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Do you possess wisdom? What is wisdom, anyway?

There are many answers to the latter question. Some common synonyms for wisdom are discernment, insight and perception. Others think of wisdom as something gained through vast experiences and age. For me, it is much simpler, it is the voice inside each of us that helps us understand the choice that is just right for this moment. When you follow your own wisdom, you feel its effect. There is a feeling of calm and peacefulness, even when the choice is difficult and even disruptive.

Learning to listen to your own wisdom is a skill you can cultivate. The process is simple but it is not easy. It requires patience and consistency. And, perhaps hardest of all, it requires that you take time out of your daily busyness to stop, and to learn to be in your own good company for a time.

The first step to cultivating your ability to listen to your own wisdom is to develop a daily mindfulness meditation practice. For basic steps to learn how to meditate, click here. Make a commitment to yourself to meditate for at least 10 minutes each day. This is the beginning of learning to be more present for your life, and to see what is actually here (not what we thought was here or wanted to be here).

The second step is to learn to strengthen your brain’s innate capacity for reflection. You have undoubtedly been taught to use your brain’s capacity for analysis. But that is only part of the story. Reflection is the other part. In reflection, you don’t search for the answer, you practice with sitting with the question for a time (e.g. what do I need to live my best life?, what is the innovative solution?, etc) and then listening to the answers that arise-not just the quick reactive answer that pops up first, but the answers that may live deeper inside…your wisdom.

As is true with all training of innate capacities of your body, strengthening innate capacities of your mind, like reflection, requires practice. You will find that wisdom has always been there, just waiting to be discovered.