From my perspective on a life in rhythm or balance there are four aspects that are essential in a striving for insight, innovation and artful living: dealing with yourself, having empathy for others, being curious enough to learn more than what is standard and allowing your intuition to guide you.
Dealing with yourself!
You are the only being that you can know, and then only partially at best. The more you get in touch with your inner being, walking comfortably in your own skin, the deeper the knowledge of self reaches. Without knowing yourself – at all levels – you cannot reach a truly authentic relationship with the inner you. If you can’t have that, how do you reach it with others? Forget about having to know everything and being able to solve every problem or to have a readymade answer to every question – if you were able to, you would not be of this world! That is not what I mean by this.
There are many ways to deepen the knowledge of self, to gain insight into your true life and heart’s desires and your true purpose: yoga, meditation, prayer even dance and other creative endeavors.
Empathy for Others
These are the people you can never truly know, as you cannot see through their eyes, cannot feel with their senses, hear with their ears or think in their patterns. However, these are the people that you can connect to on a “feeling” level, which refers to true empathy and extending love.
I do not mean we should not attempt to know others. Striving to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes is a noble undertaking, one that all of us should attempt if we want to develop true empathy with another, whether it be your significant other, a child, a friend, a parent, a colleague or even the person who greets you over a counter in a shop.
But will you ever truly achieve this? No, but the more effort we put into it, the closer we get to the other person’s experience and the easier it is to change our perception of situations and events, allowing us to move towards a level of shared experience that we may not have known to be possible.
Learning and Experiencing
Thirdly there is information and knowledge – our striving to learn, to understand, to make a difference to our world through our work. We start out by observing. As children we watch our parents and we imitate and learn. The same happens during formal education. During the formative years, we have taught the value of order and structure and conformity is promoted. Sacrificing spontaneity and intuition we may strive to fit a mold of what is expected of us.
Reaching deep into our psyches, striving to regain our childlike curiosity and develop intuitive awareness allow us to stretch our intellect to gain new insights, making use of all we have learned, transforming knowledge and forming new connections, producing in artful or insightful or other creative ways a future that is more fitting of our human spirit.
Developing Curiosity and Intuition
One of the ways to develop this creative spirit is to allow intuitive awareness to rise to the surface. Meditation is one of the ways to switch off the conscious and controlled awareness and perception. Through perceiving and absorbing with inner eyes, inner ears, inner senses and feeling and inner thought patterns you allow intuition to grow stronger, bringing with it new insight, new associations and new possibilities, instead of pandering to our ego voices, judging ourselves and judging others.
As Stephen Covey says: Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom ... the power to choose, to respond, to change.
So allow yourself the freedom to choose and change and respond in ways that are more aligned to your soul voice!