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Wisdom Workout

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By Susan McNeal Velasquez

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

A Subtle Trap

Is your life a problem to be solved or a reality to be experienced? Your answer may be telling. The primary motivation for beginning a journey of self-discovery is usually the desire to solve a problem. Pain is a great wake-up call. There is an interesting phenomenon that has become a part of our culture. When we approach life as a continuous problem to be solved, we may be misguidedly attempting to reach perfection. When we are endlessly trying to fix ourselves, the motivation may be more ego-driven than growth oriented. Living happily ever after and never paying upsetting costs while receiving an uninterrupted stream of benefits is an unrealistic attempt at achieving ego gratification. When life is enjoyable, of course, that is our preference. Sometimes, it is necessary to grab on, open up and experience the actual pain of a situation so that we can be moved to make new choices. When we approach our lives as a constant fix-it project, there is no room for real growth. True personal growth requires a serious relationship with how life is in the present, as well as a willingness to be flexible and open to new ways of coming to terms with new challenges. Self-help books are great, therapy can be life changing and spiritual disciplines can enhance our everyday life experience. If we hang on too tightly to these tools and burden anyone within earshot with our latest quick answers to life’s problems, it may be time to take another look at our real intentions. We can get addicted to stockpiling answers before life has had time to ask us deeper questions. When this happens, we are at risk of having our life run by fear of the unknown. When our ego is running the show, we can get stuck in a never-ending cycle of berating ourselves one day and over-congratulating ourselves the next. Wisdom coupled with enthusiasm is seductive. Expanding our self-esteem feels good. It makes logical sense that more personal power would feel even better. The danger is in getting addicted to lusting after perfection. Perfect translates into all highs and no lows. Always up and never down. When the inevitable bumps in the road show up, we are ill equipped to handle them with grace and ease because we have become overly identified with the power side of life’s equation. Surrender becomes impossible. The unknown becomes terrifying. We become rigid rather than flexible in our self-knowledge and we become victims of over-achievement turned inward. It can be a bit embarrassing to admit that newfound spirituality is simply that same old hungry ego monster clamoring for more, bigger and better territory. Egomania dressed up in a fancy suit. Here is where the skill of being able to laugh at ourselves comes in handy. The next step is to take a moment to come back to our senses. Take a deep breath, settle back down to earth and reconnect with your basic goodness and the goodness of your life right now. Now ask a few simple questions to re-establish a partnership with your inner guidance. “What needs my attention? What is the highest and best action I can take in my life right now?” Listen for your answers. Imagine a bicycle built for two. God, Higher Self, Inspiration, Intuition, whatever name that connects you to your inner knowing and houses your guidance is sitting firmly in the lead seat. Place yourself in the second seat. Suit up. Show up. Lighten up. Then settle in, keep on pedaling and remember to enjoy the ride. Susan is a local since 1986 and is the author of “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” Reach her at: susanvelasquez.com

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