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The Many Layers of Discernment

The Many Layers of Discernment

Sometimes – often! – hard choices aren’t between two options. They are among a set of options, or between or among options that are multi-layered and complicated. Sometimes the choice is about how to be, not just how to do something or how to pick something.

I had a conversation with a mentor this week about a situation she’s in that calls for discernment around how to be and what to say in a difficult conversation.

That conversation reminded me that sometimes discernment is about what we want to say, what we want not to say, what we want to do and what we want not to do. Sometimes discernment is—it often is—about surfacing the values we need to understand and attend to before we can make a decision.

So, for example, I was unhappy with the city I was living in and my wife was too. We knew that at some point we wanted to move, but we honestly didn’t know where. So we used several tools of discernment—a values list, a collage process, card reading, and lots of contemplation and prayer, trusting in the process and being willing to be surprised. This kind of work can take a long time to manifest in change, but it is worth every hour of the work, every week of the waiting.

You see, discernment is about clarity and peace. Knowing that you’ve come to a place where your own authenticity and integrity are running the show. Whether it’s deciding where to live—we surfaced what we most wanted, needed, and hoped for—or figuring out how to say what you most hope to say… Whether it’s an extended process, or a simple connection to the Divine and to your own Deepest, Wisest Self…

No matter the situation, if clarity and integrity are called for, discernment can help. A structured, intentional few moments, or several hours or weeks of consideration and contemplation—there is a mode of discerning, a method that can work for you.

Not every method will work for you. Not every method is appropriate for every situation. When you’re in the middle of a conversation, you’re not going to say, “Excuse me, but I need to read cards to find out what I need to consider.” Nor are you going to say (at least not most of the time), “I’m sorry, I have to collage before we can talk.”

Similarly, speaking of collage, there are methods that just may fall flat for you—I mention collage because one of my friends who’s interested in discernment said, “Please tell me you’re not going to make me collage. I hate collage!” And that’s fine. It’s important to remember that there are nearly limitless methods, and as you go on in the process, you’ll make up your own!

{{ from December 2014 — In any event, I very much hope that you’ll come to our free class this Thursday:  Wise Choices for Hard Times. We’ll go deeply into one method, talk about some others, and cover the most important attitude for discernment, as well as the #1 sign of a decision well made. Feel free to contact me here if you have questions or concerns, and remember that even if you can’t be on the call itself (4 December 5:00 pm Pacific Time US), you can still sign up to get the recording the very next day.

Again, if you have questions, do contact me. And in the meantime, sign up! Just go here to sign up, and you’ll get all the call information as well as the recording the following day.}}

Blessings on you and on your house




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