Reflections from Wesir: Cultivating Wisdom

As I mentioned before, I’ve been looking at particular themes on each of the epagomenal days and contemplating them in relation to my own perceptions. Last night, I thought about ways I might cultivate wisdom. I came up with 10 things I feel I should keep in mind.

1. Be self aware. This means knowing how I act, feel, and think in certain situations, as well as how my actions and words are affecting others and myself. Knowing my behavior is integral to reflecting on it.

2. Have experiences. Experiences provide me with the opportunities to gather new information about the world and ourselves. At times, experiences come easily. Opportunities and challenges present themselves when I wasn’t even looking for them. At other times, I might become “stuck in a rut”. At these times, it behooves me to seek out experiences and provide myself with fodder for growth.

3. Reflection. Its not enough to simply have experiences. Those experiences have to be thought about, particularly using self-awareness and the new things that the experience has taught. Reflection also entails meditation.

4. Honesty. Being honest with my self as well as others can often expedite understanding. I do feel that honesty should be tempered with compassion.

5. Humility. This should be balanced with confidence and self-assuredness. Remembering how small I am in the grand scheme of things, and at the same time, how connected I am to all the grand things can be uplifting and humbling. Remembering how little I know allows me to reflect on the possibilities and to check my own bias (hopefully).

6. Patience. Experience takes time to occur. And often, the lessons of experience take time to settle in. At times, those lessons may only be understood when enough maturation has occurred.

7. Courage. Because being honest and having new experiences can be scary.

8. Appreciation. Taking nothing for granted reminds me that all things are worth inquiring about, and that most things can be awe-inspiring and wisdom-bringing.

9. Being flexible while remembering your values. While some values should be the foundation of my life, even these are subject to change. Remembering to adapt, to go with the flow, and to take life as it comes is a lesson in and of itself. This can be hard when I prefer predictability and control to unforeseen obstacles…which dovetails into the next post I’ll be making.

10. “Keeping to your center”. I’m not sure how else to say it. I feel best when I’ve discovered a place of peace inside, one that remembers what is truly important, has most things in their proper perspective, and is both content and also disciplined enough to push forward. To remain tethered to this realization of calm and joy is so integral to my search for wisdom, I often wonder if it isn’t at its heart. Meditation and regular practice helps to cultivate this in my life.

 

What about you all? What are some ways you cultivate wisdom?

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