the anxiety but a way into a truly enjoyable process. I recommend this course to anyone with a current pressing decision and to those who would like to learn an ongoing way of meeting daily decisions."
- Brenda Shoshanna"This was truly a magical and beautiful experience for me. Ann did a magnificent job presenting, with great clarity, wisdom, and compassion for all. The material was extremely focused, well thought out and touched all the right spots. To my great surprise, it opened many doors that I didn't even realize had been long shut and all kinds of new things kept happening. In fact, the basic decision I had to make was quite different from the one I was grappling with at the beginning. All in all, I recommend both this course and working with Ann wholeheartedly."
How Online Courses Work
We use Zoom, an online video conference platform, to connect you to other students and the teacher. Before the class starts you will receive a Zoom link to use each time the class meets. You can join us via your camera-equipped computer, tablet, or smart phone. Prefer not to be on video? You can turn off your camera. Don’t want to call via computer? You can call in by phone. Zoom is free and easy to use. You will be able to sign on in advance to make sure you can access it, but we’ve had very few problems with it. Students also receive access to a private webpage where course materials can be found.
There is no prerequisite for this course. All are welcome.
Continuing Education Credit & Course Completion Certificate
Course meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Focusing Resources, CAMFT Approved CE Provider #62524
Focusing Resources is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. Focusing Resources maintains responsibility for this course and its content.
There is a $25 administrative fee for CE units. Course completion certificates are awarded at the end of the course upon completion of all requirements and the course evaluation. (If you don’t want CE units but would like a completion certificate, the $25 fee does still apply.)
Eligibility for CE units requires at least 80% live attendance. If you miss a class, it must be made up.
Cancellations, Changes & Refunds
Up to 14 days before the first day of class: Just let us know and we'll refund your course fee. Or you can choose to apply the entire course fee towards a future class with us.
Cancellations received 13 days or fewer before class begins: No refund, sorry.
When Something Doesn't Go As You'd Hoped...
We are always open to discussing experiences with our courses that didn’t work for you or didn’t go the way you expected. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to email your course instructor, the staff member in charge of your course, or Ann Weiser Cornell. Email addresses for all these people will be supplied on registration. We will work with you to find a way to meet your needs.
Do I need to attend every class meeting?
You can enroll in this course and listen to the recordings that are available 1-2 days after each class meeting. We call this remote attendance. Please Note: If you attend remotely, you are ineligible for CEUs.
Is this a course with partnership practice?
No, partnerships are not available for this course.
Tell me more about the classroom environment and how course content is provided?
Sure. This course is taught using an online video conference system called Zoom. You’ll receive all the details you need to join us via Zoom prior to the first class meeting. You’ll also receive a private class webpage where homework assignments and class recordings can be found. Participants will be able to communicate via an online forum on the private class webpage.