Rochester Woman Onlines October 2023 Edition

Page 268



Growing Inner Wisdom Through Humility As I enter the final third of my life, I am struck more poignantly than ever, how I could have more readily opened my mind and soul with a kind and humble heart to the wisdom of my elders. Looking back at my first and second acts of my life, I see where I was offered beautiful gems that I disregarded and sometimes scoffed at. I instead, could have learned valuable lessons and grown into a wiser soul sooner. It would have saved me a lot of grief and pain while opening my creative flow. Each culture and society reflect how they view their elders’ wisdom. They have seen and lived through what can only be what it is that we imagine. They have felt pains, sorrow, and joys we have yet to experience. Allowing our egos to get in the way of our soul’s progress and path towards a more enlightened way of being only causes us unnecessary pain that can be avoided when we open our hearts to the wisdom of those that have come before us. They were a part of history that we can only imagine and hold the key to lessons already learned. “Respecting elders is an act of humility and recognition of the wealth of knowledge they possess.” Unknown As young adults, we may strive to prove our own worth to others and/or society. We may even stubbornly ignore or scoff at what’s always worked in search of a “newer,” “better way” of doing things. We couldn’t see that there was a reason that certain things had been done, or made obsolete, for as long as most 268


can remember. Those who came well before us had already done the trials and developed systems that worked for most normal circumstances. How much energy I exerted that could have been used to grow as a human being and honored my own purpose as I feverishly tried to reinvent the wheel? It was a form of arrogance/ego that I ignored the efforts and expertise it took for past generations to build working systems. I had my children young. I was 23 when my daughter was born and 29 for my son. It was then I realized I knew absolutely nothing while simultaneously thinking I knew what was best for my children. I also believed that our parents did things the “old fashioned way” according to all the things I was currently reading. I was partially correct but for the simplest of things, I could have possessed a lot more humility. What we fail to realize is that we really have just begun our life’s journey and there are those ahead of us who graciously await you to help an assist us along the way. “In fact, you have no knowledge of where anything is or of what anything is or how it came to be. Life is a mystery.” Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. Throughout time, cultures relied on their elders to garner new wisdom when we felt lost or confused. They are considered spiritual leaders to their people. They are recognized for their wisdom and experiences, and this makes them valuable members of their culture. They are considered higher ranking due to the comprehensive knowledge and understanding they have of the Universe. The Regional Municipality of

Wood Buffalo states that they are also considered to be “knowledge keepers.” “They have a connection to all living beings and things, and each specialize in their own areas of knowledge with hands-on life experiences.” A modern-day example would be specialist physicians for each type of ailment or body part. (You wouldn’t see a heart surgeon for a broken wrist.) Our specialties are probably vastly different but have some commonality. I am an artist and a teacher. ( I also consider myself many other things; a mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend.) I may know more about the arts and how to paint or draw than you do. But you might be incredibly creative at your job. You and I could sit down for coffee and find out more about not only one another and listen to one another’s stories and family history. This is where curiosity leads to greater understanding, empathy, and growth in our own areas of strength. Within the American indigenous tribes, there is a belief that cross-cultural communication and learning helps them to be better guided and informed. It allows them to serve their people and Mother Earth in a way that honors them. This is a poignant example of how we each can learn to grow alongside one another without judgment and feel genuine curiosity. Curiosity without judgement has made a huge difference in my own life. Especially with my healing, my artwork and with my students. There is a sense of release when I grow my inquisitiveness. I’ve noticed when I implement this way of thinking, it allows for a possibility of a

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