As you are well aware, there are many "voices" inside your head. It can be crazy-making and seem impossible to know which one is THE still, small voice, the voice of wisdom. The only antidote is to get to know your thoughts, to impartially listen without judgment and discover what is going on in there. So instead of saying to yourself, Help! I need to get out of my head and reach for that glass of wine, say: Hello in there! with curiosity. You'll never regret the self-knowledge you gain.
You'll discover most thoughts are pretty mundane and repetitive. Some are lovely, creative and kind thoughts. Others, that take up a lot of energy and head space, are justifying emotions, thoughts, opinions and judgments. Some, even harder to let go of, are clusters of fearful, sad or angry thoughts originated by small or large traumas and triggered by events in your current life. Both patterns demand much of your attention, leaving little room for peace.
The tricky thing is that it is only when we are void of any strong emotion--guilt, sadness, anger, fear and even excitement, that the still, small voice reveals itself. In fact, any strong emotion that is not joy, gratitude, love and peace closes off the channels through which our wisdom flows.
Even though it can be extremely motivating, strong desire is another deterrent to intuition. When we are attached to life going a certain way, there's no space for the inner voice. This one is hard because the desires can be so strong and feel so healthy! And noble, non-attached desires are healthy. (The key word being non-attached.)
We can also pretend we're non-attached and we really aren't. We justify up and down and all around how we are so right in wanting this particular thing or situation. The fruition of this goal will be the answer to all our problems! In this case, you might just talk your self into thinking you have been inspired by divine guidance. I've done this!
But If we try to be aware of our desires and ambitions and not let them get out of hand, it's easier to set them aside and open to our inner wisdom. If we daily practice surrendering the results of our actions and knowing we would be OK with or without this person, job, house or trip, we have a better chance at hearing the subtle wisdom guiding us ever so quietly.
We must also watch out for imagining we heard an intuitive message when we're tired of waiting for an answer. Let’s say we really want to solve a problem or make a decision and we have prayed and meditated, walked in the woods, etc., and nothing has come. If we are on fire with frustration and impatience, it's possible we may just imagine we received an intuitive answer and we really didn't.
Meditation, managing emotions and stepping back with mindfulness contributes to even-mindedness, fertile soil in which wisdom reveals itself. It is so easy to get caught up in strong emotions and identify with them. Once we realize we have lost ourselves in emotions, we can take a breath and begin to understand what is happening. When we become the witness, we see how transitory emotions are and if we don’t feed them with the mind’s story about who’s right or wrong or whatever, through our intuition we find the pearls of wisdom from each experience and all the emotions fade away..
Intuitional experiences come when you least expect them, when you are calm, humble, peaceful, patient, trusting, non-attached, surrendered yet empty of desire and strong emotion. They can come when you're driving, showering or cooking something you've prepared before. When you're receptive, someone can say something to someone else and you'll think, That's exactly what I needed to hear. Or you can see a movie or read a book and find the wisdom hidden in the words. So put those decisions you have to make on the back burner, clear your mind, live your life and know that guidance will come! Easier said than done. But I know you can do it! Stay tuned for more about how easy it is to ignore intuition in the next blog.