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Yoga Me Well Blog Archive

The Getting of Wisdom

“What would a wise man or woman do?”    

As a moment by moment practice, I love this suggestion made at the philosophy class I attend. 

“Wisdom” was on our discussion agenda recently. What are the qualities of wisdom, we asked, what is wisdom? Among our responses were: “acting with integrity”, “acting from a deeper connection to [Insert your higher power of preference]”, “having a balanced view“, “clarity of intention”, “the ability to act” and “assertiveness”.

Most of all, we decided, the getting of wisdom comes from gathering and examining life experiences, and integrating and applying the outcome of our learnings.

This idea has been offered by sages and philosophers for centuries.

The unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates

It’s not what happens to you that matters, but how you respond – Epictetus

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom – Aristotle

I never lose. I either win or learn – Nelson Mandela

We discussed how there must be varying levels of wisdom then too, as we grow in our awareness and openness to learn from life’s challenges. 

I particularly enjoyed Susan’s story:

“I got up early and was about to go out and thought of my husband lying in bed still asleep and the question just popped into my head, ‘What would a wise woman do?’.  So I went and gave him a kiss. He just made a funny noise and stayed sleeping. I thought he might have reacted differently and was a little disappointed, but then I realised the question had moved me to an act of love.”

What a gentle way to inspire ourselves to live more thoughtfully, don’t you think? 

Liv Mitchell

Liv Mitchell is a hatha yoga teacher, relaxation instructor and freelance writer/editor who specialises in holistic wellbeing.