Our blogs exploring the quality of “knowing”

knowing

Welcoming the unexpected

Life is full of the unexpected from the smallest gesture to the largest events on a global scale.  A smile from a stranger during our morning commute to a substantial anonymous donation that helps a community in need.  Often though we miss the importance of these unexpected events and the ability they have to shift and elevate our perspective.

In the course of our lives we’re gathering experience that enables us to construct filters through which we evaluate everything that comes our way, whether expected or not.  The unexpected can often be unwelcome either because it is difficult, or uncomfortable or it doesn’t fit with anything in our back catalogue – our mental model.

And yet, if we could just suspend those filters, park our experience and open, see and listen with our hearts what depths could we connect with? What higher insight could we access?

A few weeks ago I was fortunate to spend a week on retreat – to unplug from my world and truly connect with higher self.  Of course, this was work too, just of a different order to the day to day and yet so important to it.

As I began the journey, with 13 others, I carried an expectation – a mental construct – of how it would be from a previous experience.  What I encountered was entirely different, unexpected, challenging, beautiful and powerful all at once, taking me from an intellectual understanding of our interconnectedness and unity as human beings to a profound knowing of our one-ness with all.

We don’t need, and rarely have, the luxury of a week’s retreat to wake up to the way our busy minds and our learned experience blinker us to a deeper wisdom.  Instead we can invest each day in our meditative practice.  In opening ourselves to the flow of life as it is rather than how our mental models frame it.  Embracing its unexpectedness and the vista and connection that opens up.

Trudy Worth

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Choosing to find our truth   

The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it. Ayn Rand

In a world where it is almost impossible to know what to believe we are called upon more than ever to find our own sense of the truth from a much deeper place. The abundance of social media facilitated ‘news’ sources – fake, real, exaggerated, embellished, edited – means that we are required to apply many new filters to our consumption of information and stories. Conventional and once deeply trusted media sources no longer offer a failsafe either.

The filters can take many forms – values, spiritual beliefs, philosophy or maybe lived experience.  One thing is for sure we do need to be willing to seek truth. Truth that resonates with us according to our inner framework. That means we must construct that inner framework and be challenging with ourselves in the construction. We must also be alert and active in the practice of seeking – a practise that is most likely enhanced by contemplation, reflection and meditation.

We must consider to what extent we are holding a narrow perspective. Or to what extent we are allowing what we ‘want to believe’ get in the way of what is really being presented to us. Or maybe we have become lazy and not examined the underpinning of our ‘framework’ for a while and are labouring somewhat unconsciously in our assessment of truth.

For some perhaps the act of seeking truth seems somewhat meaningless preferring instead to rely on years of experience to guide them. This may be OK if they are constantly examining the value and relevance of that experience. In a world where we are faced with change on a seemingly unprecedented level one thing is for sure – we need a regular and fully conscious examination of what we perceive as truth, along with regular internal ‘operating software upgrades’.

This is the only way we can keep edging our way closer to a real sense of the truth of who and what we really are – individually and as a collective Humanity.

Lorraine Flower

knowing

An act of service

‘There is a universal, intelligent, life force that exists within everyone and everything.  It resides within each of us as a deep wisdom, an inner knowing.’ Shakti Gawain

Every day we encounter signs and symbols which may be prescient messages and guidance from our higher self, or a power beyond that.  In our everyday state of awareness, cluttered by busy-ness, they can fail to register.  Sometimes though we are fortunate that they come onto our radar with more power.

I’m not talking here about the superstitious ‘one for sorrow, two for joy’ moments when magpies appear though I’ll admit the appearance of a pair normally elicits a small emotional ‘fist pump’ for me.

What I mean is the guidance, knowing or wisdom, we receive perhaps prompted by something random we see or hear that connects at a sensory level and stimulates something more profound, however fleeting.  In that moment of clarity we experience deep knowing, beyond facts or previous experience or belief or the assumptions shaped by our filters, our world view.

It is a knowing that comes from our soul.  A pure intuition.  Providing a moment of certainty as well as clarity.

Attaining greater connection with these moments, stringing them together like the pearls they undoubtedly are, and recognising, welcoming and trusting them when they appear is truly an act of service to ourselves and to the greater good.

It is a service to which we must dedicate ourselves, building our reflective and meditative practices and developing our ability to be in the present moment so that our channel is truly open and receptive.

Trudy Worth

knowing

Who or what conducts your Life?

In my experience one of the reasons we can find it so challenging to connect with our inner ‘knowing’ is because we are so practised at navigating Life through our personality. The overloaded transactional nature of life that we have created calls on us relentlessly to address daily activities through our concrete mind, our physical body and, from time to time, our emotional body.

