I have often asked myself what it means to live in freedom. One answer that came to me a while back, which still resonates, is letting go of attachments and resistance and allowing life to express naturally through this body.
In his inspiring book, The Surrender Experiment, Michael Singer, tells of making the decision when he was young not to follow the whims of his mind, but to let the universe use his body for the highest good.
This is a beautiful intention, but to actually live this way, one needs to be able to discern what is the highest good/natural flow of life.
Learning how to access and trust our inner guidance is a huge key to living a life of freedom and happiness.
When I was first introduced to the concept of inner guidance, I didn’t have any particular gift or aptitude for accessing my guidance and I struggled with it for quite a while. Finally, through lots of practice and trial and error, I developed a guidance method which worked for me. I’ve used it regularly ever since and it has served me quite well.
Making decisions by guidance gives me lots of peace of mind. Whatever consequences come from my choice, I don’t second guess myself. Even if things didn’t go as I hoped they might (for example, losing money on an investment), I just figure that this is the experience I was meant to have for my learning and growth.
Once you get the hang of it, the guidance method described below can be done very quickly. Often, I do it in 15-30 seconds when dealing with day-to-day choices. Of course, when you’re faced with a major life decision you’ll want to take more time. In these cases, take a few hours or even a retreat weekend to relax deeply and get yourself in a crystal clear space, before doing a more leisurely guidance process.
I believe that all of us have the ability to tap into a place of deep knowing. Accessing inner guidance is a skill that can be developed through practice. There are many effective ways to access inner guidance. If the method I describe below doesn’t work for you, keep exploring until you find one that does.
An essential first step in accessing your inner guidance is to have an intention to let go of any attachments, preferred outcome, or resistance that might block you from receiving clear guidance. A simple way to do this is to focus on your breath, having a sense of letting go of attachments as you breathe out, and receiving openness as you breathe in.
After you’ve gotten to a place of nonattachment concerning the choice at hand, the next step is to establish a reference point of how a clear “yes” feels in your body. One easy way to do this is to remember a time when you made a choice and experienced total clarity. Then, feel the sense of “yes” that memory evokes in your body as deeply as possible.
Next, pick one of the options in the current choice and imagine yourself selecting this option. Tell yourself that you’re choosing this option. As you do this, pay attention to what happens in the body. Is the feeling of “yes” you evoked by remembering that past choice still present? If you feel confusion or mixed feelings, go deeper. Go into your heart, as well as your belly and feel the energy moving you toward this choice. Does it feel expansive, natural, and light (the energy of Spirit), or contracted, effortful, and resisting (the energy of ego)?
After you’ve deeply experienced the energy of the first option, go back to the reference point of that other time when you got to a place of 100% clarity. Deeply feel the “yes” in your body again.
Next, move to the second option and explore it in the same way you did the first option. If there are multiple options, continue this process, alternating between the reference point and various options, until you are complete.
Self-Knowledge through Guidance
The essence of this guidance process is learning to discern between the different voices and impulses inside of you. By practicing this method, you will become more and more able to recognize which to trust and which impulses are best not to follow. You’ll see that the energy of ego, no matter how cleverly it disguises itself, is based on fear and contraction. Whereas the energy of Spirit/Self/God is loving and expansive.
The more you develop your ability to distinguish between the voices within you and consistently choose to follow your higher impulses, the more you’ll become free from your old conditioning and fears. You’ll find greater peace and happiness in yourself.