Accessing Guidance in the Moment (no matter what your belief system)
You are guided. Whether you're working on achieving something on a large scale or simply moving through the banal aspects of a human day, it's empowering to move through life with the awareness—the conviction—that you're guided. We all know those impulses (we feel them physically) to put down the book, pick up the phone, open the envelope, close the account, check on the baby, turn left, keep trying, stop talking, sign up, drop out. People seldom think of these as guidance, but those who operate by their inner signals navigate life with more ease; the word effortless may even apply (at least some of the time).
Guidance abounds. It comes up from inside and out through any number of channels—ideas, hunches, images that pop in; memories that pop up or get triggered; the thing you suddenly think to Google or ask; people, books, films, songs, all things seen, heard, perceived in any way; animal encounters, stories, and sightings; the thing you just know, because you just know it. Then there's the magic of synchronicity, which could involve anything coming up in unexpected pairs or threes, or showing up all over the place, especially in a narrow time window or with that what-are-the-odds kind of charge. Whether it raises goose bumps or seems like no big deal, it's all guidance nonetheless. This guidance is unconditional, ever accessible, and operating entirely in your favor—as well as for the good of all concerned. (Your guidance won't ruin someone else's life, even if someone accuses you of that initially.) Guidance comes in all the time, out of the blue, in the moment. In order to best access guidance in the moment, you'll benefit from having a few things in place.
Believe that you're guided. You must have an overarching sense of connection in place. That is, you need a sense that you're connected to Source or simply to your higher self or inner wisdom; however you conceive it, you need to believe that you're connected, you're guided. The more consciously you hold this awareness, the more connected you'll feel. Note that I said feel, not be. We're always connected; we may think we're not (and therefore we'll feel we're not), but we're never separate. One of the 12-step precepts is about seeking “to improve our conscious contact” with what guides us. Bring it to consciousness. I personally repeat every day, morning and night, I am guided. I follow inspiration and guidance.
Believe that your guidance is you-friendly. It helps to believe that guidance isn't tricky to access—it's not such a still, small voice that you have to strain to hear it and half the time just won't; it's not coming to you in code, probably some code you can't crack that's always testing your incompetent skills for deciphering all things cryptic. (Your guidance is not the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle.) Wherever guidance more obviously requires interpretation (say, dreams or synchronicity), trust that unless some super-clear meaning emerges along with a vivid knowing that it's right on, you probably don't need a super-clear marker here. Just let it contribute to your sense of veering left rather than right, or watching for your tendency to let money decide it as you proceed (or whatever tendency you know to watch for). A cool coincidence or compelling dream may serve as no more than a reminder that you're not alone; you're in a rich ongoing discussion with the Universe, and when you're not sure what you're talking about, there's no problem.
Ask for guidance! Truth is, guidance will come whether you ask for it or not. It's like air, the element we live in. But when something is up for you and you're obviously in a position of wanting clarity or needing to make a decision, do ask—then do two things: expect answers and show up to listen for them. You may want to be still and practice some form of meditation/contemplation. This could look like sitting down with a journal, sitting in meditation with the intention to get answers on this issue, or doing some activity (walking the dog, washing the dishes, taking a shower) with the intention of watching for what will show itself. In some way or another, input your question and expect answers to emerge. It's a lot like entering data and letting a particular program organize it and offer some specified output. It's a lot unlike that too—because you don't need any particular program and the guidance computer may do something totally unexpected with the data you put in. The infinite organizing intelligence of the universe is available to you. Consciously give it your questions and concerns and watch for what comes back to you.
Operate out of self-trust. Guidance comes from both inside and out, but what comes in from “out there” does need to be perceived and received by your own inner receptors. This means it's all inner guidance, and it's all about you—what gets your attention, what resonates with you or just doesn't, what strikes you as on or off. You need to believe that you're trustworthy to read the signs, evaluate, prioritize, or just feel for that gut response and choose with little weighing of pros and cons. In a recent talk with a client, we looked at the fact that both the intuitive and rational, linear-thinking parts of you can weigh in, and both are willing to stay present for the whole conversation. Don't treat these parts of yourself as if they're at odds with each other. Just because we can separate them out and give them different names doesn't make them inherently separate. All of you works together as one. Your intuition isn't some character smirking with disdain while the careful, left-brain part of you sits there listing pros and cons. If you think of these two as two different characters—since you're making it up anyway—also make up that they're not only on speaking terms but excellent collaborators. You can trust yourself, and all the different aspects of yourself, to decide well. If you feel like you're confused, can't read the signs, are getting mixed messages, then don't focus on confusion; don't think there's something wrong with you. Hold a consciousness of questing, not of being confused. Stay open. Acknowledge that you're in a process, and you simply don't know yet. (It helps to love not knowing—not to think it's a problem not to know. Byron Katie likes to say that don't-know is her favorite place to be.)
