Alana Grainger | How discernment brings refinement
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How discernment brings refinement

Recently, I feel I have been on a bit of a growth spurt. Expanding beyond my current form and moving into a new incarnation. Part of this evolution has incorporated me becoming more aware of what is around me and what is no longer serving me. This broadening of my lens has enable me to view things from a more detached perspective. It has fortified my ability to hone a concept that I already knew and used but hadn’t done so categorically: discernment.

Sorting wheat from chaff

According to Merriam Webster Online Dictionary the definition of Discernment is:

1: the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure : skill in discerning

2: an act of perceiving or discerning something

Whilst this concept of discernment was not foreign to me, it was something that I hadn’t readily applied, unless the circumstances were extreme. For example: when I was working late nights in hospitality and then decided to turn my energy and attention to yoga and well-being, I naturally was drawn to people who shared that same lifestyle.

Not that I was ever a big drinker but was no longer wanting to be around people who did. The decision to actively not put myself in those situations was a blatantly easy one. Whilst I was discerning, I don’t recall doing it consciously. My desire for a big night on the booze had disintegrated rapidly along with any interest of joining someone who did. I sought to feel fresh and alive everyday and surround myself with other people who wanted the same.

The more that I gave myself over to that healthier lifestyle, the more it enticed me, therefore more energy and time I gave it. The rewards were countless including feelings of inspiration, creativity, aliveness and vitality. As my internal desires changed, I was naturally magnetising others who resonated with the energy I was putting out. When I changed my mindset the entire world outside of me shifted to move into alignment with it.

As I proceeded further along this path, it expanded to offer me many more experiences. I began realising that the more aware I was becoming, the subtle the energy was. This is essentially the teaching of Yoga. Yoga directs our attention to move from outer to the inner state, from density to subtlety. Here is where things begin to get a bit interesting. Though people and situations may be very, VERY similar to what you are putting out, at times, there maybe something that still feels slightly ‘off’.

Feeling the discomfort and doing it anyway

What began as a feeling of being a bit uncomfortable in certain situations, has led me to feeling drained by being in the presence of certain people. Being someone who is fascinated with people and with life, I began doing little experiments. I would either limit myself to shorter meetings with certain individuals that I didn’t find uplifting, OR I would just remove myself entirely from the situation by not meeting them at all. I would then be consciously aware of my energy levels after and the results needn’t even be shared, as I think you can figure this out for yourself.

Often, if you are natural healer and empathizer you are compelled by a sense of duty to spend time with those who you rather would not. Now here is an interesting thing to contemplate when you next find yourself in this position;

why are you doing it?

Are you honestly coming from a place of integrity and compassion? Or is it coming from a selfish means so as to gratify your ego? Everyone wants to be wanted and as part of this learning curve of self-love and boundaries, there will come a time when you act out of your own sense of fulfilment as opposed to doing it out of the service of love. True story and once you have realised this and admitted it, you can move beyond it. PS, more than likely, you’ll witness yourself feeling flat and tired after encounters like this. To rectify, see paragraph above.

It is only after you’ve gained a greater sense of awareness that you can see the reason why you’ve put yourself in that position, was to fulfil something within that was lacking. This is necessary on the path of learning. You have to act from a place of selfishness before you come from a place of selflessness. Rather than sitting in the discomfort of being alone and cultivating your own energy, you choose to spread it thinly among those who don’t appreciate it. This is a challenging lesson to learn but eventually you start to swing back the other way.

The rise of intuition

After placing yourself in these situations many times, your energetic body becomes very skilful at letting you know if the environment you have placed yourself in, is in alignment with you or not. You begin to feel, without much effort, people, places and situations that inspire and engage you and those that do not. The more that you listen to and act upon these feelings the stronger they become.

This sense of discernment has a strong tie with being empowered by a sense of your own boundaries. You can only be discerning when you know the limits of your own being; of what you will and wont stand for.  This is not selfish, but indeed an act of self-love. You know you have reached a new level of self-respect when you simply love yourself too much to put yourself in certain situation or let others treat you less than the way you would treat yourself. This is precisely the reason that you have had the previous experiences so as to assist you in addressing and clarifying your limits and knowing your non negotiables.

Your intuition becomes your best ally AND your personal sentinel, alerting you to situations that entrench upon the perimeter you have set up to guarantee your success and to sustain your own wellbeing. Simply put, you have worked far too hard to increase your own vibration and insight to go and pour it out to people who not only don’t appreciate it, but also most certainly cannot understand where you are coming from.

From discernment comes refinement

Refinement is the truth bomb that dropped totally unexpectedly when I became intent on being discerning. When harnessing the power of awareness and consciously navigating where and who your energy is flowing to, you strengthen that which is already within. Because you have learnt to create a strong container and tightened up any ‘leaks, holes, or drafts’, the intensity of your vibration will increase.

One way of viewing this is to consider a river. When a single body of water is flowing in one direction without any smaller streams deviating from it, it’s power is far more potent and its momentum stronger. Yet, when you have a river with numerous divergences, then it will in effect run slower as its energy is being channeled out through openings branching off it’s main source.

Quiet the visual right? Now replace the river with your own body and contemplate just how much vitality you are loosing through streams that end up simply going nowhere. Sometimes though, streams branch off and return at a later stage. When the force of the main body is simply too big, the banks will burst and a new pathway will be created. These separations can be viewed as life’s detours, you don’t know what is happening but yet you trust the flow as inevitably, all rivers lead back to the sea. Everything returns to it’s origin and will join up again, but first there has to be a build up of pressure for a new path to be created and that can only happen when those smaller cracks are dammed.

When you are enveloped within the essence of your own being and acutely discerning over who you share it with, you effortlessly draw in those who radiate on the same vibration as you. This is where one of the most profound shifts of consciousness occurs, as it flies in the face of what we are being told in this media saturated day and age. When you know your worth, you finally realise you are enough. Just as you are. Nothing on the outside can give you more than what you already hold within.

From that comes a most powerful mantra:

Magnetise over advertise

If you consider that all you need already lies within, then you don’t have to go and push and hustle as you are confident in your capabilities and your sense of self. All will come to you, like moths to a flame. The higher your vibration, the more you attract. If you build it they will come. Everything around you prospers when you hold firm in your boundaries as the stronger your potency, the more will be drawn to you as you are the well spring of nourishment they seek.

Equally, be aware though that when demands are placed upon anything- people, situations, circumstances, the universe, there is a natural resistance and a shield that gets thrown up. So by pouring yourself into yourself, you create the lake that all want to quench their thirst from, just be a bit discerning about who you let drink!

You are the source as well as the whole.

With the analogy of the river firmly held in your mind, just take another moment to consider this. What if you are not just the beginning of where life flows out from but you are also it’s entirety. Everything starts and ends with you as you are the perceiver of life in all its various and manifested forms.

Just sit for a moment and close your eyes. Breathing deeply, turn your gaze inward. Imagine the darkness within you becoming the landscape of the entire universe. The sun, the moon, the stars and distant galaxies, ALL exist within you. Visualise the universe expanding and contracting with your breath. The tides of our earth rolling in and out as you inhale and exhale. As you breathe so to does the entire world, the whole universe and all of creation. You are not separate in your existence but connected to all. And you, dear beloved, have the power of discernment to realise this and from this, you refine your experience of life to be one deeply rooted in gratitude and awe.

I have turned this meditation into a short video, click the link below to watch