Discernment means a time to reflect or stop in order to distinguish between differences or perceptions. There are numerous discernment definitions on the Web. Discernment in Wikipedia means “to describe the process of discerning God’s will for one’s life.” As a practicing contemplative, for me it means being able to respond to my highest “courageous will” (as Spirit intended). Coming from one’s courageous will is easier said than done. Regardless of your discernment definition a concrete exercise can come in handy to reveal your courage.
One of the exercises I learned in a Nine Month Contemplative course I took several years ago required us take a lined piece of paper and divide vertically the paper in half. At the top of the page write: “What are the advantages and disadvantages of my …” (such as letting go of a dysfunctional friend or seeking a new job during an economic downturn). On the right-hand column at the top write “Advantages” and on the top left-hand column write “Disadvantages.” Using bullets in each column, write down your thoughts for “Advantages” and “Disadvantages.”
Using a new piece of paper, flow through the contemplative discernment exercise three different times in about 10 days (or less, depending on the need for a decision). This process allows you make the best choice given the set of circumstances. Your sincere heart shows up during this journey allowing you to make wise judgments—judgments that hopefully in the long run do not surface in the form of regrets. I found this discernment process brought clarity to many questions I struggled with and inner peace was the outcome, but stillness was required. With courageous intention you begin to discriminate on what you are called to be.
Ask yourself: What would you do if you had unlimited courage?
May you be free to embrace your highest courageous will!
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