Honor the power of intention. If you're both clear about your intentions and committed to holding them, they will assist you tremendously in receiving clear guidance. Deepak Chopra says that synchronicities (a particularly fun form of incoming guidance) organize themselves around intention. If you're not sure about your child's schooling, your clear intentions about what you want for your child and your home life will guide your process in evaluating the options and choosing minimal or radical change. If you have clear relationship intentions, it gets a whole lot easier to take in and process information about whether you want to keep dating or living with someone (are your intentions being met or neglected, even violated?). Clear intentions about where you're headed professionally will make it much easier to say no to the better but less-than-where-you-see-yourself-next job opportunity. Have and hold intentions and have a healthy respect for the power of intention.
Get your concepts out of the way. When we have very clear ideas about how things should be and adhere religiously to preset existing structures, it's hard to get that guidance in the moment—we're just not that open to it. If you must always follow the same route to go home, you'll disregard that sense to go another way this time—an intuition that could keep you out of an accident or an unwanted delay. (Think of the times you've thought, I knew I should've ...) Don't let the clock decide your timing if the inner voice is urging, Get up now. On a small scale, your concepts can keep you from cool encounters with human beings you don't necessarily hang out with, rob you of brief glimpses of rainbows or hummingbirds, or cause the scorching on the bottom of the pot because you didn't budge when you thought, Get up and stir the soup. On a larger scale, if you have a strong belief that families should stay together, you may spend years with a spouse who's not your match because the clear guidance you're getting to move on keeps getting caught in the we-must-keep-the-family-together filter. You may not go for what you know is your true calling because that would violate your concepts of job security, the necessity of insurance, or the level of backing you believe you need to start something new and potentially radical.
Don't talk back to your intuitive impulses. This is closely related to the former but important to present as a separate point—especially since we seem to love talking back. A small-scale example of this happened when I recently almost pushed away the impulse to turn off my cell phone during a session because I had the fleeting counter-thought that my client wouldn't feel listened to if I reached for my phone. I pushed this concept away in favor of the first impulse (guidance) to turn off the phone, and the second it was off (after I clicked downward through the volume scale to one beep then to silence), a call came in. I got very excited about this and told my client about it on the spot—because we were talking about guidance in the moment! When we talk back to our guidance, we're treating it like some bothersome authority figure that's getting in the way of our fun. Actually, your inner voice isn't that of a mean teacher, tyrannical boss, or bad parent. Treat it like the voice of your dearest and wisest friend, the one who wants the best for you in every sense, fun included, and knows the most efficient ways for you to get your needs met and offer your best service to the world.
You are guided. Trust yourself, and trust your guidance. This guidance is unconditional, ever accessible, and operating entirely in your favor—as well as for the good of all concerned.
Love & blessings, Jaya
You are guided.
Summer retreat with early-bird fees (and super-sweet crazy early-decision price), and more retreats coming up in the fall in the wilds of Maine and upstate New York. All retreats are for women only.
"Living Connection" retreat for women takes place July 6-8 at Camp Earth Connection (15 miles outside of Ithaca, NY). Rustic is the operative word for accommodations, and we'll be in great company in a beautiful spot in nature. Programming will include inquiry (The Work of Byron Katie), awareness walking, expressive movement/dance, free play/rest time, and more. I'm offering early-bird fees through my 50th birthday on June 22! Read all about the Living Connection retreat for women on my events page.
Super-Sweet Crazy Early-Decision Price (limited to 3 people by the end of the day on Thursday, June 7). I'll let the first 3 women sign up for $199 (1 max for cabins). Just contact me before Thursday midnight at email@example.com if you want one of these spots.
Watch for Fall Retreats! Stay tuned for news of my 2012 fall weekend retreats, one at Nurture Through Nature eco-retreat center in Denmark, Maine (October 12-14) and one at Light on the Hillin Van Etten, NY (November 2-4).
You are always guided.
Free Exploration Sessions in their current evolution I'm now offering free 60-minute sessions to people curious about coaching if and only if they fulfill a simple assignment before scheduling it, or between scheduling and meeting. You can see what that entails right here. I'm completely in love with this aspect of my work and still enjoy--in fact, enjoy more and more--the precious opportunity to sit with another human being, possibly for one time only, and offer something that truly has the potential to change his or her life. Because there's a limit to how many I can offer, I'm setting it up so I'm showing up fully for those who are also truly showing up.
You have been, are, and will be guided, always.
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