If you think of life as a spiritual journey, then at sometime you will find yourself at the proverbial fork in the road. You have to make an important decision. Seeing clearly, so that your choice is congruent with you inner truth, is vital to your soul’s progress on its evolutionary path.
So, I offer this reminder—because you know this—guidance is always there for you as to every decision on your journey, no matter how large, or how small. Trust that. Trust yourself to know what is right for you. You have the answers inside of you. Guidance is not only for those who are somehow special, or psychically gifted. Intuition, or inner knowing, is a common sense that is associated with your natural state of being. It is normal, not paranormal; ordinary, not extraordinary. Your inner self—the invisible side of you that is one with all of life—provides you with information to direct and guide you. The Universe is always communicating its wisdom, if you are willing to listen and be guided.
While I know this to be true, many people tell me that they are not very aware of the spiritual guidance that is available to them. Yet, when they tell me more about themselves, it’s apparent that they get information all of the time. So, let’s explore some of the reasons that we may fail to notice the voice within, and some mindfulness questions to help us see through the eyes of the soul.
One reason people overlook inner guidance is that information doesn’t come in the form they expect it. For many people, what comes to mind, regarding intuitive ability, are media depictions of psychics and fortunetelling. Deep inner wisdom is not likely to tell you that, “you will meet a tall, dark, handsome man named Joe on next Tuesday at the corner of 10th and Broadway.” Rather than speaking in full sentences and in a loud voice, intuition is a subtle sense. It is an internal form of perception that communicates differently than the five physical senses. The inner voice speaks in a variety of ways, including through feelings, bodily senses, hunches, an unexplainable knowing, a gut sense, a strong sense, dreams and symbols. Therefore, we have to develop a relationship with ourselves to learn the language of the soul.
How to do that? Developing greater self-awareness allows you to access inner wisdom. If you withdraw from outer involvement to reflect on and observe yourself, you can develop your inner listening, allowing your deep inner wisdom to reveal itself to you. Think of how when you go on a vacation, or take a drive on a day trip, you feel a sense of spaciousness, which allows you to gain a different perspective. You can cultivate your receptivity to inner guidance by creating that kind of sacred space for yourself.
- Do you have a self-awareness practice (such as meditation or journaling)?
- Do you regularly withdraw from outer activity to access inner wisdom?
Another reason that people dismiss their inner knowing is because what their inner voice is telling them may seem illogical to the thinking mind. I’d like to share a story of someone who followed her inner knowing despite her thinking mind’s objections. A self-employed woman, who works on a contract basis for various clients and had lost some business because of the troubled economy, recently told me, “I know this is crazy. I should be looking for new clients, but I have this creative idea and I’m following my passion and running with it instead.” Crazy? No. Inspired? Yes. The voice of the soul-self is the source of inspiration, creativity, and unique self-expression. Your soul encourages you to live your passion and your truth. That other voice in your head, the logical, thinking mind, wants to keep you safe. Because of conditioning, we allow reasoning and logic to overrule wisdom, intuition and imagination.
- Do you have the courage to follow divine inspiration?
- If not, what is blocking you and needs to be released?
Some people block their intuition because they don’t want to hear what it’s telling them. If they were to admit certain things to themselves, then they would have to make some changes. Thus, ignoring inner knowing often seems easier than facing some unpleasant truth. For example, if you acknowledge that defensiveness is keeping you from having the intimate relationships that you want, then you have to dismantle your emotional armor.
- To grow and be your best self, are you willing to practice radical honesty with your self?
- Is there something about which you are being dishonest with yourself?
- What changes are you willing to make to reach your optimum health and soul potential?
- Is there a change you need to make now?
- Is there something that you need to release?
Other people want to develop psychic abilities, because they believe prescience will give them control, allow them to always get what they want, and to avoid making mistakes. Intuitive ability however, does not provide any of those things. Instead, following spiritual guidance requires a leap of faith. It takes great trust to act on information that you cannot verify with your five senses and that may be counterintuitive to your reasoning mind.
- Are you willing to release the need to control?
- Are you willing to act on spiritual guidance?
Even if you are highly receptive to spiritual guidance, you can have blind spots. It’s hard to see clearly about things that you are attached to, or where you have a personal agenda. For example, a single friend, who deeply desires a man to share her life with, was pondering a dilemma. She told me that a man, who she dated very briefly many years ago, had contacted her. They had been communicating by email and by phone. She had not really been interested in him and didn’t see a real connection, but she was flattered by his remembering her after all these years. As he lived out of state, he suggested coming for a week’s visit, so they could spend some time together. She deferred giving him an answer to give herself time to consider how to respond. I listened to her tell me that she did not have feelings for the man, but she added, “maybe I should have him come visit, because it would be good to have some male contact.” Then, she went on to say that something about having this man as a houseguest wasn’t sitting well with her. So, I said to her, “I heard you say you did not have feelings for the man in the past, has something changed to make you feel otherwise?” Her answer to that question was “No.” Clearly, her inner knowing was speaking to her, but she wasn’t listening. Her strong desire to have a man in her life made her second-guess herself creating her confusion.
When caught in the powerful grip of a personal agenda, we tend to see things, as we’d like them to be, rather than as they are. So, if we want clarity, we need to become more objective about our own lives. Viewing life from an impersonal perspective does not mean that you don’t care or don’t have preferences. It is not the strong emotion or passion that is the obstacle to clarity, but rather the grasping and attachment. “Develop a mind that clings to nothing” is a teaching of Mahayana Buddhism that comes from the Diamond Sutra, one of its wisdom scriptures. If we cling to nothing, we can see everything.
- Are you willing to release attachments and personal agendas?
- Do you have an attachment to something, or a personal agenda, that needs to be released?
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Our soul senses offer us guidance and helpful information for spiritual self-realization so that we can fulfill our highest destiny. By listening, we can receive practical information for creating greater health and wholeness, and for living with meaning, passion and purpose. So, please remember to trust yourself . . . and have beautiful journeys.