The word prompt of the day is discernment. It’s simply defined as the ability to judge well. There’s a certain amount of rigidity to the word, but when one is discerning there’s a trust of self that organically takes place, which actually is an opening for truth. If the discerning instinct is ignored it can lead to an error in judgment, a missed opportunity, a feeling of in-authenticity and even heartache.
I also think of discernment as a deliberate process. Sometimes it’s so clear it can happen in an instant, but often it’s not so clear. For big things that matter, there’s much more that goes into discernment. To my way of thinking, consideration of factors (what, when, who, where & how), listening to your own cues, allowing an organic flow to guide you and trusting divine timing are most critical. Making a choice, taking a step – or deciding not to – from that place is powerful discernment indeed.
It got me thinking about living a life with perspicacity, a deeper meaning for discernment. Such a great word! In other words, honing the skill of perspicacity will lead to a life guided by insight, intuition and intelligence.
- Slow & steady wins the race – take the time necessary to make a fully informed choice
- Know your own heart and mind
- Be clear on what you value
- Pay attention to the verbal & non-verbal cues
- Commit to your choices
A lot of people do and say what feels good in the moment. In many instances this is all the acumen needed to move forward. However, discernment is taking it a step - or several steps - further, particularly in life’s big processes. "Yes, it feels good, but does it align with what I value?" "Does it align with my endgame or vision of purpose (whether it’s a life purpose, or a vision for a specific project/process)?" Or, "Will it distract me from what I really want and what's really good for me or the circumstance at hand?"
Moving ahead with something just because it feels good but doesn’t align with those things can create a false sense of fulfillment that can be fleeting and can derail you from your path or your true desire.
Patience is a virtue for a reason. It’s natural when something awesome presents itself to want it all right now! But the course of things, the natural order, the organic process of… takes time and a honed sense of judgment.
For example, 12-step programs only work when each step is fulfilled before moving on to the next step. Jumping from step one to step 12 will never work because it’s the foundation, knowledge, experience, steadiness and progress through the eleven prior steps that allows a full understanding, acceptance and power of the final step. Which is why they espouse a one-day-at-a-time mantra, as well as a tenet of progress, not perfection.
It’s the same mindset and principle for many of life’s processes, from getting an education, to building a career, to going through the stages of grief, to falling in love, to exploring a new opportunity, to recovering from a trauma or drama.
The good news is it's often malleable, not carved in stone. Choices can be changed based on new information and deeper knowledge. It's really about slowing down in the moment, taking time, checking alignment and making a discerning choice.
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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com