The Ways to Wisdom

On this historic day, I am yet again reminded of the universe’s ability to throw an unexpected curveball.  And in that, we all have a choice as to how we respond to that curveball, be it a landslide election, a job loss, a broken promise, or simply a very bad day. 

As I watched the news and observed reactions on social media, I saw fear, sadness, glee, and polarization.  At the same time, and following some powerful speeches, I also saw and heard graciousness, hope, inspiration and wisdom.  It is said that once you come to acceptance, peace will prevail and you can relax into the situation, put it aside and move on.

So, how exactly do you get there? The late cultural anthropologist and educator Angeles Arrien wrote about Four Ways to Wisdom. Essentially they are:

1.       The Way of the Warrior Show up, be visible and empower others through example.  The Warrior uses the power of presence and communication of the right message at the right time to lead others to receive it.

2.       The Way of the HealerPay attention to what is meaningful and access the power of love.  The Healer extends gratitude and acceptance that restores hope and wonder.

3.       The Way of the VisionarySpeak your authentic truth without judgment.  The Visionary brings their voice to the world and lives their purpose.  If the Healer doesn’t act with integrity, the healer will have betrayed him/herself.

4.       The Way of the TeacherBe open to, rather than be attached to, outcomes. The Teacher is flexible and learns how to trust states of not knowing.

The universal truths are that change is inevitable, life happens, and yes, sometimes life is not fair.  As we adjust to situations that we create ourselves or those that are thrust upon us, these Ways of Wisdom can be our goal posts.  You might ask yourself:

·         How do these ways show up in your life now? 

·         What could you do to bring more of the ways of wisdom into your life? 

·         What would it mean to you to be really present, to extend love, to give voice to what you see, or to put yourself out there trusting that the universe will ultimately make the final call?

Whether you connect most with the Warrior, the Healer, the Visionary, or the Teacher, these are all characteristics that you can embody every day and in moments that test you.  We all have the power to live in full choice.