Value of the week: Clarity

Once in a while you get a moment of clarity an inspiration and they don’t come that frequently.  Paul Reiser

A debilitating feature of the Covid-19 pandemic is that at some level we feel fear – for ourselves, family, friends and people in general.  My personal experience of fear is that the emotion stops me having clarity in my thinking and sensing.

Clarity, which comes from the Latin claritas, means seeing clearly.  When we have clarity we have a clear, undistorted view of situations.

Clarity is a personal favourite value of mine, as it helps me to make sense of the world and myself.  Currently, there seems to be so much media noise full of confusing information. How do we gain clarity? 

In my home village of Hambleton, local people may often notice me walking, running or cycling – often with my wife Jane.  These times are so precious, as I so often find that during exercise, when my brain is ‘free wheeling,’ I suddenly gain clarity; an insight into a situation or something that I have been thinking about at home.

I recall a profound experience when I was walking in 2018 along the Tongariro trail in New Zealand. I had reached a high point and just stared at the beauty of the view unfolding in front of me.  I experienced a profound wow moment! As I gazed, I felt completely at one with the interconnectedness of life on Earth. It was a sensation I now find difficult to express in words, but I remember experiencing an amazing moment of clarity. I suspect you may be able to remember similar personal experiences.

Neil’s wow moment

On reflecting about the word clarity, I have realised that it is one of our deep innate values that shows up in our lives, especially when we are being authentically ourselves.  By this I mean that we are not being organised by aspects of our personality that manage our lives.  I know I have one aspect of me – I call it the headteacher part – that can give the impression to others that I am well organised and in control. I have other aspects of me that are quite shy and reserved.  When these various aspects are in control of my inner world they make it difficult for me to find clarity.  I have learned to thank them for the help they give me in organising my life but ask them to kindly back off and relax.  When they do, bingo I win the jackpot as my intuition kicks in and I gain clarity. 

My wife Jane and I wrote about how children (and adults too) could learn about their internal worlds and how to lead them in a book called, The Inner Curriculum.  This book shows how wellbeing and resilience can be at the heart of education and life.

The Inner Curriculum

My hope is that you too will connect to your innate gift of clarity, so that you are able to navigate successfully the complexities and current challenges of life.