Opinion: Wisdom Workout 

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Bypass the Mundane  

By Susan McNeal Velasquez  

Even the most exalted states and the most exceptional spiritual accomplishments are unimportant if we cannot be happy in the most basic and ordinary ways, if we cannot touch one another and the life we have been given with our hearts. ~ Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart  

The summer season has officially started. The traffic is bumper to bumper, finding a parking place is harder than winning the lottery, and there is the temptation to hibernate until Labor Day. This assessment is a no-brainer. Therefore, I want to suggest that we all take a moment to choose a way of approaching this summer that will provide an opportunity to embrace more satisfaction and joy no matter what small and petty irritations come with the territory.       

Let’s talk about whole-heartedness. The imagery of the heart is often linked to love and passion, the softer side of life’s experiences.   

In our fast-moving society, matters of the heart are relegated to a back-seat position. The more production oriented you become, the more in danger you are of signing up for a life without heart. A crucial survival skill is the core value of selective perception. We only see what we deem important.  

Our core values drive our decisions. You will consistently make your choices based on your value system. You have no solid foundation when your core values are poorly defined or ignored. This sets the stage for the repeated experience of focusing on upsets and complaints about small and petty annoyances that can leave you in line for the unflattering title of “Debbie or Danny Downer.” 

You have the innate power to create a wholesome and rewarding life. When you decide to fashion a life that works, the process of taking responsibility for your choices begins. Accept both the benefits and prices of your decisions and actions. Push past the demand that life gives you all benefits. Begin to choose what you want to create rather than merely avoiding what you don’t want. 

When you are overly attached to being in control and self-assured at all costs, you set yourself up for a stilted life of pretending to have arrived somewhere while having your creativity hijacked by unacknowledged fears and ignored emotions.  

As you uncover, discover, respect, and act out of what you value, life cooperates by partnering with you to co-create a life that works. 

 I remember when I was growing up, and my youngest brother was about three. He was upstairs in his room playing, and I was downstairs. Next, I heard a crash, and I quickly ran upstairs and found him on the floor crying. I asked him what happened and he said: “Somebody was jumping on the bed…and I fell off!” 

When you are without an internal compass of core values, you jump on the bed of life, going after what you want at the moment. When you fall off, get hurt or derailed, all you have available are your justifications for why it wasn’t your fault. There is simply no way to trick life into giving us all benefits and extracting no prices. 

A strong working relationship with all of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energies begins with a solid value system. Court your inner wisdom, establish and honor your basic values, and you will find the inner guidance to create a life path with heart. 

Susan is a local author and leadership development consultant. Reach her at: www.susanvelasquez.com

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