Wisdom in Retrospect, glancing back with insight to discover wisdom hiding in the shadows By Emma Gilbert
Guest article by: Emma Gilbert
Stories to read…. Meditations to ponder…
Wisdom in Retrospect talks about 64 lessons of life that many would have experienced at some time or other. My stories are written as an encouragement to think about what life is teaching you, an invitation to look at what you have set aside, and an opportunity to look at life from a different perspective.
From the Back Cover
For the past fifteen years, as a reflexology practitioner, I have sat in the presence of thousands of feet. As I sat, I learnt about life. As I pondered, I recognized myself. As I opened my heart, I realized that every person who belonged to those feet was a reflection of me. They were showing me areas of my life, beliefs, or dreams that needed my attention.
I realized that everyone who I once thought did things to me, were actually doing things for me. They were drawing my attention to areas of my life that needed change or acknowledgment. I recognized the outdated behaviour patterns and beliefs that I had learned as a child; patterns that still ran my life as an adult. I came to understand that power and control would be wielded over me, until I came to claim them as my own. I saw that there were nine year cycles in my life, and many things ended in the final year, and much began in the first.
And now as I look back, I see how so much that made no sense to me fits perfectly into its place and its time. I see how so much of what I accepted as thrust upon me was in reality my own creation; drawing me ever closer to an awareness of what I am doing here on the earth, the possibilities I have before me and my freedom to choose.
From the Author
I began writing this book for women like myself – born early in the baby boomer generation – who have a sense of being trapped somewhere between circumstance and possibility. We were a group of women, who, for the greater part, did what our own mothers did, which was mostly what their mothers did before them. At the end of World War II, a new world emerged. Would the babies of those years evolve as their own individual person, or would they be moulded, once again, by the patterns of past generations? This would take many years to become obvious.
Women like myself spent our lives looking after our families, and always putting others first. As the years passed and we grew older, we looked forward to the rewards of our many years of hard work. But, life didn’t always deal us the hand we expected. Illness crushed some dreams; elderly parents drew on our time and energy, grandchildren needed to be cared for while our children continued in the work force, and the stock market crashed. Retirement often brought the unwelcome.
As I continued to write my stories, I realized that there could be many other people, of all ages, who felt trapped in their own circumstances, and who may well enjoy the alternatives that my stories offer.
At first glance, this book may seem like my life story. In reality, it’s not. I have simply used my own stories as examples to help you discover your own. I cannot prove a lot of the conclusions I have come to, but the peace of mind, order and understanding of life that they have brought to me has encouraged me to continue along my own path of self-discovery. My ability to look at life differently has been my greatest reward.
For the past fifteen years, as a reflexology practitioner, I have sat in the presence of thousands of feet. As I sat, I learnt about life. As I pondered, I recognized myself. As I opened my heart, I realized that every person who belonged to those feet was a reflection of me. They were showing me areas of my life, beliefs or dreams that needed my attention.
I realized that every client who came through my door was there to teach me, challenge me, or encourage me. They thought they came for their own healing. In reality, they came for mine as well.
As I continue to sit with many feet and reflect, I barely recognize the person who sat there fifteen years ago, let alone the person thirty or forty years before.
I sit here today with a calmness and acceptance of life, knowing that I am responsible for everything that happens to me. I know that everything is in its perfect place and perfect time, and that wisdom is often only found in retrospect. I also know that beliefs are easily changed, and that what I believe I think about, and what I think about with focus and emotion, I will create.
For many years, I kept the rules that others imposed upon me, having no idea that I could make my own. My confidence and successes came from the belief that God was always with me, protecting me, and doing everything for me. I had no idea that I created everything in my own life at some level of my consciousness. I had no idea about a lot of things. I lived inside a fence, made secure and strong by patterns and beliefs that I hadn’t recognized at that stage.
I had always believed that it was selfish to put myself first. Guilt had convinced me that I had no choice, but I began to learn about choice through my clients. Many told me they didn’t have one. I had come to know they did. It was never really about choice; it was about consequences. I had chosen the consequences I knew rather than the consequences I didn’t know. I did have a choice. I always had a choice, but it took me many years to realize it.
As awareness touched my spirit and I began to consciously evolve, I realized that it was essential to put myself first. As I re-arranged my priorities and made different choices, my life transformed.
I gave up daily Mass after twenty-five years because my understanding of God and myself had changed. While I was grateful for all that the church had taught me, I found my own philosophy and was able to listen and discern for myself.
I moved away from the role of the good wife whose place was in the home, to travel, practice natural therapies, and facilitate metaphysical healing. Initially, my husband said that I had backed him into a corner with all my changes. Later, he told me that it was one of the best things I could have done for him.
I eventually wrote three books, spoke at conferences, and taught workshops. I was prepared to put myself and what I believed on show. I was ready to speak up and have others take notice, something that didn’t come naturally to me.
The person I was thirty or forty years ago was putting into practice many of the principles I am aware of today. Back then, I was doing it unconsciously. I know now that there was a universal law at work whether I knew about it or not. This law was not limited by my ignorance. It was not limited by the words I chose, be it prayer, mantra or affirmation. It had no preference for how I addressed it, be it God, Universe or Source. It simply was, irrespective of whom, what, or how I thought.
I found that working with clients supported my conviction that symptoms and illness, together with every other challenging experience was trying to tell me something. There was a deeper, more complex meaning to everything that happened. If I only looked from a physical perspective there would always be unanswered questions, and much of what was happening in the world would continue to make no sense at all. As I looked past the physical reality to a more metaphysical approach to life, everything began to make more sense to me.
Now, as I look from my perspective of sixty plus years, my eyes focus differently from how they did in the past. I am ready to see wisdom, able to notice insight, and express compassion. I observe and allow, rather than judge. I see myself reflected in all those around, and connect with empathy.
By opening my mind and heart to concepts that I would have once utterly rejected, I have come to realize that everything is exactly the way it is meant to be. I now understand the essential purpose of chaos in life, and I am able to make sense of things that logic could never explain.
I know all is well, and I hold great hope for the future.