For many years I believed that some people had more potential than others – that somehow external circumstances dictated the limits of what’s possible. But what I have come to see is that all human beings have the same access to universal principles that serve as both a grounding and a compass – a place to come from and a source of wisdom and guidance in our lives.
My own wisdom seems to reveal itself to me most often through images and metaphors, so in today’s tip I thought I’d share a couple of my favorites in hopes they spark a deeper seeing into the source of your own wisdom and how that wisdom can guide you in your life…
1. The Swimming Pool of Revelation
A month or so ago I was listening to a recording on Calm by the counselor Leslie Miller where she compared a calm mind to a swimming pool. Even if there’s a swimmer (like a thought) in the pool, splashing about and leaving ripples in their wake, the deeper part of the pool is still calm – and the second the swimmer leaves the pool, the rest of the pool returns to its natural state of calm as well.
While I was reflecting on that metaphor, another image came to my mind – a deeper wisdom communicating with us by writing the answers to any question we could want answered in big bold letters at the bottom of the pool. In order for us to “read” the answer from outside the pool, the water needs to be relatively still and quiet. If there were people (thoughts) swimming around in the pool, we would have to wait for those swimmers to move on before we could clearly see.
Ironically, any effort we would make to dive into the pool ourselves to move those swimmers along would simply increase the turbulence in the pool and make it even harder to see what was written across the bottom. It would only be after we got out of the pool that the water (mind) would have a chance to return to calm and we would be able to clearly see the message written by our own guidance and wisdom.
2. The Bubbling Well of Consciousness
Imagine for a moment that you have been given a magical well to keep in your home and told that whatever you drink from inside it will determine your experience of life. If your well is filled with good things, you will experience good; fill it with dark things and you will experience darkness. Chances are, you would do your best to fill the well up with as much good stuff as you could, and whenever you saw bad stuff in there you would do your best to fish it out. This continual activity and monitoring might become tedious after a while, but you could reconcile yourself to the fact that “the price of peace is eternal vigilance”.
More curious still, imagine that everyone around you has the same magical well inside their homes, yet seemingly has no idea that what they drink from their well is the source of their experience. You watch with amazement as they fill their wells up with scary thoughts and horrible stories and then argue amongst themselves as to why life itself has become so scary and horrible.
You do your best to help, of course, and to point out that their experience of life is simply a product of what they fill their well with, but even those who claim awareness of the magical well dispute its power, preferring to blame circumstances and the world around them for the experience they are having on the inside.
Eventually, your innocent desire to help others takes your eye off of the contents of your own well, and the crap you surround yourself with begins to seep into your well and becomes your experience as well. Before you know it, you are as confused as the people you’ve been trying to help, filling your magical well with murky memories and dark imaginings, drinking deep and wondering what’s become of the world.
Fortunately, unbeknown to you, underneath your well sits a bubbling spring of life and joy and hope, and your well is continually being slowly replenished from this natural source. The only reason you haven’t noticed this up until now is either that you’ve been so busy trying to put good things in and take bad things out or that you’ve been distracted by all the things going on outside you.
But the more you allow your well to fill up from the source without putting more and more things into it from the outside, the more beautiful your life becomes. Over time, even the most awful stories and memories and imaginings are washed away in the bubbling overflow of joy and peace and wisdom from within. And as you drink each day from the well of your being, you realize that your cup truly does “runneth over”…
Have fun, learn heaps, and drink deeply from the wisdom within!