When you face a decision, a question, a turning point, when experiencing suffering...where do you turn to for wisdom? The internet? A family member? A friend? How often do you ask your heart?
One statistic I read recently said that half of people turn to the internet as their first information source. This seems pretty obvious when you type in one to three words in the Google search bar. It immediately suggests a list of questions you might want to ask that others asked recently. Just this morning for kicks I typed in a few phrases:
I typed: Where should I…
Where should I live
Where should I move
Where should I eat
Where should I live quiz
Huh, who knew there was a quiz for that. I guess there is a quiz for everything...
I typed: How should you…
How should you pass a fishing boat
How should you dress for an interview
How should you clean your ears
How should you sleep
People clearly ask Google almost anything. Besides the amusing suggestions, some of the questions can be very deep, personal, thought-provoking. It got me wondering, what has it for us that the internet is the first place we go to when facing a challenging situation?
Perhaps this isn’t so surprising when I think about it. The number one challenge I see people struggle with in my work is learning how to tap into their already-existing intuitive knowing and then ultimately trust it. Google, a friend, anything outside of us often seems both easier and more trustworthy.
Let’s pause for a moment and try a simple exercise on for size before we go further. It is one of my favorite practices for setting intentions:
- Draw your attention inside and close your eyes.
- Notice what you feel in your body. What sensations are present. What temperatures do you notice. Where do you feel fatigue? Energy? Just tune in briefly.
- Take three deep belly breaths. Breathe all the way down into your belly and each time hold your breath for a count of four, then exhale out.
- Next focus all of your attention on your heart center. Focus your attention on the sensations around the heart. Just like you did with the entire body, just notice your heart region.
- Then ask the following question to your heart center, as if you are asking a loving friend: “What is my intention for today?”
- Listen to what comes back. This is different than thinking. Don’t THINK about the question. Ask the question and then listen for what words, images, and sensations come back.
How was this exercise for you? Easy? Hard? Were you surprised by what you heard back?
Consistently I find that most people either find the exercise to listen to their heart versus thinking about the question very difficult. And those who are able to listen find it surprising what they hear back because the response is often completely different than what they had in their minds.
How often do you ask your heart for guidance? How often do you trust it?
Jane (not her real name) is a client of mine that is a joy to work with. She’s a sensitive, loving soul, who gives generously in her work and in her relationships. Recently when we hopped on a call, Jane shared she was triggered by a series of text exchanges with a friend that left her feeling like the friend erased all of the moments and years of generous love and support that Jane gave her. For Jane, it was as if this single incident erased all of the care she always showed as a friend. We decided to get curious. I took Jane through a series of exercises to get her into her body, connecting to where the frustration was hiding in her body. Upon investigation we found it, the feeling was living in her heart center. As Jane tuned in, curious, interested, to see what her internal wisdom could share to shed light on her frustration, images started streaming through her consciousness. Memories of being bullied as a small girl on the playground emerged. An incident where she felt the deep desire to belong and almost betrayed herself in service of belonging came for the forefront. Tears started streaming down her face. There it was, the wisdom she was seeking. The frustration she felt about her friend was a moment touching into a long history of feeling the desire to belong and a painful story. The story she told herself that sometimes she has to betray her own needs in order to belong. This insight from her heart center changed everything. As the cloud lifted it was clear what she really needed was some self compassion and to create a sense of belonging inside of herself. To recognize how she already inherently belonged.
Are you inspired by Jane’s story? Tuning in to access our intuition isn’t taught to most of us, but it can be learned. Want to learn how? Let’s schedule a discovery call to explore 1:1 work together. Click HERE
Stories like Jane’s are both miraculous and ordinary. They are miraculous because each of us have this transformative intuition inside of ourselves that can give us the keys to our deepest questions and the insights to unravel our suffering. They are also ordinary because no one is excused from this intuitive knowing and everyone suffers...as the Buddha taught.
Why do we struggle to tap into our personal wellspring of wisdom? Many of us fall into the normalized trap that societal conditioning, our family, friends, co-workers, partners beliefs and expectations of us are in fact our own. We take other’s truths to be our truth. Separating our own wisdom out takes diligent, consistent practice. After we’ve learned that we have our own wisdom, the second struggle is learning how to trust it. In a world of rationality and scientific models, we favor external information as more trustworthy. This has devalued our own inherent wisdom inside.
To experience a fulfilling, authentic life, we must develop an ability to get as good at tapping into our internal heart-centered wisdom as we are at listening to other people’s opinions. For this week’s Joy Tip, I want us to start a daily practice of tuning in and listening. Here’s how:
Every day start your day by setting an intention following the intention-setting practice I outlined earlier above in this Joy Tip. After you’ve “heard” your intention, write it down somewhere to remember it and return to throughout the day. When you are feeling stressed, out of alignment, off, pick up that piece of paper and ask yourself the question, what can I do to honor the intention my heart offered this morning? Do this consistently for the next week, then check in and reflect on what has shifted. Is the practice getting easier? Does the voice of your heart feel stronger? Louder? Clearer? Do you feel more connected to yourself?
Tell me in the comments below how this practice is for you. What surprises do you find and what challenges do you face?
In the meantime, are you currently feeling stuck? If so, check out my online course The Unstuck Method where I share a practical, simple, repeatable process, to continue helping you tune in, widen your perspective, and move forward. Doors close July 7th and I’m offering a limited time Let Freedom Ring Discount in celebration of July 4th week and to swing the doors open for as many people as possible to self-created freedom. Click HERE to learn more.