Wisdom is our capacity for taking in the experience of life; infusing it with intention and then returning it to the world in service or for the benefit of others…
Let’s look at the first part of this sentence….
Capacity is having the space within to fully embrace an experience. But many of us have limited capacity because our lives are filled with ‘stuff’, e.g. physical (possessions), mental (to-dos) and emotional (attention and energy “hooks”). Without capacity, it’s difficult to be present and experience life as it occurs.
It’s a shame because even the simplest experiences bear tremendous potential when we have the capacity to fully embrace them. This is the secret of all artists – taking a single moment or the essence of some experience and expressing it such that others can vicariously feel and experience that moment as well.
When we feel rushed and busy, our minds full of thoughts and our time full of things to do, our capacity diminishes, resulting in ‘automatic’ interactions. E.g. a supermarket checkout line: “Hi, how are you?” “Fine, you?” “Find everything OK?” “Yes, thanks.”
We’re all creative in one way or another (whether we consider ourselves artists or not) and having the capacity to experience this moment can yield amazing results in our everyday lives if we’re willing to create the space.
So how to develop capacity? Think of putting items in a grocery bag – to increase capacity, you have to take something out. In life terms it’s not necessarily easy but letting go of thoughts, emotions and possessions can make room for experience, discovery and connection:
- Empty and organize ‘physical stuff’, e.g. files, closets, basements, asking:
- What does this item represent?
- What am I holding onto?
- What am I afraid to let go of?
- What is it costing me to keep it?
- Empty and organize your “to-do” list:
- Finish things that must be done
- Decide to NOT do things; communicate that decision to others
- Delegate something
- Stop saying “yes” and learn to say “no”