We often think of wisdom as being something exclusive to saints, gods, gurus, and teachers, but everybody has a vast amount of wisdom and knowledge. However, many of us have forgotten how to tap into it. As children we knew intuitively when something felt right and if someone was honest and true. But as we grew older many of us lost contact with that knowing and began to put more faith in what others said than what our own hearts told us. The inner wisdom is still there, yearning for us to pay attention. Here are simple ways to reconnect with it.
Almost everyone needs a place to step away from the world for a little while each day. Mythologist Joseph Campbell refers to this as a sacred space where we can find ourselves. That space may be an altar that we build in our room, a corner of a shelf, or a place in the attic or in the garden. By going there often and at the same time everyday, we invite inspiration and intuitive insights into our lives.
Labyrinths offer mini-retreats in the heart of the day. Unlike mazes, they follow a single unobstructed path to the center with no dead ends and no way of getting lost. The design of the labyrinth of Chartres Cathedral in France has been copied for use in hospital, university, and city park settings. Walkers who use them say that they are a way of getting centered. They suggest on the move inward that cares and worries be released. In the center, stop and be still for a moment and listen. What’s your heart saying? It may give you a solution or an action plan. On the walk out let the energy build and boost you. You may find a labyrinth in your area by checking
. Desktop labyrinths that can be traced with a finger are also popular. Chartres labyrinth designs can also be downloaded and traced by pen for similar results.
- Embrace your Inner Goddess.
Women are beginning to reconnect with the power of the Divine Feminine. This is the receptive, nurturing, intuitive side that is deeply connected to the joys and sorrows of the world. The Inner Goddess guides the way to deeper joy and fulfillment. Find an image of someone or something that reminds you of your Inner Goddess. Dress up like a goddess and take on the qualities of the divine you most adore—Shakti, Gaia, Durga, Mother Mary, Brigid, or any of the others. What qualities do you see in the goddess you chose to become?
- Check-in With Mother Nature.
Put on your walking shoes and head out to the garden, a forest, or a park. Check in with what’s going on around you. What season is it? What’s changing, growing, blossoming, or dying? Nature is a great teacher. Birds will pair off to build nests and raise families together for a season. Beavers build dams and have the patience to gnaw through huge trees. What messages is Mother Nature giving you today? Is she saying to be patient like the beaver or persistent like the birds who build their nests from scratch? What does the sun teach? It shines on everything and everyone in the same way. It treats all equally. What do you notice today as you go outside?
As kids we were deeply attuned to our intuition. We used active imagination, dialogue, collage, drawing with crayons, and acting out scenes with playmates as ways to see the world differently and experience joy. Find a way to play today. Pick up a pack of crayons and draw something. Make up a song and sing it to a friend.
Pets can teach us love and total acceptance. Dogs will wait at the door and greet us with excitement everyday even if we’re feeling grumpy or down. In Europe on St. Francis of Assisi’s Feast Day, it’s not uncommon to see animals lined up in front of Catholic churches waiting to be blessed. Francis' legendary love of animals continues to inspire many people today. The blessing ceremony aims to thank and honor pets, beasts of burden like donkeys and horses, and cows. As a way to appreciate your favorite animals, create an animal blessing ceremony. Write a poem or say a prayer for them. Offer a special treat and acknowledge the lessons they teach you.
With all of the social media and rush of work and family life, it’s essential to put aside a time to focus and still the mind. It doesn’t need to be for very long; one minute will do. Set a timer and sit down in front of a candle, a flower, or something beautiful. Keep the mind focused on the object you chose for one minute. Your mind will wander. Gently bring it back to the object. You are training it to be still and obey your wisdom self. The result will be greater calm and peace.
Life is an incredible dance. It flows to a rhythm. Learn to move with the flow without resisting and fighting. Dance to express joy and embrace your body. Belly dancing is a wonderful way for women to connect with the Divine Feminine. Move to the rhythms of your favorite music and let your spirit soar.
The still, small voice of the heart speaks very softly. Make space to listen. It will guide you to where you need to be. Sometimes the voice will speak in words like whispers, while at other times it may "speak" as a feeling or nudging of your conscience. Sometimes it more of an assured knowing that something just is. Give the gift of listening to others as well. When your friends, partners, and colleagues speak, really listen with all of your mind, heart, and soul. What are their words saying? What’s going on beneath the surface? By making space and time to listen, your wisdom will grow.