“Your World Needs your Wisdom”

by | Print Articles, Spiritual Living, Thought Leaders, Winter 2024

Wisdom Dialogues with Colleen-Joy

Heal your inner obstacles to bring your wisdom to life and join Colleen-Joy’s Wisdom Well Challenge.

I’m sure you’ll agree that, especially right now, the world needs wisdom. In times of great stress and suffering, the world needs our wisdom more than ever.

But what if your inner obstacles are keeping you from stepping up and stepping into your role? What if the stress of living in tough times is blocking your inner intuitive guidance?

If my life has taught me anything, it’s how to access inner wisdom during insanely stressful, even traumatic times. I’ve come to call this ‘Building my Wisdom Well’. You could call my Wisdom Well method a mix of simple meditation, mindfulness, journaling and self-coaching. I call it, how I survive being human.

I’ve learned how to find inner wisdom, clarity and strength to heal crippling shyness from my childhood of having a monster-making egg-sized facial tumour and living with spiritual homesickness after a profound near-death experience during surgery at age four.

As an adult, wisdom helped me be a brave mom in hospital wards when my baby daughter was born with a life-threatening condition; stay calm enough to negotiate an armed robbery home invasion; face the shame and stress of financial collapse; navigate a painful divorce; and eventually to cope with the stress of becoming a successful conscious entrepreneur with the responsibility of clients around the world and people depending on me to create steady income.

What I’m saying is that I know something about finding real-life intuitive wisdom and the kind of spirituality that doesn’t belong only in a temple but belongs everywhere.

Perhaps you need to hear this today, or you may know someone who does. But you do have wisdom in you, but you may need to learn to build your Wisdom Well. I’m here to help.

“But Colleen, I don’t feel wise,” you may say. Or perhaps you’re thinking: “I don’t have enough certainty to share my wisdom.” Or “I’m not perfect, so how can I bring my wisdom to the world? That sounds arrogant.”

Three things I’ve learned about bringing wisdom to the world

  1. You don’t need to feel wise — you just need to know how to build your Wisdom Well to access your wisdom when you need it.
  2. You don’t need confident certainty — you just need to know how to bring your inner obstacles to your Wisdom Well for healing.
  3. You don’t need to be perfect — you do need to focus on serving with authentic love and integrity, willing to improve your skills to make a difference.

Is this easy? No. Is this worth it, for many, yes.

I’m here to challenge and inspire you to build 100 Wisdom Wells — first for yourself and possibly even to pay it forward to show others how to do the same.

If you built 100 Wisdom Wells and inspired 100 people to do the same and they each inspired another 100, in just three waves, 1 000 000 people would know how to turn doubt, stress and suffering into clear-seeing wisdom.

My life has taught me that wisdom has gentle life-changing power. Wisdom, like life-giving water, can be healing, nourishing and cleansing. When you know how to build your Wisdom Well every day inside yourself, you can turn the torture chamber mind of worrying, uncertainty, not knowing what to do, sadness, longing, or shame into peaceful, content wholeness and clarity.

What is my 100 Wisdom Well Challenge?

If you take up my 100 Wisdom Well Challenge with me, this could look like simple journaling exercises, meditations, mindfulness moments, or self-coaching, because building your Wisdom Well is a combination of these. I’m not going to tell you this will be snap-your-fingers easy to do because digging a well means putting in some effort and being willing to get dirt under your fingernails. But I will tell you that the effort is worth it. Once you discover that you truly do have life-changing wisdom within you, everything changes.

You no longer need to go to teachers for their water. You have your own source.

Just 15 minutes of drinking from your Wisdom Well can give you the courage and dignity to walk through even the most difficult of days.

Some Wisdom Well experiences are absolutely ordinary, as ordinary as drinking a glass of water. Others turn dead suffering parts of your life into enlightened gardens, making it feel entirely different to be alive.

That’s why I want you to be inspired to take up the challenge of building 100 Wisdom Wells. I know that, by the time you complete 100, you’ll know how to do this. You will have tasted your water and seen its life-changing power. One day of giving my garden water isn’t enough, but 100 days can create an oasis.

If you have the heart of a coach, guide, facilitator, teacher, or leader, not only will you give yourself the gift of knowing how to build your Wisdom Well at any time whenever you need it, but you can also inspire others to do the same.

The master teacher shows people their inner teacher. A masterful leader helps people to lead themselves. Guides, leaders and coaches who give only their own water find themselves empty and exhausted.

What is wisdom?

To find and free our wisdom, we need to know what it is and what it isn’t.

