The healing power of inner wisdom

by | Conscious Living, Print Articles, Thought Leaders, Winter 2023

Wisdom Dialogues with Colleen-Joy

Turn stress and suffering into clear seeing and solutions in minutes.

“I need to make more money,” my mind begged on a typical start to Monday morning, facing end-of-the-month bills, tough decisions and nightmare to-do lists. When my mind spins, it feels impossible to see clearly. I’ll bet you know what I mean.

I need to tune in to wisdom, to meditate.

“No. You don’t have time,” my mind argued.

But I knew better. I knew that even squeezing 20 minutes out of my day to find inner wisdom was always worth it. So I dragged myself to a comfortable chair, notebook and pen ready, to send the bucket of my question, deeper than the surface noisy torture chamber mind, to find the clear inner wealth of wisdom.

Knowing that it’s almost impossible to access wisdom unless we first get raw and real, in a dirt-under-fingernails kind of way, I started my meditation by acknowledging the stress.

“I’m so tired of worrying about money,” I admitted, the knife-twisting feeling in my gut all too familiar.

Don’t try to be spiritual

It’s so important not to try to be spiritual. Not to hold ourselves ransom to some lofty idea of what we’re supposed to think and feel. I’ve learned this the hard way. If I try to skip over the dirt to get the water wisdom, it just doesn’t happen. Something about a dose of brutal self-honesty opens our minds, hearts and being to wisdom.

So I let myself go there, to those dark parts of self, to be willing to look and listen to the petty thoughts, greedy emotions, raging gut, to all the songs of what it means to be human. I let those songs play loud through my nervous system.

When last did you be a safe space for the songs in you?

This is how we dig our wisdom well. It’s an intimacy we give to ourselves. You can be the best friend you’ve always wanted for yourself. You can create a sacred sanctuary of confession, where any and all shadows can be laid at the inner alter of your inner wisdom well. The water of inner wisdom has the power of cleansing, healing, nourishing and life. And you have that in you.

Change your questions to change your bucket

The questions we ask are buckets. My question was a simple one that I’m sure you’ve asked, “How do I make more money?’

The question was born from a contracted fear.

I slowed my breathing, intending to send the bucket of my question inwards. What helps is to do my ABCs, which means taking: Attention to the Body, to the Centre of the Body and Staying there. If attention moves back to the busy mind, I don’t fight because fighting the mind always makes the mind stronger. Curiosity and a sincere interest in what deeper wisdom offers guides attention back to the felt sense of the body.

Then I open my mind in a state of surrender to allow thoughts and ideas to flow. To tell wisdom apart from ego and fear, I notice which thoughts bring more openness, peace and relief. These are the clues that the words of our thoughts reflect wisdom.

A feeling of heavy contraction tells us we are not seeing clearly. The moment we see clearly, closed changes to open. Wisdom melts the tight contraction of stress, returning it to wholeness.

With this simple story of a common stressful thought, “How do I make more money?” I’m showing you how wisdom can heal in mere minutes.

How even a drop of wisdom changes everything

Let’s see how even a drop of wisdom turned my Monday morning from miserable to inspiring. The thoughts that flowed, carrying a song of open peace, were this, “Notice which words in your question are causing the stressful closed response.”

So I looked at the sentence, “How do I make more money?” and noticed that some words caused more of a closed feeling than others. The words “make” and “I” seemed to be the problem.

These peace-filled ideas flowed from wisdom, “You can’t make money.”

I laughed realising the joke; it’s illegal to make money.

Did you know that wisdom has a sense of humour?

But still, there was something true about this understanding; we don’t make money. Even though we use this language, it’s not true. And when we use words that don’t reflect deeper truth, the words can cause us suffering. So I swapped the words for new ones, like trying on clothes to see which fits better, except now I was testing words for how open they felt, looking for wisdom.

This new sentence changed my Monday morning from a stressful misery to a creative energy flow.

“How do I create ways to earn money.”

And then an even deeper seeing arose.

“How does love want to move today? How does love create new income streams?”

Wisdom has taught me that love and the very fabric of life are the same. So this is a recognition that life, as love, flows as Colleen-Joy. And that tuning into this ordinary sacred movement can be a wonderful way to work and live, even in stressful times.

How does love as life move

Tuning in to how love, as life flows to meet the challenges of daily living, invites more of an open feeling. This is how I could step up and step into the day free of the blinding stress that I’d woken up with.

Brainstorming creative ideas and finding the energy for good old-fashioned hard work became easy. I also test all practical solutions for how open they feel. The Monday would have been unproductive if I had not spent 30 minutes first drinking from my wisdom well.

I can give thousands of examples of how inner wisdom has changed everything. Even saved me, but today I wanted to inspire and challenge you to find this out for yourself.

Where are you experiencing stress, suffering, struggle or stuckness right now? If that contracted feeling could talk, what would it say? First, listen. Be courageously honest with yourself about how you’re experiencing life right now.

There is no topic that you can’t bring to your wisdom well. Finances, relationships, career decisions, purpose, spiritual questions — any sincere enquiry can be brought to your wisdom well for healing.

Don’t ask closed questions

I would add an important tip, don’t ask “yes-no” style questions; closed questions are like thimble-size buckets. It’s extremely unhelpful to ask wisdom questions like “Should I…? or “Is it?’ Why? Because these questions don’t reflect deep truth, they’re a mismatch. You’ll find it much more useful to ask open questions and intentionally imagine a dialogue between the part of your mind asking the question and deeper wisdom.

Let’s bring wisdom to life

I care so deeply about guiding guides (leaders, coaches and facilitators) because the world needs wisdom. If we help others to build their wisdom wells, we can change the dry-dead service mind into the garden of an enlightened life.

Our suffering world reflects our lack of inner wisdom. We are a species in trouble because our survival egoic surface minds are on the throne. Inner wisdom can heal our lives, hearts, minds and world.

To apply to join Colleen-Joy’s free monthly Wisdom Well Wednesday classes to experience the healing power of your inner wisdom, visit



Author, spiritual teacher known for the ‘Wisdom Well Way’

Colleen has taught over 35 000 people in 60 countries, delivering over 4 000 classes and talks. Two documentary television features have been made about her life story and she’s been a regular expert television and press guest for over 20 years.

Colleen-Joy is an author and spiritual teacher best known for her Wisdom Well Way meditation method, which you can enrol for at

Colleen is also the managing director of internationally accredited InnerLifeSkills Master Coach Certification programmes at Join her regular Zoom classes.