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Recently I have been paying close attention to my personal wisdom. I have realised that during these times of uncertainty and overwhelm that it is more important to me than ever before. 

When I was younger too often allowed my personal wisdom to be shouted down by the loudest or most authoritative voice on a subject. I was reluctant to speak out about things that concerned me or let the most seductive arguement win me over. 

The older I have grown the less I concern myself with the opinions of others. Increasingly I feel confident that if I am true to myself then I will attract people who feel the same way.  

There are many issues we are being challenged to take sides on at the moment; covid-19 regulations (mask wearing, social distancing, school return etc), Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+, poverty, homelessness… the list goes on and on. 

I am not one to ruffle feathers, especially unnecessarily, but I am no longer prepared to be pushed into making decisions for my family which go against my personal wisdom in order to conform either.

Challenges come in all shapes and sizes

I have also become increasingly aware that I need to be more proactive in my approach to certain issues. For many years I believed that by not agreeing with someone I was showing that I was against what they were saying. That simply isn’t true and over recent years and months I have seen the importance of speaking out when someone says something I disagree with.

 

Not all decisions are on a global scale though, or even a national scale.

Personal wisdom is deeper than being true to yourself on public issues such as racism and sexism though. It is also important to listen to that still small voice when it comes to making choices about small scale things like exercise, self care, diet, career choices, social engagements. 

There are times when I listen to my inner voice if I am feeling tired, which I often am due to my acromegaly, or if my family need me. It isn’t wrong to prioritise that over work. Of course it is also important not to let people down for no reason, but if I can possibly rearrange something, I will now. There was a time when I would have pushed through no matter what for fear of letting someone down. 

Now though, I sit quietly, take a deep breath and listen to my inner wisdom. There have been times when I have ignored that voice, but I invariably regret it. Sometimes I think I should do something but when I really listen I realise that it doesn’t feel right. It might be a feeling in my upper stomach, just below my rib cage (solar plexus). Other times it’s a nagging feeling I just can’t shake. However I hear that personal wisdom though, I know to listen.

 

Being true is more important than being perfect

Do you know what? Since I started listening to my personal wisdom and tuning in to find out if I should go ahead with something I have had more support and my business has grown.  

I spend a lot of time talking about self care and the importance of making healthy decisions. If I then push through no matter what, who is going to listen to me?

By listening to my personal wisdom I know that I am being true to me. If I am always true to me then I will be consistent in everything I say and do (hopefully!). 

Does that mean I am always right? Hell no! 

Does it mean that I always try my best to do the honest thing, the caring thing, the thing which will help others the most, sometimes the thing that will help me the most? Yes, I hope so. At the very least I will always be able to hold my hand up and my head up high and say “I did my best with what I knew at the time”. 

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

Maya Angelou

Poet

It concerns me that these days many people jump on a bandwagon of beliefs without stopping and listening to see that is what is true to them. We see waves of beliefs and movements rise up and people are keen to be seen to be supporting them. Now many of these absolutely should be supported by most, if not all. Sometimes though, it is important to step back and look at where this wave started before we decide to jump on board. 

Equally there are other issues which are going on under our noses every day which we aren’t made aware of by big movements, but which deserve just as much outrage and airtime, such as human trafficking. It is important to listen to your personal wisdom and decide which issues you really want to fight for and fight with all your heart. It isn’t possible to stand for everything but please, stand for something. Whether it is animal cruelty, global warming, save the bees, pollution, homelessness, #metoo, FGM, the legalisation of cannabis, paedophile rings… the possibilities are endless, there are so many things we need to sort out in the world. But if we all listen to our still small voice and give ourselves wholeheartedly to one cause we will do more good than by standing for everything but only enough to share a meme on social media and maybe sign an online petition.

 

Be brave. Be bold. Be the hero of your own story. 

Stop the elderly relative who is being wittingly or unwittingly racist in their language (remember you can challenge them without being disrespectful. Acceptable terms have changed greatly in my life time and certainly have over the generations). Challenge the person who throws litter on the floor. Educate yourself about the big issues of our times and then decide to be the voice of change. 

No-one is perfect but we can all make small changes, in line with our own situation and belief system, that when combined with lots of other small changes, creates big change.

We all stayed home for a few weeks during lockdown and the impact on the environment was massive. Many environmental groups recommend making one small change such as getting a milk man who uses glass bottles. Once you have got used to that change, you can make another and another and if everyone was to do the same thing the impact would be immense.

If every time someone said or did something sexist they were challenged on it perhaps they would stop. They may not, but they would at least realise that others don’t necessarily share their attitude. 

Whatever your religion, political view, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, gender you are a human and you have an obligation to care. Whether you channel your caring energy into donkeys, children, refugees, clean water or keeping theatres open doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we care. So listen to your personal wisdom. Go deep inside yourself and find what you are really passionate about, and do it. Whether it is growing organic vegetables for your family or marching on human rights be the change you want to see in the world.

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