The Power of Discernment
Listening to your inner voice rather than following a herd.
“Do you want to be a better version of yourself? Do you want to build the physique of your dreams? Do you want to be a certified Coach? Do you want to grow a business and earn a 6-figure income? Do you want to experience true happiness and inner peace?… If Yes, then I have something to offer you!”
If you recognise the ongoing trend, this is a sales pitch in disguise we come across very often these days. The drive to evolve is inherent and deeply rooted in humans. So, when we hear the questions mentioned above, most of us answer YES!
We are witnessing a growing wave of self-awareness and personal growth. This has invariably led to the birth of new-age Coaches, Teachers, Guides, Healers, and Influencers across the globe. The surge has been even more evident since the Covid pandemic.
This awakening and transformation is much-needed at the collective level to overcome ignorance and inertia. But, one must pause to reflect on their needs, desires, beliefs, and emotions — while being aware of the underlying intention behind these courses and certifications.
The Role of Conditioning
Modern education and social structures are limited to mostly academic and intellectual knowledge. It also relies heavily on the concept of external solutions to intrinsic questions. We are led to believe that the next best gadget, job, relationship, and social status will bring us fulfilment.
While these factors might offer security and comfort, one is never content because the inner void still remains. This emptiness often leads to hoarding in order to feel complete and safe. This can be experienced in the evident case of accumulating objects, to the more subtle aspect of hoarding knowledge.
But, if we have access to information and knowledge on our fingertips, why is there a sense of struggle?
I believe one of the key reasons is the excess of information consumed, along with the lack of integration of knowledge and techniques. The other factor is that certain decisions are driven by comparison rather than internal motivation.
We are constantly comparing ourselves to other people in the disguised forms of inspiration, envy, jealousy, superiority, and arrogance. This comparison is part of the human condition and starts in childhood with unconscious parenting, blends into the competitive nature of schooling, and leads to the corporate ladder and endless rat race.
The superficial digital world and idealistic personas on social media exaggerate this mental model of comparison, which can be a major trigger in highlighting one’s flaws and insecurities.
Feeding on Insecurity
Deep down, every human being wants to transform. But, most of us face challenges with our very own limitations. The fear of being judged, fear of missing out, and lack of self-acceptance makes one vulnerable to suggestions.
While a certain amount of receptivity is needed to learn, following someone or something blindly can become a breeding ground for self-help and fitness “gurus” by targeting our weaknesses. The Yoga industry is no exception to this fact.
When the majority of the global population is waking up to transform themselves, the collective consciousness inspires us naturally and energetically if we are aware. But, it is helpful to have a significant level of self-acceptance before embarking on a journey of personal transformation.
Else, the process is likely driven by a fear-based mindset and an external need for validation. Fear constricts us and blurs the intellect. This is an ideal setting for one to fall prey to the endless number of quick-fix solutions, courses, workshops, and certifications.
The modus operandi of a lot of new-age coaches and teachers is to highlight the underlying fear and flaws within us, subtly remind us of their grandiosity with achievements, trigger the need to be a part of a community by emphasising the numbers, and make us feel that we are missing out if we don’t participate.
We have to become aware of this pattern and choose wisely.
I must clarify that there are genuine educators out there and I truly respect their work. But, this article is aimed at using your discernment to differentiate between the authentic sources VS the ones with a great marketing game.
Our brains and nervous system are not hardwired to consume so much information and stress on a regular basis. High-stress levels, information overload, and unhealthy habits are the leading causes of burnout and mental health conditions today.
Amidst these conditions, we don’t really need more tutorials, courses, and certifications. We need to pause and create space.
The need of the hour is slowing down — we have nowhere to go. The need of the hour is silence — we have a fountain of wisdom within. The need of the hour is solitude — we must be at peace with ourselves.
When we create space by minimising information, simplifying routines and managing expectations — we naturally resonate with the inner frequency of insight, clarity, and intuition.
Beyond the noise of the virtual world, there is a beautiful space awaiting your presence. This space holds the key to inner wisdom. All we have to do is listen.
Food for Thought
The intent of the article is not to render you passive, but rather enquire into the nature of existence. We should and will always continue to seek knowledge and growth through articles, books, videos, podcasts, and more. But, we must also start listening to our inner voice.
I encourage you to use your discernment with this article too. But, most importantly, before you decide to pursue the next course, or buy a new book, or watch another video — ask yourself WHY?
The universe will continue to offer these opportunities of learning and growth. Other people will walk on their individual path of transformation. There will always be a teacher or teaching available.
But, the voice of intuition is more powerful than any teaching. The external sources can be a great way to validate our inner voice, but we must start following our heart — the source of love.
Anything we love will definitely guide us in the right direction, provided we listen to the inner voice and strengthen the faculty of discernment.
“The practice of discernment is part of higher consciousness. Discernment is not just a step up from judgment. In life’s curriculum, it is the opposite of judgment. Through judgment a person reveals what he needs to confront and learn. Through discernment, one reveals what he has mastered.” — Glenda Green
While this article may not be among the overly positive ones on abundance, health, prosperity, success — it is a gentle reminder for us to look within and trust ourselves.
I hope 2021 will be the year of gratitude, love, and wisdom for all. The lofty teachings of Yogic philosophy are ineffective and impractical without these ingredients.
I would love to hear your experience with the war between external noise and inner voice. Do share your thoughts in the comments section.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!