We continue our series on contemplating twelve qualities that are helpful in cultivating inner peace. It takes courage to be willing to look at ourselves and go beyond our conditioning and our often well-guarded beliefs, perceptions, judgments and fears to reveal the ever-present peace within. When we take a moment to stop, be still, notice our breath, we are able to become aware of the presence of patience. This patience is not of the mind but beyond it, it is felt deep within and is powerful as it carries deep wisdom and understanding. It moves from a place of responding instead of reacting, from power not force, from love not fear.
After cultivating courage and patience we turn to wisdom. Do you seek the wisdom of the world or Divine wisdom? Contemplating this question is important for anyone wanting to cultivate inner peace and the experience of a direct connection with their Divine wisdom.
Have you ever found yourself in information overload or stressed out when trying to make a decision? Often in our decision-making process we collect information and then ruminate on and on about it. We look at it from all angles - maybe asking others their opinion, thereby collecting more information to ruminate on. This may go on for an hour, a day, a week, or longer - our mind just will not stop. We believe that if we think about it long enough, talk it through one more time, be logical, it will all lead to the 'right decision'. We experience fear, anxiety, and worry. We often just wish the question would answer itself so that it will be the 'right' answer. Sometimes we even pray, "God, please, PLEASE, just tell me what to do"!
Our world associates wisdom with worldly knowledge and the collection of information. But, have you ever met someone who resonates a deep wisdom, a wisdom you could tell wasn't about what could be learned in books, or that is considered 'worldly', but a deep intuitive knowing? They possess the ability to listen to and honor their Divine knowing. What do they have that you don't? Nothing.
They courageously and patiently listen within. They spend time with themselves, in stillness and quiet. They connect the knowledge of the mind with the wisdom of the heart. They don't fear what others will think; they aren't concerned with worldly knowledge, as they have found their home in their innate inner wisdom. For in this place rest a deep well of peace-filled knowing which allows them to move forward through their own inner guidance.
In our ruminating, our fear and anxiety, we constrict our hearts and minds - we close ourselves off to this innate wisdom. The HeartMath Institute's research calls this "incoherence". We go out of equilibrium when we are stressed and our heart rhythms will show a corresponding erratic jagged pattern. This affects our mind, our body, our emotions and our health. It conceals our true nature as Divine Beings and our innate wisdom.
How can you access this inner wisdom? Bring yourself into coherence by taking a moment to allow yourself to sit quietly. Bring your attention to the breath, notice that you are breathing. Then bring your attention to the rise and fall of the chest, focusing in the center of your chest. Now breathe into your heart, focus on your breath as it moves in and out through the center of your chest. Relax, let thoughts come and go without holding onto them.
Now imagine a time when you felt great love and appreciation - really see the situation or person, really feel the feelings of love and appreciation. As you are aware of breathing in and out through the center of your chest you are feeling and imagining that moment of great love and appreciation.
It only takes a couple of minutes to bring your heart and mind back into coherence. Notice how you feel now. How does it feel in your body compared to a few minutes ago? Now listen patiently within. There will be an innate knowing; it may be subtle or very strong. Allow yourself to know what you have always known.
Notice that this wisdom is more available now because you are more open and receptive. Notice that you know intuitively what to do next. Now, courageously move forward, peacefully trusting yourself and your Divine guidance.
May we each be willing to live from our innate wisdom and bring greater awareness into each moment; seeing beyond the surface of the situation and knowing the Peace that is present, which holds even our greatest struggles in its loving arms.