Opinion: Wisdom Workout

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A Balancing Act

Discernment is the ability to notice fine-point details and to show good judgment. This ability requires a healthy working relationship between our emotions and our intellect. How we feel and what we think are two distinct avenues from which we access a constant stream of information.

When we use our thoughts to self-criticize and then dramatize those judgments into a soap opera, our working relationship between our thoughts and feelings needs attention.

When either our thoughts or feelings dominate, power plays rule.

If our emotions are ignored, they begin to influence our imaginations in the negative, creating worst case scenes of doom and gloom.

Next, our mind kicks into over-drive and dredges up all similar memories from the past, to explain why things aren’t working. It is because we are too old, too young, too poor, too… fill in the blank. This litany continues until we are fatigued and depressed.

How can we reverse this downward spiral? Our emotions and our intellect have their own areas of expertise. The intellect supplies opinions. Opinions based on past personal experiences that worked or didn’t work. “The last ten times we took this action and it worked. I believe it will work again.”

Then the emotions go to work. “I know we did it this way the last 10 times, but this time it doesn’t feel right. It feels dangerous.” We now enter into the realm of the unknown. “Not knowing” requires patience and trust. It is also the first step in courting our intuition. When we elevate “not knowing” to a sacred place, we become open and receptive to discerning solutions. Intuitive nudges begin to emerge.

The intellect likes to take experiential short cuts that bypass the emotions. It likes to operate on automatic pilot to conserve energy.

“We do it this way because that’s the proven way to do it. Do it the way we’ve always done it.”

Sometimes that is the best decision. It saves time and gets the job done.

When we are confronted with issues that have a lot more at stake, our mental and emotional partnership is called on to make an investment of energy that requires the personal and impersonal to work together.

Mental clarity and emotional honesty attract new possibilities. This working partnership requires us to surrender ego driven, attention-seeking dramatics in favor of patience, emotional and intellectual honesty and respectful receptivity to new points of view.

The benefits of creating a healthy, respectful relationship between our intellect and our emotions are increased effectiveness in decision-making and long-term efficiency in problem solving verses quick fix activities that distract from or cover up the real issues. We become proficient in creating lasting solutions.

It takes a good measure of self-trust to allow both our intellect and our emotions to live and function in the same town at the same time. Self-trust comes as a result of cultivating a core connection with our inner guidance, forgiving ourselves for past errors in judgment and seeking learning experiences that teach us that our best answers are indeed housed within, rather than outside in the rule book of “everybody does it this way” or “the experts say, so it must be true.”

Our unique life path will be fashioned from our own unique wisdom base and backed by balance and harmony between our intellect and our emotions.

Susan is a local author and facilitator and has over 40 years experience in the human potential field. Connect with her at susanvelasquez.com.

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