To go beyond the transactional, we need to find our way to a higher wisdom that can help us to find new responses to the daily sand storm and access a deeper connection with a more powerful truth that brings new realities, insights and approaches. This requires us to gently and determinedly set down our personality for periods of time so that we can open ourselves to a new resource – the resource of our soul.

Of course mindfulness, reflective practises and meditation are all powerful in enabling this access and yet to really come to a place of deep knowing or a higher universal ‘truth’ we need to bring these practises to a central place in our lives. This doesn’t mean spending all day every day cross legged on a cushion. In my experience it’s about being open to building a relationship with our soul where we truly recognise its rightful place as the conductor of our lives. Meditation and other reflective practises are instrumental in enabling this.

And, to build the relationship we need to find ways to be present in every moment of our lives from a more reflective, elevated or deeper place. It’s a place where we can hold a bigger perspective, develop a broader, more inclusive understanding, be open to more challenging global questions, many of which are seemingly insoluble – at least not instantly. This is the soul in action…gently yet provocatively opening door after door to a new layer of insight and understanding of what it means to know Life.

Lorraine Flower

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Letting go to let come

‘Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you.’  Eckhart Tolle

What if we just let go?  Gave up our control whatever the circumstances we find ourselves in and trusted in the Universe, and its accumulated wisdom, to see us through?  Sounds crazy?  Sounds like a plan?

Of course there are some circumstances where metaphorically, or literally, taking our hands off the wheel probably won’t work out so well.  But what about those situations for which we don’t have any reference points?  Where our knowledge doesn’t exist and our past experience doesn’t provide the answers?

When the unexpected (and unknown) comes to call we can step into a fear that paralyses.  Or we can open our hearts and minds, tune into our curiosity and wait in stillness for insights and intuition to emerge, trusting that we’ll receive just the knowing that we need.

As Eckhart Tolle suggests, getting comfortable with not knowing is a vital first step – the springboard for what flows next.  Then, in connecting beyond self, whether through reflection, through meditation, through opening our heart and mind, we’re developing our conscious awareness to the riches of the Universe and the power for good these can bring.

Personally, though I like to frame myself as not needing control, I know how tightly I can hold to the old when the new shows up so I’m taking ‘letting go to let come’ as my ‘manifesto’ for the coming months and trying it on for size.

Trudy Worth

knowing

Translating knowing

As I get older (in earthly terms) and wiser (in soul terms) I am becoming increasingly aware of the strands of ‘knowing’ that pervade my being. The wise part comes in allowing these ‘strands’ proper houseroom within me and to honour them in how I live and also in how I communicate with and relate to others.

I feel that part of my purpose in life is learning how to become an effective teacher. Not in the didactic sense of teaching but in the shared wisdom sense – facilitating and opening the door to new insights, understandings and truths. Not my truths specifically but ideas or knowing that we can all recognise as aspects of the larger truth.

And this is where the ‘learning’ part of becoming an effective teacher comes in because finding the language that invites others into the exploration of a truth or knowing is a tricky old game. Evangelism for example makes no attempt to translate – evangelists simply share their beliefs and knowing from their understanding of it. We either get on board or we don’t.

To truly create a bridge from one’s own sense of ‘knowing’ or ‘truth’ to another’s and to build a deeper level of connection with the potential of the idea requires deep skill. Skill in finding the language, skill in holding the idea clearly yet lightly, like gossamer, skill in creating the crucible within which the ideas can be explored without pressure, judgement or coercion.

For me the crucible is the heart. The more we can hold our knowing in our heart (rather than our mind), and we explore with another through the heart, the more we can explore the intrinsic wisdom within the knowing we perceive.

For example, I have a deep knowing about all living beings in all kingdoms of nature being part of the one being. In other words that we are all one and that whatever happens to one happens to all. In my work as a ‘teacher’ this concept is brought to the table through discussion around greater good, collective purpose, collaboration, one team and so on and so on.

What I notice however is that any ‘translation’ so often feels like a lesser version of the purity of that deep knowing with all its colour and radiance. And so my journey as a teacher continues – learning to find the language from within my heart that will unlock the gateway to deeper knowing – for myself and with others.

Lorraine Flower

knowing

I’ve been reflecting a lot on ‘F’ words over the past few weeks. No, not the obvious one but a couple of others that are even more powerful. I’m talking about faith and fear -they’re interrelated and the former is almost certainly an antidote to the latter.

In our increasingly turbulent and uncertain world with fear on the rise don’t we need faith more than ever? For me that faith is centred on trust of self and of the universe that I will have the resources and support I need, within and without, whatever comes.

