Professional Student of Life
Musings from the path of personal growth
You live out the confusions until they become clear. ~ Anaïs Nin
Many of my clients – and I, myself – are searching for clarity. I know it when I find it. The swirling energy, the circling, repetitive thoughts, suddenly fall silent. It’s a distinct physical sensation of coming together, of gathering all my energy into a solid, shining core – a calm, grounded “knowing” in the center of my chest, like a low hum.
Have you felt that? It doesn’t come from your mind. In fact, when you attain clarity you often still don’t have a clue what you’re supposed to do, but you stop being worried about that. You know that you’ll know when the time comes. Knowing in this moment is enough. Clarity and certainty are not the same thing.
You find clarity by focusing on the wordless messages of your body, not the clamoring of the mind. You can’t think your way to real clarity – you feel your way. It comes from tuning in, over and over again, to your own energetic/emotional state. Can you feel it? Are you scattered all over the place, trying to guess what others are thinking, imagining consequences to various courses of action, wondering anxiously what’s going to happen?
That’s how you “live out the confusions” and none of it feels peaceful, although to a certain extent it’s an inevitable part of the process. I once read that when a missile is launched at a target, it initially veers back and forth quite a bit. As it approaches the target the oscillations become smaller and smaller, until it eventually “locks on.” I think finding clarity is like that. We have to experience the oscillations in order to find the target – but we can get better and better at recognizing when we’re not locked on.
Although analytical, “left brain” thinking won’t get you to clarity, it does help to hold the question loosely in your mind and slowly let it turn over in your subconscious. I like to let my mind wander over situations or future possibilities and, as long as I’m not trying to “figure things out,” I usually get some good information. It comes in the form of feelings and sensations – the body again. This general direction feels good, that one feels bad. This thing is important to me; the other, not so much.
It helps to avoid specifics and keep your focus a bit hazy – otherwise your mind will jump in and start trying to figure out the “cursed how’s.” For clarity, you really don’t need to know how, only what. What do you really want in this situation? What is actually important to you here? Knowing the answers to these questions is what brings clarity. You will feel it on a visceral level, as your body gives a resounding yes!
Once you have that yes, your job is to keep your focus there. Again, the mind will ply you with all manner of suggestions, cautions, excuses, caveats and the like. Ignore it (this gets easier with practice) and keep tuning back in to the feeling of clarity or inner knowing, however it shows up in your body. Use it as a touchstone to evaluate future courses of action, and it will lead you unerringly. It will also speak volumes to the people around you, because we all respond instinctively to clarity, in ourselves and in others.