Creating Moments for Soulful Discernment
by Julie Matheson
We’ve come a long way in our thinking as a culture when it comes to seeking out mental health support. However, I still get teased sometimes in every day conversations when someone might be reluctant to open up to me for fear of feeling analyzed, or more specifically, for fear of feeling judged. They might assume that, because I’m a therapist, every conversation is basically an opportunity for me to evaluate their thinking as either good or bad, healthy or unhealthy.
Softly spoken, that’s not the goal of any conversation I ever have, whether in a therapeutic session or otherwise. The world doesn’t need my critical analysis. Like anyone, I wish to connect, but mainly I aim to bring safety and comfort to the room. It’s none of my business to judge. It’s mine to allow, accept, witness, participate and to enjoy the conversation. That’s it.
In a therapeutic setting especially, I want to encourage a person’s deeper patterns of thinking and logic to speak. I want to help them separate fact from fiction in regard to how they see themselves and their own strengths and capabilities. I want to assist them to clear out negative self-talk to replace it with truer, more rational, more productive thinking and logic. In order to change one’s thinking, we first need to discover what one actually does think. That can’t happen if someone is feeling judged. We can only discover our deeper levels of thinking when we feel safe to explore them.
Our soul always knows the truth of every situation. It speaks this truth in a whisper. Most ‘clearing work’ happens at the personality level. Meaning, during clearing work, it’s the personality that we are addressing. Each personality type has its own built-in tendencies we are meant to understand and to balance. We do this with discovery and discernment, not judgement. And, we do our best discovery work with wide open curiosity.
The personality can often be louder and more dominant than the whisper of our soul. So, creating moments when we can listen, discern and clear out the stances our personality has taken are precious indeed. These moments can be created. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Embrace morning time. In the quiet and stillness of the early morning just before dawn is a very special time when our soul can speak to us. This is when the mind and personality aren’t quite awake yet. Your soul is always awake and wants to talk with you. It is you. When you take time to listen to your soul, you’re taking time to listen to yourself; the part of you that never lies, never withholds, is infinitely wise and accurately discerning. You may wish to write down what your soul has to say or you may simply choose to sit and listen.
2. Be a loving witness of your own life. Practice witnessing your thoughts and behaviors from a place of neutrality and gentle discernment. Imagine you have a kind, inner voice that softly repeats back what it has heard and seen you say and do. This inner witness knows both the high and low roads of positive and negative outcomes. It can easily connect the dots and tune into how certain behavioral choices will flow out in the end. It doesn’t judge. It only reflects back what it witnesses with absolute love.
3. Know that there is more to you than meets the eye. The truth is you are more than any reaction you’ll ever have. While we are, of course, responsible for all we say and do, there is more to us than our thoughts and actions. Remember that you are, first and foremost, a spirit of light, and that patterns of behavior are just patterns that can be changed; this may help soften the mood for you to explore the real you, beyond judgment.
The choices we make when we are slow, quiet and connected are different than when we are rushed and stressed. We all think and act differently when the conditions are spacious and inviting. So, in these moments of soulful reflection think of yourself in a higher, holistic way. Take the time to make it safe for your soul’s whisper to talk to you. As you witness yourself with kindness, curiosity and an open heart, you’ll be able to create inspired moments for listening and healing. The more you practice soulful, non-judgmental self-witnessing, the more you will be able to do it with others. And perhaps you may even allow yourself the joy and comfort of having support from a trusted therapist.
Julie Matheson is a holistic mental health counselor and author. Her new book is now
on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, Audible and in bookstores near you –
Lotus Flower Living: A Journaling Practice for Deep Discovery and
Lasting Peace: Untangle Your Mind and Heart Once and For All.
You may listen to the Introduction at LotusFlowerLiving.com/book.