Practice of the Week
Category: Slogans to Live By: Practices for everyone to keep in mind and pay attention to. These practices don't require setting aside a separate substantial chunk of time. Just have the intention to grow stronger in each of these areas as you go about your day, and sometimes make one of them the focus of your daily journaling. The titles of these practices are guiding slogans to live by.
adapted from Jonathan Robinson, Find Happiness Now
Discernment, that is, cultivating and listening to your intuition, is a vital and profoundly valuable process for us, but over-reliance on it can be a trap. The inner guide has important wisdom for you, but sometimes it needs you take some actions so it can use the results in formulating its guidance. In fact, discernment and action work together to help you pinpoint what your Higher Self is calling you to do.
If, upon asking for internal guidance we sense that something feels right or true, that's a message that we're "getting warmer." On the other hand, when something doesn't feel fight, or is somehow unclear, that means we're "getting cooler." It's time to re-evaluate our direction. But we also need the guidance of external feedback. If you share your feelings with your partner and he or she expresses appreciation for you, that's a good indication you're on the right path. On the other hand, if you talk to your mate and he or she gets irritated and upset, that can be an indication there is something off course. By listening to both inner and outer messages, you can better steer yourself to align with your best self.
As spiritual beings, we have a subtle balance to maintain. One part of our task is to take a lot of action, learning from the feedback we receive. The other part of our task is to be as sure as we can that the action we take is inspired from a deep place within ourselves. Action that isn't guided by discernment can lead to a lot of fruitless wheel-spinning. But discernment that isn't informed by feedback from taking action will often be unclear. Finding the right balance of intuition and action is an ongoing process. Yet there are signs that you've veered too far toward either side.
A sign that you're not taking enough action is that nothing ever gets accomplished. Taking action and failing is better than never taking any action at all. We've all known people who have grand visions of what they'd like to create, but never seem to do anything but dream. It's a shame because their ideas may be great. These people need the lessons that only diving into action can teach -- they'll make some wrong turns, and become wiser from their efforts.
On the other side of the fence are people who are always taking action, but who never listen to what their soul is saying. They get a lot done, and sometimes even rise to the top of their industry. Unfortunately, their feeling of dissatisfaction is evidence that they are off course. Taking action predicated only on the desire for personal profit is damaging to one's soul, one's relationship with other people, and to the planet. It is only when we strike the right balance of taking meaningful action, guided by careful discernment, that we can accomplish our dreams and have a good time doing it. By listening to the inner voice and to outer voices responding to our actions, over time we can know what we're here to do and align with our Higher Self. It can be a long journey to arrive at a moment of alignment, but when it happens, it's pure magic.
Use your journal to draft a plan of action for pursuing a yearning of your heart.
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For list of all weekly practices: "Practices of the Week Index"