Each week in The Wisdom of Change blog series, I share the original artwork and unpack the insights and meaning behind one of the 44 cards in The Wisdom of Change oracle deck.

This week’s card is 5 Inner Wisdom

The wisdom in this week’s card takes me back to a time when being ‘in the present’ threatened to overwhelm me.  There are points during profound personal change when things are so chaotic and unexpected, it becomes almost hysteria inducing. Whether we have been longing for change or it arrives unexpectedly, the impact on our life can be swift and unpredictable. The temptation is to wonder if we are doing something wrong or if we are being punished by past choices and poor decisions.  If we succumb to this line of reasoning the path ahead doesn’t lead to a resourceful place.

When we are up to our eyes in what I call the ‘falling away’ phase of change, we can feel scarily out of control and wonder where it will all end.  When relationships and situations you once held dear fall away they are no longer an energetic match. It’s easy to feel panicked by the void they leave behind. It’s now your choice how you fill the space their exit has just created for you.  I remember a critical juncture in my change journey when the pace and impact of the shifts in my life threatened to destabilize me. I came as close as I ever want to be with bankruptcy, chronic fatigue and wondering if I would be able to provide for my children. I battled with my ego telling me I wasn’t cut out as an entrepreneur and that I would never find a relationship that I could trust and flourish in.  I was at my lowest ebb and with the benefit of hindsight ‘rock bottom’ became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

Faced with the prospect of going under altogether, we have a choice.  As everything holding me back was stripped away, it was difficult to comprehend at the time that it was all happening for my highest good. It was either me or something else that would cave.  That’s when I heard my inner wisdom assert that it wasn’t going to be me.  From the deep well of knowing and the internal roar of survival that shows itself when the chips are down, we are ready to listen. We are willing to become curious and try something new; after all, the old ways aren’t working so all bets are off.

It was about this time that I engaged with the idea that I could play with the concept of past, present and future. I’d mined all the insights I could from the past and the present was excruciatingly uncomfortable.  I decided to investigate travelling forward on my timeline to commune with my future self and see what resources might be available for me there.  It was a blend of techniques that I’d picked up from NLP training and from working with transformational coaches. I quietened myself in a space where I would not be disturbed and imagined travelling somewhere into the future when all of my current drama was way behind me.  I was sure this future version of me would have insights to share and advice to offer.

On this occasion, the conversation I imagined was not to be.  Her wisdom was deeper.  She could intuit that there had been enough conversation happening inside my own head and she was not about to add to the noise of those ramblings or seek to engage me on a linguistic level. As I approached her, she was silent, serene; deeply at one with her comfortable, unpretentious surroundings.  Far from the opulent, slick designer lines that my ego had me imagining might be my future surroundings, I found myself in a spacious, soulfully decorated house in a rural setting with horses nearby.  What struck me most, was not what I saw, but how I felt. This future version of me was profoundly at one with herself and had all that she needed around her. She was purposeful yet peaceful, motivated and rested, successful and satisfied. It was the essence of that feeling that I took back with me to the present. It was the perfect resource that I hadn’t imagined I was looking for.  My future self had everything my soul had whispered was possible but that I had dismissed and made wrong because society had proclaimed ‘you can’t have it all’. I now knew what I was aiming for; it was not a thing, but a feeling.

Being able to access a deep personal trust in ourselves is all the resource we need. To land the realisation that in any given moment, as long as we have breath in our body, we have everything we need.  We are still in the game.  It is only when we project forward with a story of disaster, look back with a sense of blame or regret, or believe we lack what we need in the present that we experience any discomfort.  As ‘The Work’ of Byron Katie explains; the only pain we feel is that caused by an unchallenged thought.

The invitation today is to Listen Within; to access your favourite thoughts and travel forward with them to see where they lead and what wisdom they hold.

You’ve got this.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s connection to your inner wisdom.

As always, I’d love to hear your comments below.

If you’d like to learn more about The Wisdom of Change oracle deck you can find out more here.

If you'd like to find out more about a Wisdom of Change reading with Wendy please click here.