Tag: truth

12/4/11 “Inner Wisdom”

Good day, team.

This week’s challenge is about inner wisdom. After a week in silence at a meditation retreat, I had an opportunity to get quiet enough to hear my inner wisdom. Frankly, I had forgotten just how quiet you need to get to hear it. It’s not just an opportunity for external sounds to dissipate, but also for the internal voices of the mind, heart and body to begin to quiet down so that you hear that quiet voice within.

This inner wisdom has many labels. Some people call it conscience or intuition or a sense about something. Whatever we call it, we all seem to know what it is — that inner voice that quietly says what we know is true. So, as the mind continues to analyze this solution or that, or strategize about the next best move, that quiet voice simply makes a statement that our inner awareness recognizes.

Here’s a good example. Years ago when I changed careers, I remember distinctly hearing that inner, quiet voice continuing to give me the same message. I had been recruiting for 20 years and I was successful, at least in terms of having plenty of business and making good money. But when I got very quiet and really asked myself what was true, that inner voice told me it was time to move on. In looking at it, I realized that I didn’t find recruiting very satisfying. So I hired a coach to help me determine what might be a better career path for me. My coach was very helpful. She encouraged me to explore lots of different possibilities and to continue to listen to that quiet voice within. But that voice wasn’t telling me what profession was right for me, it was just telling me it was time to move on. Of course, my mind went into overdrive because it desperately wanted an answer right away, but my inner voice told me to be patient, that when the time was right, the opportunity would show itself to me.

As time passed, I found myself resting in the question. Instead of trying to force an answer, I continued to question and inquire. Eventually, it became clear that I wanted to become a coach. As I explored training options and figured out how to become a coach, things just fell into place. Movement from recruiting to coaching took place naturally.

This is one of the characteristics of inner wisdom: It isn’t forced. The Roman lyric poet Horace wrote, “Force without wisdom falls of its own weight.” As the mind and heart struggle to figure something out and we push or pull to make things happen, the entire experience becomes heavier and harder to do, and we often get farther away from what’s actually true for us. Conversely, that quiet voice has the energy of acceptance and spaciousness about it; it’s as light as a feather but as sure as anything can ever be.

Another aspect of inner wisdom is that like an ability or a muscle, hearing your inner wisdom actually strengthens it. I find that when I make the time to be quiet with myself each day, that inner voice is more accessible. It’s not that it’s louder; it’s just easier for me to hear.

This week, spend some quiet time with yourself. Try sitting quietly for 10 minutes doing nothing. Experience sitting still and quieting the mind by not attaching to any thought as it comes up. Thoughts do come and go, but they only stick around when we get stuck to them. Emotions come up and seemingly overtake us, but if we don’t continue to feed them with our thoughts, they also pass away. Sensations come and go as we continue to sit and be quiet. At some point, you may hear that voice within arising from some deep part of you. It often sounds to me like a pebble that’s been dropped into a well. You drop the pebble and wait in quiet stillness until you hear the pebble hit the water deep down at the bottom of the well. You know that eventually the pebble will hit the water, but you don’t know exactly when and you must be very quiet to hear it. When it does, you’re always a little surprised and yet you knew all along what it would sound like.

Be quiet for a time each day and listen. There’s a wealth of truth and understanding that each of us carries within the deepest part of our being. It doesn’t make a lot of noise and it doesn’t demand to be heard or understood — it just is. Try being silent enough to hear it.

Walt Whitman wrote, “Wisdom is not finally tested in the schools, Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it, Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof.”

Have a good week,


© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

4/26/10 “Legacy”

Good day, team,

Last weekend my family celebrated my father’s life at a ceremony at the Exeter Chapel, in Exeter, New Hampshire, where my Dad attended prep school in the 1930s. There, in this sacred and beautiful space, friends and family gathered to honor him and say our final good-byes.

As part of this week’s challenge, I would like to share an excerpt from the speech I gave about my father and what he left me. I offer it in hope that it will encourage each of you this week to ponder your legacy.

“To me, my father’s legacy is more than what you read about in his obituary. It’s not just where he went to school or what job he had or which organizations he supported. You won’t hear about it in the stories we tell about him. He didn’t create a philanthropic foundation or leave us a fortune or even leave us with only happy memories. There were many times throughout my life when we fought bitterly, judged each other severely, and hurt each other painfully. But, in the end, the legacy my father left me was to never be afraid to search for the truth, to find that kernel of light and love that exists all around us. He would often remind me that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living.’ He knew that in our constant drive to understand the external world, we often missed what is our greatest birth right, our ability to know the truth that lies in our heart of hearts and in our souls.

“My father always encouraged and inspired me to continue to be the explorer I was born to be. Although this didn’t guarantee that I would always find the right path, or become a high achiever, or leave the world a better place, it did insure my ability to keep that inner fire alive—and stoked—to feed that insatiable desire to see what’s at the heart of it all, whether it be in the light or the dark, and to live the questions. Upon telling him about my discovery of the no-thing, he seemed quite content and genuinely happy for me.

“You see, he was always an explorer himself. This was the guy who subscribed to ‘Astounding’ magazine for as many years as it was published and kept every single issue. He wrote amazing science fiction stories long before ‘Star Trek’ was televised. He questioned what he read in the newspaper each day and never stopped being amazed by the phenomenon of life in its simplest and most complex forms.

“He was never afraid to question our position in the universe or talk about whether God exists. And, for all his political conservatism, I believe that within his internal life, he embraced a kind of liberal freedom that showed up in his ability to accept everything that came his way. Ironically, he was as adamant about sticking to his daily routine as he was about allowing his thoughts and emotions to fly free. More importantly, he was able to love life to the fullest, whether it was in the sip of a good scotch, the telling of a good story, watching a perfectly thrown baseball, playing golf with his buddies, or listening to a favorite piece of music with his beloved wife, Barbara.

“When I asked him once whether there was a heaven or hell, he replied, ‘I believe that we make our own heaven or hell on this earth.’ Those of us who knew him well know he had both of these experiences in his lifetime. But whatever the case, he was never afraid to question what it all meant. This is the legacy I hope to leave to my grandchildren: four beautiful boys who look to their Nana and G-Pops for inspiration and the courage and freedom to explore the mysteries of life. Four beautiful boys who, although you never met them, Dad, will have been touched by you, nonetheless.

“On the day before he died, Barbara called me to tell me he was dying. I remember her saying that for the past three days, every person who walked into his room received the same reception. Now no longer able to speak, and perhaps knowing the inevitable, my father would take the hand of each visitor and hold it up to his cheek. In a moment of true intimacy, I like to think that my father was able to experience the great mystery he encouraged me to seek no matter what—the light and the love which burn eternally bright.”

This week, ask yourself, “What will I leave for the people I’ve worked with, the people I’ve loved and the world at large?” Your challenge is to give some thought to your legacy and see if you’re living the life that you’d hoped would create.

Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2010 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search, Inc., all rights reserved.