Discernment means “the ability to judge well.” It wasn’t a word or concept I knew, used or particularly cared about, for the first 50 years of my life. Judgement, on the other hand… I’m pretty good at (ask my friends and siblings). “Judging well” is a more recent development and I’m still working on it. For example, in my art I discern in an organic and intuitive way by the way I place, add or delete colors and effects. I make choices so naturally I don’t think of it as “discernment”. The act is just part of my well developed process.
However, scheduling my days, balancing work and big life choices use another kind of discernment. When I make goals and plans, I have never followed a particular linear path, so discerning the next steps can sometimes be baffling for me. So often my decision making is affected by how I’m “feeling” that day. I’ve learned that bad decisions can make good teachers and I find myself not wanting to suffer, or cause suffering to anyone else these days, so I try to make good decisions along the way. Insight can take time, and for those of us who are impatient, taking time can be the most worthwhile investment in the decision making process we can make.
When I gather groups together a lovely synergy occurs. By encouraging others to create, organize community events in places like old folks homes, bereavement camps and writers conferences, the connections to ourselves and each other just seem to flow. Consequently, I get inspired by people and make me want to give more to the world. The act of being creative I love because of the sheer flow. FLOW: “In positive psychology, flow, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. … Flow shares many characteristics with hyper focus.”
Discerning the best use of my gifts is an ongoing question.