3 Ways to Hear Inner Wisdom
Imagine hiking in an unfamiliar forest, the sun is going down, and you come to a fork in the trail. You could feel such urgency that you just pick a path, whichever comes to mind first, and take it. Or perhaps you take a moment to pull out your compass.
The compass is likely more reliable than our impulses.
How a compass provides guidance is by tapping into a global energy source, Earth’s magnetic field. The usefulness of the compass is that it points us where we want to head, but its power comes from an ever-present force affecting the compass from the inside-out.
We have an innate capacity for insight and well-being. Like the compass needle we’re tapped into something. It’s got many names: Mind, God, Source, Atman, soul, Buddha-nature, life force, energy, inner wisdom, inner genius, inner GPS, and more. Regardless of what it’s called, like Earth’s magnetic field gently affecting the little needle of a compass, this inner guidance system is always present within us, gently whispering and pointing.
To hear this inner wisdom, we’ve got to be willing to listen for it.
Here are three ways we can settle our urgency enough to begin to see what our inner compass is pointing toward:
Most of us have experienced an intentional and supportive conversation that gets us back in touch with who we are. These conversations have a freeing effect. That affect is the natural outcome to us seeing our experience (our thinking and our feelings) more clearly, more fully, and more authentically. The freedom comes from seeing the experience as it is as opposed to using it to define who we are.
Maybe it’s a coach, a therapist, another practitioner, or a friend. Maybe it's just conversation between our thinking self and our observing self via journaling or focused thinking. No matter the form, this communication isn't haphazard - it's intentional. It gets at the present experience: what I'm feeling, what I remember happening, what I'm thinking about the situation, and what I'm committed to or really wanting with this person or situation.
2. Getting still.
It can be literal stillness in sitting meditation or simply a stillness of mind as we concentrate on something like our body or breath, even while in motion. Exercise, taking a shower, or doing the dishes is another way of getting still. Regardless, getting still is a way to settle into who we are as an aware being - settling down beneath the urgency of our emotions and thinking.
3. Take a different dance step.
This means simply doing something different; it’s a way to literally shift our perspective. So much of our thinking and acting is out of habit. In a particular type of conversation or with specific people, based on our past experience, we could plot out exactly how the exchange will go. It’s sort of like we are in a habitual dance in the circumstances of our lives (shout out to CCC for this distinction).
If you feel like you're dancing the same dance you've danced before, change your dance moves by simply doing something different. It momentarily breaks the habit and we’re left reconnected to some other, more authentic, part of ourselves.
Ultimately, these three ways of tapping into our inner wisdom are really just three ways to get present to the fullness of this moment. When we're acting out of habit or we're present only to our thinking, we're not fully present. Inner wisdom is ever-present, but we've got to be willing to listen.
Thanks so much for reading. ❤️
p.s. Session 1 of the workshop for adults was this past Tuesday evening!! I’m so grateful for the participants jumping right in with me. I’m excited for session 2 happening tonight!