Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

How to Extract Wisdom Pearls from the Scenes of Your Life

Stillwater Pearl

Every week, hundreds of “scenes” occur in your life offering rich material for personal transformation.

If you stop, look, and listen.

The next time you encounter challenging circumstances, entangled communication, or a moment of explosive excitement be sure to take some time to extract a pearl of wisdom from the drama.

First, we need to make a conscious effort to step back and inhale.

You may be lost in a storm of emotional reactivity if your buttons have been pushed or status quo has been threatened.  Or, you may be so entranced with enthusiasm that your mind is pumping on high speed creating ever-more more attachment.  Our knee-jerk reaction is to blend with strong thoughts and emotions, or to judge ourselves for having them.

Finding Clarity in Confusion

These four steps help me to find clarity in confusion or passion. Try them out and see if they help you, too.

  1. Extricate yourself from an unresourced state.  Whatever the emotion – anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, unworthiness, or enthusiasm – let it settle.  Remember, you are not your emotion.  Emotions are just clouds passing by in the sky.  Breathe.  Soothe yourself.
  2. Be aware of any judgements that may be arising about your thoughts and emotions.  Release these too.
  3. Create space to reflect on this particular personal drama.  Journal, reflect, draw, or discuss the experience with a friend or therapist to allow the essential lessons to emerge.  Capture your insights on paper.
  4. Consider the new steps you will take to move in a different direction.  Chart them out in a simple, doable way.

As an example, here are two recent scenes from my own life along with the pearls I extracted.

Scene 1

As we walked along a grass path high above the waves, onyx lava contrasting against blue sky-ocean and jungle green, our animated conversation centered on the subtleties of meditation and thus the nature of reality itself.  I felt so passionate!

Insight:  I need daily doses of inspirational study and periodic conversation with like-minded friends.

Scene 2

I couldn’t believe this was happening once again.  He was encouraging me to plan ahead and be more efficient in managing my personal tasks.  At first I protested, “I’m doing the best I can.”  Nevertheless, my self-esteem plummeted and I went into a funk.  I was momentarily trapped in a parent-child dynamic.

Insight:  I never learned to take care of myself or prioritize my needs as a child.  When I hear well-intentioned suggestions I sometimes fall into feelings of low self-worth and snap into a state of overwhelm.  On reflection, I clarified that I actually want to break this pattern of flying by the seat of my pants and learn to make space and time for my personal responsibilities.

Life flashes by like a stream speeding over a mountain cliff.  Unless you pause and reflect on your life experiences, old habits and patterns will continue to dominate your life and detract from your happiness.  Instead, extract your wisdom pearls and string them together into a meaningful and satisfying life.

Have there been any provocative scenes in your life of late?  How do you extract the wisdom pearls from your life?

Thank you for reading and sharing!  If you enjoyed this article please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love,  Sandra


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  1. Sandra, beautiful post. I have at least one a-ha moment every day – and this is usually from a routine event through the day and it comes from the least expected source. Yesterday my son and I were having a chat, sitting together, holding hands. I just casually asked him to list five things he was happy about and five things he wanted to improve – and was surprised at what he came up with. This inspired me to do the same thing as I was in a little bit of a muddle with my own to-do list. Sometimes we have the wisdom in our heads, but it takes a trigger to make us apply it.

    🙂 What a sweet idea the survey is, and such well-thought questions!

    Thank you, as always, for an inspiring read! Love, Vidya

    • Hi Vidya,

      One a-ha moment a day is inspiring. What a sweet exchange with you son! Such a simple but useful exercise. I appreciate your point that often we have the wisdom within us but it takes a trigger to bring it up and out and help us reshape our lives.

      The input from the survey has been so insightful! I love this way of hearing my readers ideas and requests.

      Thank you for being a part of my life!

  2. Bruce

    Lovely observations, Sandra. It is so difficult after many years on the Path to stay fresh and new, yet to also remember and stabilize what has been accomplished. These observations of yours really resonated with me. We need to stay fresh to our experiences of the moment, yet grounded in who we really are. Brava!

    • Thank you for you kind words, Bruce! It really is tricky to stay fresh and present, isn’t it? I’m glad this article inspired you. We can all strive to be “freshness” triggers for one another. All my love to you.

  3. Thanks for your post. I am trying to learn to be kinder to myself by not judging myself so harshly. I trying to learn view my interactions with others more objectively.

    • Hi Rhonda,

      Being kinder to oneself and viewing our interactions more objectively is a practice, isn’t it! It takes time to get the new habit in place. I’m inspired by your commitment and wish you the best with it.

  4. hey Sandra – a lot of memorable scenes happen daily in my life. I guess the most recent one was just an observation of a cyclist and a motorist crossing paths very slowly in a crosswalk. The motorist cut off the cyclist and the cyclist got really annoyed and started yelling, making a scene. Had a chance to think about what each person must be going through and why. WHere was the motorist in a rush too? Why was the cyclist so upset to the point of throwing a public outburst? etc etc. I guess not only incidents that happen in our own lives but just life events in general have plenty of lessons, wisdom to teach us.

  5. One of the things I catch myself assuming about people I don’t know yet is that they don’t want anything to do with me and don’t want to talk to me. I am getting better at noticing when this unfortunate assumption about people comes up, and sometimes what I do is try to say something to the person I’m assuming must be hostile or bothered by me to see whether what I’m thinking is actually true.

    • Chris,

      That’s so observant. It’s precisely the way we need to get underneath this deeper assumptions that cloud our life. An excellent example! Thank you.

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