Rather than ask “What is pickled wisdom?” perhaps there is a better question we should be asking. And someone did: How do we learn to integrate our “soul skills”- to harvest and preserve our gifts- was a question that I was recently asked. I stared thinking about a recent laugh I had when a friend and sister Soul Coach misread a Facebook post. I was talking about using Denise Linn’s Soul Coaching® Oracle Card deck and I that I had written, “I picked Wisdom”, referring to the name of the card. Maybe her eyes were tired, but she read it as “pickled” Wisdom! We both had a good chuckle but it started me thinking about the pickling process and I discovered that I was in fact pickling Wisdom!
I don’t know much about pickles-other than the pleasure of eating them- so I consulted with a pickle expert, my youngest daughter, who started her own naturally fermented pickle product business. Here’s what I learned and I think the metaphors will leap off the page for you, as they did for me.
Pickles are about preserving the harvest. They go through a transformative process as they go from cucumber to pickle. If you are using a natural fermentation process, it adds new life to this harvested cuke, introducing healthy bacteria and cultures that offer health benefits that were not there before. This natural process creates carbon dioxide.
At the time all this took place, I was feeling stuck in the writing of my book. The book is a brilliant idea (sorry if I sound like I’m bragging but I’m just being objective for a moment) that will help many people with their children’s dreams, yet I haven’t been able to move very far into it. So I asked the Soul Coaching® cards “What energy will help me move forward with my book?” I picked the Wisdom card. It said in part, “Your wisdom has not only come from your joyous, carefree times; it’s also bloomed from your failures, deflated dreams, and seemingly wrong turns. In life.” There was more, but with that little bit, I started thinking and reframing how I think about all this. I’m not stuck, I’m pausing to reorganize and restructure and growing wise as I experience all the frustrations and seeming-failures of this project! And suddenly, I made the leap as to why it wasn’t working. What I envisioned for this book is a great idea, but it’s not me! I’ve been trying to make my book into something I don’t want to write! This was a huge “aha” moment and in the split second that followed, I knew what I did want it to be.
So the “harvest” (my cuke of an idea) was transformed into Pickled Wisdom. Not only has new life been added to my project, but to me as I now feel lighter and more energized than I have in a long time. And the carbon dioxide? This is like the pickles sighing! When we exhale, we get the carbon dioxide out of our body, and so do the pickles! Wisdom, without breath- whether the breath of life or the breath of meditation- is just “smarts”, but if we pause to breathe it through, to send our ideas through our system and integrate their oxygen and their nutrition, and act from that purified and holistic place, then we are on the way to true wisdom.
I can’t tell you where to pick up Pickled Wisdom; you have to make your own batch. But breathing, and looking at the big picture, successes and failures, goals reached and goals dropped will be how you start to pickle your own wisdom. And if you will gather the harvest of your gifts and take the natural fermentation route, you will soon transform your own stuck places into perfectly crunchy and perfected pickled wisdom in your own life.