Devil on my shoulder

It is the school holidays in Switzerland and I have had far too much exposure to children’s cartoons. Really. Way toooooo much.

I was having a wonderful session with a client today and we were talking about the beautiful role that wisdom plays in our lives, when the most extra-ordinary image popped into my head:




We talked about how wisdom is around us all the time, whispering in our ear, and potentially guiding us for our entire lives. Only we so often break the system and override our wisdom with “important” thoughts. Take for example my recent holiday in Spain. At the end of a long, beach filled day, we had decided to drive major-ly out of our way to go to a massive sports shop. This would involve driving past the turning for our accommodation. As we approached the motorway exit, I felt a little whisper:

Get off here, go home“.
No!” I replied! “I have been thinking about this all week! We are doing this!

Yes, we got lost. No, we didn’t find the store. Yes, we wasted 45 minutes. Yes, I was very annoyed – but mostly at myself for not listening in the first place!!!!

Speaking about this with my client, I realised that it is very similar to how these ‘devil and angel-on-the-shoulder cartoons’ are drawn. We have an angel, our innate wisdom, sitting on our shoulder, whispering to us the best course of action at any given time. Then we have the ‘devil’ on the other shoulder, who is our whirling swirling thoughts, who think they know best, and generally tend to get us into a lot of trouble. They don’t mean too, and they are certainly not the ‘devil’, in fact they think they are also doing things in our best interest.

Which one would you listen to? The one that thinks it is in our best interesting, or the one that knows it is in our best interest?

1380712_10152824727147588_1858003750_nIf you are also on holiday, have fun – I’m off to build a Unicorn stable this afternoon!


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  1. Just love this blog! It is so true, how we don’t always listen to our wisdom, I guess the ‘devil’ in our ear speaks louder until we realise that it is not coming from truth.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Yes Sue – up to the moment we realise that it is only our confused mind jabbering away, rather than the truth – then it is easy to see it for what it is (until we forget again!!)

  2. I love the picture you paint. It is absolutely spot on. I’ve recently felt that from birth we are programmed to ignore our wisdom, fight it. It is a refreshing truth to speak of following it. Thank you.

    • We are definitely taught out of our wisdom, so the question is: how do we prevent doing this, as much as we can, with our own children?

  3. This is so true, thanks for such a clear and practical example. A book I just read, The Yoga of Eating, also talks about this innate wisdom of body and mind and how by bringing a state of consciousness to moments will help us first truly listen and then trust what our body and minds are telling us. Don’t you feel like children naturally do this much better, as they process situations differently due to a different level of awareness of external cues?

    • That is a very interesting question Katie. Before the age of three, children are really really in the moment and in some regards much wiser than we are! After 3, children are much more aware of their thinking, which takes them away from the moment, and away from enjoying food, as it is, in the moment with awareness.

      Having said that, I know that (annoyingly!) my daughter still has a lot of wisdom about how much food she should eat. As a parent, I have my own ideas about what a good meal is and how much she ‘should’ eat. Hence The Table Wars have started, something which many parents can relate to!


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