That’s not to say I’m fear-less, far from it, but my reflection is helping me get clearer on what a blockage fear – whether that’s mild anxiety or something more full blown – is to our connection with the knowing that informs our best decisions, actions and selves in service of others and a greater good.

If we’re fearful we can’t connect with our higher self or tune in to that intuition, inspiration or knowing that flows from a higher source, somewhere beyond our daily experience. Instead we’re more likely to get the gut reaction driven by our all too human reaction of fight or flight (two more ‘F’ words).

So I’m working on strengthening faith through my meditation practice and through paying attention to when I’m in trust and when doubt is creeping in and the effect that has on how I show up and what flows.

Trudy Worth

knowing

Trusting the power of insight

Discernment and trust are two vital components in Knowing in my experience. The first of course to help us differentiate between the impulses of the personality (or ego) and the soul impulse. In other words to be as clear as we can be whether the insight, information or intuition that we are receiving is in service of a more personal wish or desire or whether it is part of either our own soul journey/evolution or indeed a wider evolutionary insight.

The second factor of trust can be a tricky one. Depending on our personality we may find that we have a tendency to be slow to trust the insight or overly hasty to run with it. And even when we feel we have applied full discernment, we may find ourselves with question marks about the purpose, impact or validity of any action we may take on the back of the insight.

A true, deep knowing also has the other quality of being somewhat hard to grasp, articulate or define often taking years to fully show itself. It can feel like working our way through the fog and waiting as the sunlight eventually burns off the moisture and thins it to a mist. Then glimpses of light come though bringing illumination…and yet even then the insight can still feel somewhat elusive at times.

By way of a simple recent example, we made a decision here at azzur to change some aspects of our business model which entailed moving away from having a central office and moving to a virtual, flexible model. On the face of it no big issue except that the impulse to take this action is bound up in a broader sense of ‘freedom’, energetic release (from letting go of the physical space which had accumulated ‘stuff’ over nearly 8 years) and new potential. So a seemingly benign, straightforward action to dismantle a physical office is undoubtedly part of a deeper cycle of energy for the business.

Trusting that the decision to act on this insight (which had been brewing through the fog and mist for over a year) will be for the greater benefit of everyone it affects is still rumbling within me as I weigh the pros and cons even though the decision has been made and enacted. On the one hand, I feel sure at a very deep level and yet am also aware that my personality or ego is capable of disrupting that trust. It’s a valuable reminder that a strong open flow to intuition or knowing also requires the taming of the personality.

Lorraine Flower

knowing

“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them”. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

I have been contemplating the difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘belief’. Aldous Huxley quite clearly links belief with conditioning, those influences around us that form an imprint on our way of living, often at a pretty deep and unconscious level. Others might take a different perspective on belief –    ‘The facts of life do not penetrate to the sphere in which our beliefs are cherished; they did not engender those beliefs, and they are powerless to destroy them.’ (Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way).

What I notice in examining a number of perspectives on beliefs is that it does tend to have a more ‘concrete’ or absolute feel about it. There is much counsel about holding our beliefs lightly but in my experience the opposite can often be true – there is a sense of attachment or fixedness about them. A belief can often be a way of navigating the world safely offering us a compass for working our way through life and in that sense can be extremely powerful and uplifting or damaging and painful if today’s crises are anything to go by.

For me ‘knowing’ has a different quality. Interestingly the sense of certainty is there but held very lightly, almost like gossamer. There is an ethereal quality about the knowing which is both light and yet strong.  It almost feels like a work in progress where new information filters in or new possibilities are weighed against it in a process of ‘inquiry’ and curiosity. And even within all of that knowing still has a depth and ‘is-ness’ quality about it.

What I notice also is that a knowing can appear as a sudden thing – almost like a veil being removed from our eyes revealing a completely new vista, or it can emerge over time. Most often it cannot be ‘proven’ in the way we typically seek proof and it also feels like a very personal thing. That’s not to say the same ‘knowing’ can’t be shared by many people but it even so it still feels personal – I guess like a relationship with one’s own soul.

Take reincarnation for example – is this a belief or a knowing? It’s a concept I often find myself talking about in a fairly assumptive manner as if it’s a commonly held concept. But I know that many would say ‘I don’t believe in reincarnation’ so in that sense it can be described as a belief. For me though it’s a knowing. It’s something I feel I have a deep sense of, and relationship with. I have no proof in the traditional sense and yet it informs my life in a very deep way. At the same time, I find myself continuously examining it, seeking new information or ways of understanding it like a living part of my being, my DNA.

So perhaps that’s all as clear as mud but if I had to crystallise it, I would say a knowing feels deep, is held consciously, is alive and underpinned by grace. What do you think?

Lorraine Flower