Understanding and Knowing

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a retreat. It was a complete unplugging. I left my phone, watch, computer and television behind and got connected within. Over three days, I listened intently to inspiring speakers and further engaged in conversation with thoughtful participants.

What came up during many of our conversations was this idea of understanding concepts, grasping the logic, and yet not knowing how to meaningfully implement in our lives.

There was something about this distinction between understanding and knowing that really spoke to me. This wasn’t the first time I had heard this idea but it was the first time I watched it unfold in real time. The only way we can effect change is to witness your own unhelpful habits in the moment. It’s to see how we are unconsciously stepping in our own way and instead be able to course correct in the present.

What do I mean by that? Well I went back to a book I’d previously read, Daily Love by Mastin Kipp, that I thought summed it up succinctly.

“You can understand something without truly knowing it. If you want to see what you truly know, look at your actions.
What you are doing is what you know. Everything else is just an understanding that you haven’t put into practice yet.”

All of this is profound but the most telling is: If you want to see what you truly know, look at your actions.

We often say about things we want to change: I know what to do but I am just not doing it. The truth is we don’t know what to do, we understand it on a strictly logical, cognitive level. But true change is an emotional process. Our emotions, whether we believe it or not, determine every choice we make long term.

This is why willpower can only get you so far. When we are fighting our nature all day long we will eventually get worn out. It’s not until we integrate information into knowing that our nature changes and we cease swimming against the current. We cease to fight ourselves and experience alignment with what we say, do and feel.

As Lowi said at the start of this week, we have 6 months until 2020, so what do you want to start the new year KNOWING? Where are you lacking alignment?
What habits have you given your power over to that are blocking you from change? It’s in the acknowledgment of that we can begin to make true, lasting change.

If you are not sure, consider this from Brianna Wiest:

“The breakdown is not the one moment when everything mysteriously falls apart. It is the moment when the culmination of your bad habits reaches their tipping point. The breakthrough is not the instant healing. It is the commitment to change those tiny habits so that next time, your life tips in the other direction.”

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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