  • Wisdom, in the way I’m using the word, is not knowledge or intelligence. Someone can have mountains of knowledge and a high IQ but lack wisdom.
  • Wisdom is not a psychic ability. Someone can have special intuitive skills but still lack wisdom.
  • Wisdom is not words. Even words that represent wisdom can be weaponised. How often have the words of wisdom of great teachers been turned into weapons?

So, what is wisdom? Wisdom is true seeing and true being. A lack of wisdom is simply a lack of true seeing and true being. If I’m looking through the glass window on my patio now at the lake in front of me, if the window was covered in mud, I wouldn’t be able to see the lake clearly. My perception would be clouded. If I clean the window, I can suddenly see the lake clearly.

Feeling stuck in suffering and stress means we can’t see clearly, and we can’t be our true selves. Seeing and being at the deepest place of truth are the same.

When you limit your seeing, you also limit your being.

And when you limit your sense of self, you also limit how much you can see. Wisdom has the power to take us back home to our true selves, where we see and be with open clarity.

How wisdom saved my life

At 13 years of age, crying myself to sleep, I was so heavy with despair that I contemplated the exit sign in my mind to end my life. I felt crippled by shyness and I’d been carrying intense fear and depression as a secret since early childhood. A near-death experience at age four to remove a monster-making fibrous dysplasia tumour from behind my right eye had given me a glimpse of what my young mind had called home. In death, I’d experienced complete and total peace. A profound love that freed me from the fear of being looked at, feeling different and judged as the little girl with a ‘monster face’.

While recovering in the hospital ward, the peace and freedom of home had lingered. All my fear, sadness and shame were gone. I looked at my hands with wonder at how alien and beautiful my human body felt because I knew I was something other than this. Many days later, when my mother announced with excitement that it was time to go ‘home’, my young mind believed a new thought: That home was a place.

The moment I believed this thought, I lost the peace, love and joy of home. It felt like climbing into a small, suffocating box of fear, sadness and shame. I deeply resented my body, began to question my sanity and kept my homesickness a secret.

Occasionally, an intuitive inner voice that sounded like my own but felt more peaceful, would help. By the time I was 13 and had started high school, I couldn’t stand it any more. Nothing eased the suffering.

So that night at 13, crying softly into my pillow and thinking about exiting life but also feeling guilty about what that would do to my family, a peaceful presence filled the space within and around me. Thoughts rang in me and felt true in their solid peacefulness. I could feel there would be no judgment. I would be met with love and endless seeing. I felt some relief. I just took back some of my power.

The peace formed into clear inner thoughts that said: “Choose a reason to live that is bigger than the pain of being alive.”

I contemplated this, what would make living and the struggle worth it?

A single word formed – a word that represented everything I wanted so badly that I was willing to turn my back on going home to find it. I didn’t know exactly what the word meant, but I felt intuitively that it represented everything that I wanted. So I named the word out loud and dedicated my life to finding it.

I chose to live for wisdom.

I tell you this story so that you know I’ve spent my life dedicated to this one pursuit.

In my quest, I looked in all the wrong places, but slowly I learned how to build my Wisdom Well. By the age of 17, even though I was still shy and seeking, I was asked to teach. Reluctantly, I started accepting clients 20 years older than me who were seeking my intuitive guidance.

Perhaps this happens to you,. I know many of my students tell me they relate. When you focus on helping, guiding and serving the person in front of you, all inner obstacles dissolve. The words flow. You may even think: “Wow, how did I know that?”

That’s a clue. Now all you need to do is learn how to access your flowing inner wisdom whenever you need it.

This year, as I turned 53, it’s the 40-year anniversary of my turning my back from home to stay and live for wisdom. In these four decades, I learned to build my Wisdom Well. And I’ve used the water of wisdom to help my mind, heart and body almost every day, to find the clarity and courage to live this brave thing called being human.

Now, I weep with gratitude because it continues to make all the difference and it helped me find my home again.

Wisdom showed me that everything I wanted from the peace, love and freedom of death, which I had once called home, was not a place.

Home is not a place, it is our true self. True being and true seeing are our home.

We think we are little separate, desperate creatures scratching around on the surface of a little blue planet, trying to grab scraps of security, love and happiness, trying to survive in the insanity of today’s world. But if you build your Wisdom Well and look long enough in the reflection of wisdom, you can see yourself looking back to realise that you, as you truly are — your true being and seeing — are what you have always been looking for.

I’ll do my best to show you how to build your Wisdom Well so that, even if your day is filled with trials and impossible things, you’ll have a way to drink of your wisdom, find the inner strength of your true seeing and being, to face that day and walk through your suffering with dignity.

How do you build your Wisdom Well?

