Is thinking really serving me?
I reflected upon this question after attending a workshop this past year, and it was profound.
For most of my life, people would tell me that I thought too much. In the early days, I simply thought, "You're crazy! You don't think enough!" I would dismiss the feedback entirely, not realizing that this is exactly what was creating my suffering. And boy was I suffering - often feeling insecure and questioning or doubting myself.
More recently, about 3 years ago, I got similar feedback at a Spiritual seminar that I went to. This time, instead of dismissing it, I felt ashamed and embarrassed at the feedback because I didn't really know how to stop thinking so much and I took it as a sign that I wasn't "spiritual" enough. As if that's even possible.
It wasn't until I began learning about how I was creating my experience of reality through thought, consciousness, and mind* that I started to have a glimmer of an insight about this.
Through a series of workshops I attended, books I read, and videos I watched I saw so clearly the difference between thinking and wisdom. I saw that my personal thinking wasn't really serving me, and I saw that I have access to my wisdom on a moment to moment basis. I also realized I could rely on the intelligence of this wisdom rather than relying on the intelligence of my mind.
It was at this point that I saw where I had gone off track previously. Growing up, I had always been strong academically, which in today's times often means analytically. I didn't know when was the time to use this gift and so I relied on it for almost everything. It had gotten me so much positive feedback and praise that it seemed like the "smart" thing to do, especially since I felt so insecure and wanted to stay safe.
Although I had plenty experience hearing my wisdom, especially when I would quiet my mind in baths or when I was listening to others, I simply didn't realize that this was something I could rely on moment to moment. I didn't see that these two intelligences were working at odds within me.
Because I valued my thinking so much, my mind would get very active and I would often find myself on a hamster wheel of thought, ruminating on something there really was no answer to cognitively.
The more I saw that this wasn't actually serving me, the more I began looking for evidence of my wisdom, and it was there!
I went from creating dilemma, confusion, and complication to seeing more good feeling, inner knowing, and simplicity.
I saw that the intelligence of my mind was limited in nature and is more a tool I can use to navigate this physical world reality and not something to confuse with my inner guidance.
After seeing this, I began engaging with Life differently. When my mind would get active, I could feel the discomfort and more regularly began to check in with Wisdom to see what would support me in coming back into balance with well-being.
As I did this, the voice of wisdom got louder and I noticed the feeling of it, which was calm, alive, peaceful and clear.
As this happened, things began shifting in my life. For example, my business began to grow with what seemed like little effort on my part. And as things came up in my business to address, I started being able to do so with greater trust, because I knew wisdom would guide me to the next best step I could take. I also had fresh thoughts emerge and insights occur that helped me make decisions for my business that brought me back into balance with my well-being.
It's not that I don't still experience self-doubt or insecure thinking. I do! It's more that when I'm experiencing it, I can see it for what it is - a momentary state of mind that will pass and that I don't need to confuse with reality itself or take too seriously.
I share this at such length because I have not only seen the difference this has made in my own life, but with my coaching clients as well. When I see my clients trying to "wrestle" a decision down or figure something out with their mind, I do my best to remind them that there is no "right" answer and that their wisdom will guide them as their mind settles.
From this alone, I have had clients become patient with their journey, which counter-intuitively has sped up the changes they have been looking to make.
For example, one client suddenly became clear that she wanted to channel her energy into writing a book after years of feeling caught in the dilemma of what she would do next. I had another client suddenly change the structure of his business and was able to recognize the insight as wisdom simply because he had been looking more and more to wisdom for guidance.
If you hear yourself in all of this, I hope what you'll see more than anything else is that this is perfectly ok, and is a part of our human experience. The other thing I hope you'll see is that you have as much access to your wisdom as anyone else, and by simply looking to this wisdom, it's guidance for you will become louder more of the time.
If you have any thoughts or questions or insights, I'd love to hear them! Please don't hesitate to reach out to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
*The understanding I'm mentioning in this blog is the Three Principles, which were brought forward by Sydney Banks in 1973.
To learn more:
- Visit: http://threeprinciplesfoundation.org/about-sydney-banks/
- Or you can watch Sydney in this video.