“I’m not sure who I am anymore.”
“I’m not sure what to do.”Don’t believe this! You do know. Or, at least, partof you does.See, underneath all the confusion and chaos that you currently believe is “you,” there lies a deep inner wisdom. It knows your purpose. It knows you are here for a reason. It knows what you’re capable of doing, and it has the creativity, strength, and resourcefulness to help you achieve it.Yet, if we’re not intentional about listening to it, it gets drowned out by our own chaotic thinking, the demands of everyday life, and the voices of others.
The good news: your inner wisdom is still there, ready help guide you to a more fulfilling life. You just need to learn how to listen. Here are five ways to start:
It’s easier to find something when you know what you’re looking for. The times in
Try this: Find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted, and close your eyes. Think back to a time when you felt a powerful sense of joy, excitement, and purpose. Wha
t were you doing? What were you thinking and feeling? What made this experience so meaningful?
We can be quick to censor our thoughts, feelings, and desires that make us uncomfortable. Yet they often hold valuable information about our core needs and values.While we probably shouldn’t act on every emotion, craving, or impulse we have, we can gain access to our inner wisdom by exploring them. Next time something pops into your head that that seems selfish, unrealistic, mean, or just plain wrong, get curious! Ask questions like “what’s important about this?”, “What am I longing for right now?”, “What need am I trying to meet?”, or “What am I afraid of?” The not-so-obvious answers might surprise you.
Our inner wisdom doesn’t usually communicate with words. Rather, it often speaks to us through strong desires, gut feelings, or inexplicable emotional “tugs.” Too often, we dismiss this kind of communication simply because it doesn’t make sense to our logical/analytical thinking. Yet, if we’re gong to connect to our inner wisdom, we need to learn to trust these wordless messages.Start now: think of something that unexplainably interests you and pursue it. As the Sufi poet Rumi once wrote, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
Once, a university professor went to learn from a great
Zen master. The master places a teacup in front of the professor and begins to pour him tea. Soon the cup overflows and tea starts spilling out onto the table until professor finally yells for him to stop. The master compares the professor’s mind to the teacup – so full it doesn’t have room for anything new.We also need to create some open space in our minds for our inner wisdom to flow into. Meditation is a great way to do this. In its most basic form, you simply focus on observing your breath. When thoughts arise, acknowledge them — and then gently return your focus to your breathing. By not getting caught up in these habitual thoughts, we make room for new insights and awareness.
Sometimes our inner wisdom starts to give us a glimpse of what we want, but instead of taking the time to fully listen, we immediately start drowning it out with worries about the possible challenges that could prevent us from attaining it.We are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole; we can rise above most challenges we face. But first we need a clear and compelling vision to inspire us. This requires temporarily letting go of the question of “how?” and allowing ourselves to really explore what it is we really want. Try it for yourself! Get out three sheets of paper and write one of these questions at the top of each page.What do I want to do?
What do I want to have?
What impact do I want to have on others and world around me? Then write as many things as you can think of. Let yourself dream big. Afterwards, use what you’ve written to start visualizing what you want your life to look like 3 years from now.