Everyone from Arianna Huffington to Einstein has talked about the benefits of cultivating wisdom. And we know from science that our brain needs support – that it’s prone to decision making errors that can often lead us astray.
But, how exactly do we cultivate wisdom? How can we know when it’s speaking to us?
Unlike our cognitive mind, wisdom doesn’t speak to us in clear direct sentences. And it doesn’t lecture us or repeat things, hammering things into our head like an overgrown drill sergeant.
Instead it speaks to us in whispers. Gentle invitations extended to us throughout our days, in the small cracks of time between work meetings and carpools. Here’s how:
Wisdom speaks to us through the body.
It takes practice but if you regularly close your eyes and sense into your body, you’ll notice a host of sensations in there. Places where things feel warm or cool, tight or open. Allow yourself to get curious about these sensations and open up a whole world of wisdom waiting for you. Try the body scan meditation to help you tune into the sensations in your body.
Wisdom speaks to us through images. Flashes of insight that show up to us through our mind’s eye.
You might be in the grocery store but get an image of yourself in the future shifting into another place in your career. Or you might see yourself in nature, on a path or on a mountain, exploring a figurative world that has a very real message to offer you. When you get these images, cultivate wisdom through curiosity.
Rather than passing these images off, bring your awareness to them, allowing your attention to stay with them for one second longer. Trust that this is your intuition speaking to you. Give it time to say what it needs to say.
Wisdom speaks to us through feelings. Emotional responses that our busy world often does not give us time to be with.
Give yourself time to be with your full range of emotions, whether it be joy or anger.
For emotions that are easier to be with, like joy or gratitude, see if you can amplify them. Stay with them one 1% longer and see what wisdom comes from them. Rick Hanson has a good practice here.
For emotions that are harder to be with like anger and grief, see if you can find courage and compassion for yourself. Learning to breath through difficult emotions, will also lead to wisdom. Check out this practice here.
Sometimes we get hints from the outside world. Coincidences we weren’t expecting. A friend that shows up with something you need to hear. A work training you find out about at the right time. Trust that this is your wisdom seeking out what you need. Trust that you are being supported.
Wisdom speaks to us in subtle ways but it’s always speaking! Train yourself to cultivate wisdom and listen for sensations, images, feelings and synchronicity. Even better, coach yourself to act on the intuitive guidance you receive. The more you learn to act on your wisdom, the louder the voice of wisdom will become.
Get Spirit Hacking
Every week I share one piece of research, one quote and one practice to help you decrease anxiety, live with purpose and fuel your high potential.