To build your Wisdom Well, you can’t be running around. You do have to stop. You have to stop right here, right now and give yourself the gift of even 15 minutes or more if you can. Stop finding distractions, scrolling and making lists; just stop. But stop with intention. Stop. Build your Wisdom Well right here, right now.

I offer four basic steps. But I want you to remember that these steps are not binding; they are focus points. As you develop your Wisdom Well-building skills with practice, you’ll find it natural to change things up, like learning a recipe and then getting good enough to add your own intuitive creativity. That’s what this four-step structure is for. It’s a recipe to start you off. Repeat it until it feels natural, then be free.

The Wisdom Well four steps are:

  1. Dig 2. Ask 3. Open 4. Drink

To help you remember these four steps, simply think about the metaphor of actually digging a well. You’d have to stop wherever you were and then, to start, you would, literally, just have to DIG.

You can’t send your bucket down if you haven’t first dug through the rocks and surface. So digging is always first.

Once you’ve dug through the rocks and obstacles, you will need a bucket. That’s what ASK means, because the questions we ask are our buckets. Good questions are like good buckets. Weak questions are like weak buckets. Good questions are open questions like: ‘What is the deeper truth?’ and ‘How does wisdom see this?’ not closed questions like ‘Should I?’ or ‘Will I…?’

Once the bucket starts to lower, the third step, OPEN, is about filling the bucket with water. It’s how we open to wisdom and it’s also how we test to check that we’ve hit the water and we’re not just filling our bucket with sand.

We need to know how to tell wisdom apart from ego, how to test our water for purity so that, if we need to go deeper, we can and so that we don’t mistake mud for wisdom.

A big clue is that wisdom makes us feel open, lighter and clear. A lack of wisdom feels closed, heavy and unclear.

With a bucket full of water, it’s not enough to leave it down there. Wisdom wants to be used. It wants us to LIVE what we find.

We bring the water to the surface to drink, nourish, cleanse and transform the surface of our world from a dry, dead desert of suffering and stress to the garden of an enlightened life.

These four steps are simple. Digging a well is relatively simple too, but it still requires us to stop, roll up our sleeves and do the work. And it does help to have a guide. That’s why I’ve created this 100 Wisdom Well Challenge.

Join me on the challenge so that I can help you to do this. Your world needs your wisdom. Will you say yes?

How I can help you build your Wisdom Well daily?

  1. Subscribe to Odyssey Magazine for my regular articles.
  2. Join me at the KZN Spirit Festival with Odyssey Magazine for my Wisdom Well Experience and talks.
  3. Join my Wisdom Well Challenge here colleen-joy.com/wisdom (includes a free Wisdom Well Online Course).

YouTube Video Heal the Fear of Putting Yourself Out there: https://youtu.be/URrF595WKrk

Colleen Joy

Colleen-Joy MCC is an international author, creator of InnerLifeSkills and speaker on coaching, guiding and leading with wisdom. She inspires us to dig our Wisdom Wells, break through the rocks and free the clear seeing and being of inner wisdom so that it can help us to ‘grow the garden’ of living an enlightened life. “Wisdom belongs everywhere, in our boardrooms, homes, hospitals and temples,” she says. Expect practical, grounded, inspired wisdom, a touch of quirky humour and generous help understanding complex teachings on non-duality, wholeness, wisdom and the responsibility of being a guide, coach or leader. Two television documentary films were made about her life from childhood NDE to being a teenage spiritual teacher and then an international coach for 30+ years. Her ICF-accredited InnerLifeSkills Master Coach certifications receive 5-star ratings. When Colleen isn’t writing, teaching or painting, you’ll find her driving her muddy 4×4 to wild open spaces.

Colleen-Joy

Colleen-Joy

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

Colleen-Joy MCC, a Master Coach Mentor and the driving force behind the InnerLifeSkills brand, invites you to join her global community of leaders, coaches, seekers of wisdom and visionaries who make a living making a difference. 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 podcast guest for over 20 years. Join her online internationally ICF-accredited Master Coach classes and enjoy her many free resources. 

Colleen-Joy’s site https://www.colleen-joy.com/

Colleen’s InnerLifeSkills site https://www.innerlifeskills.com/

Colleen’s Youtube https://www.youtube.com/colleenjoy

Colleen-Joy

Colleen-Joy MCC, a Master Coach Mentor and the driving force behind the InnerLifeSkills brand, invites you to join her global community of leaders, coaches, seekers of wisdom and visionaries who make a living making a difference. 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 podcast guest for over 20 years. Join her online internationally ICF-accredited Master Coach classes and enjoy her many free resources.
Colleen-Joy’s site https://www.colleen-joy.com/
Colleen’s InnerLifeSkills site https://www.innerlifeskills.com/
Colleen’s Youtube https://www.youtube.com/colleenjoy