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  • Writer's pictureGaelle Bretin-Tokpo

3 Ways to Become Wise (part 2)


Hello everyone, My previous post was getting too long so I decided to cut it in half. And here is part two. In part one, I quoted a friend of mine, Jay, who had written a short post on the need to "put principles into practice" which I elaborated on. I also shared my personal experience of the issues that this topic raises. In this post and as promised, I am sharing with you three suggestions and some concrete steps to help you start on your wisdom journey. So make sure you read part one to understand what I am talking about here.

So where should you start to leave the literate parrot behind you and become wiser? That's basically the question I left you with in my previous post. First of all, there is nothing or no way you "should" do or go into because every one has their own path and their own inner wisdom. Not everything works for everyone at all times. Besides, should-s generate self-blame which is a big snake that sneakily prevents personal growth and happiness. And when we say "should" it's usually because we're not going to do it anyway, otherwise we would use "will". So don't think you're losing something if you stop considering your should-s. Now, if there is nothing you should do, there are on the contrary, things you "could" do. My suggestion is that you could start with self-awareness and meditation. Self-awareness is merely observing what's happening with you, with your thoughts, your emotions and your behaviour. Now, no one said you had to allocate hours of your day, especially if you're a newbie in the practice. And if someone said it, what I suggest is that you don't have to listen to them. You could start by allocating minutes of your day, instead. Tony Robbins said that "if you don't have 10 min for yourself, you don't have a life". So at some point of your day, just stop and observe as a neutral and external eye your reactions to situations. Observe the thoughts that turn over and over again in your mind, observe the emotions that show up and seem to possess your body, and observe the sensations in your body, like pain, headache, shallow breathing or heaviness in the chest. Observe the interactions between your thoughts, emotions, sensations and behaviour, and how they respond to each other. Make an effort (don't try too hard though) to actually feel those feelings (emotions and sensations) with your body, with your gut and solar plexus, not intellectually with your mind. If you close your eyes and are in a rather quiet environment it may be even easier. Well done, you're already meditating...! That was my first suggestion. My second one would be that you could do like me and take a break from the turmoil of your life, some re-evaluation time, a couple of weeks or more if you'd like, and join a silent meditative retreat to refocus on and reconnect with yourself. Yes, I'm sure you have at least a week of holiday in the year....! If I meditate everyday, me, the over-thinker, it's literally thanks to my 10-days retreat so it is powerful and I explained why in my previous post. I can recommend you the Vipassana centre I went to, in the Blue Mountains, since I appreciated it and that many of my Aussie friends gave me good feedbacks too. This organisation has centres all over the world though and it's free. You can donate some money, if you want to, at the end of the retreat but there is no obligation. I'll put the link below. Just make sure you apply for it in advance because it gets fully booked very quickly. And if it is, don't hesitate to apply for the waiting list because there are always people who cancel at the last minute. That's how I got a spot. My third and last suggestion is that you listen to your own guidance, your personal wisdom. We all have it. How do you do to listen to yourself? You ask. But don't ask what you "should" do. Ask instead what you "could" do. What would be easy and pleasurable to do? What is it that you feel like to start with? The first idea that comes to you before the "yes but" is THE answer, YOUR answer. Now the only thing you need is courage, to trust it and take action. Go ahead, it will be easy and pleasurable anyway, just as you asked for! To conclude I want to emphasise that if Wisdom is acquired by combining knowledge and experience, it is crucial to understand that Wisdom is personal and individual. I feel like people are currently awakening big time and that we are entering in a new era where people are asked to become their own authority. And that's exactly what my friend Jay reminds me of when he writes "You can chase the flame or be the flame". So listen to experts, teachers and gurus but more importantly listen to yourself. Take what resonates with you personally and leave the rest because Wisdom is inside YOU. Go on Peace, Unity and Freedom 😚 Gaëlle Vipassana centre https://www.dhamma.org

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