HJ: Your heart speaks loudest when your mind is quiet. Meditation, at its essence is a centering practice to quiet the mind which naturally reveals to us our own inner wisdom. While it’s tempting to think your way through a given situation, challenge, problem or even your everyday life, the truth is that thinking is inherently limited, while intuition is inherently unlimited.
Your intuition, which originates in your heart, as it is a feeling-based guidance system, bypasses the limites of the rational mind, tapping directly into the wisdom of the soul. This may be a little far fetched to some. In that case you can think of it as tapping into a vast quantum field connecting everyone and everything. In many ways, this definition of the quantum field overlaps with the soul, because truly at both of these levels, all is connected at the deepest levels.
Truth be told how intuition operates is not yet well know. It is complex beyond current scientific understanding, suffice it to say, however, that its effectiveness cannot be denied. What many do not know is that most of the world’s most powerful CEO’s rely strongly on intuition. They speak about it openly amongst themselves and many to the public as well. Why? Because making the kind of decisions they do daily with massive implications and complexities unimaginable to us ‘common folk’ are only really possible with a deep connection to the vast quantum field or soul, however you want to interpret it.
The beauty of intuition is that it is just as effective in your day to day life as it is for making massively complex decisions, so why not give it a shot? When you let go and trust your heart, in every sense, your inner wisdom, you’ll quickly find that life starts to become rather effortless…
Reaching Your Internal Answers: Going Beneath the Surface Thoughts
By Heather Self | Small Change Life
My yoga instructor ended all her classes by saying, “All the answers to all the questions lie within you." The first time I heard this, it confused me. I didn’t see or sense how that was possible. In that moment, I was still in a place where I felt it was necessary to look to others for answers about myself. I hadn’t yet understood that whole intuition doohickey thing in me, and I was still trying to find footing in my new sense of self.
Truthfully, I both did and didn’t understand what my yoga teacher meant. At that time of my life, I was new to ‘t really trusting my own instincts and intuition. What I eventually took from her saying that (after hearing it week after week ) was that I had permission to trust myself and look to/into myself for my own answers. Perhaps even to believe in myself.
Sometimes that’s all someone needs — permission. I generally try to coach a person into giving themselves permission, but sometimes, at least at first, they have to borrow it from me to get started so they can start finding their own answers.
Getting to those answers, however, can be a bit tricky.
We can get sidelined by arguments, dysfunctional beliefs, ideas we don’t know our own truths and so on. Even if we are quite adept at listening to our own intuition, our own truths — our “Little Voice" as Thomas Magnum onMagnum P.I. called it, we can still get lost in the cacophony of our minds and wind up over-thinking something. That’s one of the bigger benefits of meditation — we learn how to turn down the volume of our yapping minds to -11 and hear our internal self. We tend to listen to those superficial surface thoughts, to all the flotsam and jetsam floating there. If you wanted to collect pretty shells — would you look for them in the sea foam, bits of seaweed and driftwood floating on the ocean’s surface, or would you go down to where they sit, beneath the surface? That’s where most people tend to look for their answers — the surface — but the treasures, the beautiful agates and colorful shells of our truth, lie below.
I don’t have a name for this, but feel free to give it your own name. It’s about descending into yourself, if you will, into your power center (into your ego), where the belief in yourself radiates from — into, quite literally, almost, your gut instinct. Down to where your shells and gold coins sit, waiting for you to find them in the sand.
Your power comes from your knowing your personal truth and identifying with it. There is much written about getting rid of the ego, but you need it, just as much as you do your heart and brain and intestines. Without it, you have no identity, no sense of self. Really, it’s about creating balance of ego. I’m sure you can pull to mind someone who is negatively “egotistical" in the jerkface kind of definition, as well as negatively without one. You don’t like being around either kind of person. Your ego is your sense of self — your truth.
The trick, then, is to practice non-attachment to your current identity. Who you are right now, how you see yourself and view yourself could change as you walk to the refrigerator to get a snack, as in that short walk, you may suddenly have an epiphany that completely changes your view around something.
This little meditation will help you get quiet and finding access to your personal truth/power. It will help you strap on some flippers and some SCUBA gear so you can dive down — maybe way, way down — into the depths of yourself where you keep seeing those shells and coins of truth glinting and winking at you when you do let in a little light.
Get comfortable. Put on some meditation/yoga music if you like, or play some kind of relaxing environmental sound — and/or do some breathwork. Some ideas for what you could do can be found here. It’s best if you do this with your eyes closed. When I meditate or do journeywork, I tie a bandanna over my eyes to block out all light.
Before you descend, especially if this is the first time you’re doing this meditation, I suggest doing a small “litmus test" on yourself to get a feeling for what truth feels like. After you’ve gotten comfortable and relaxed, ask yourself a question and then blatantly, fully lie about the answer, or just tell a lie and throw all your energy into it. The one I tend to use is I am my brother, Andrew. And then I try to convince myself. I can’t. It feels wrong and doesn’t fit — because it’s not my truth. Then I say, “I am Heather Self" — and I can feel everything coming into alignment. Once you do that, memorize how each one feels.
Once you’ve done that (I recommend maybe doing something like that just before any session with this meditation), picture yourself at the top of a somewhat long stairway — like maybe fifteen or seventeen steps. At the bottom is a door. On the top step, ask your question. The stairs represent you descending down into your personal truth, which is where many of the answers to your questions lie (your personal truth runs through all your chakras; its seat is there in your center and it sends out branches both up and down). The speed at which you descend the stairs should be slow, pointed and steady. You can pause or take longer, but it’s best not to linger, and really best not to hurry.
As you take each step, sense all the yapping in your mind getting quiet, all the distractions of the day floating away. Dissolving. Let them become a white noise shushing in the background, nothing more than the murmuring of a neighbor’s radio or television on the other side of a slightly too-thin apartment wall. Take each step, focusing on your question, focusing on allowing the answer to gather itself behind the door.
On the bottom step, make it appoint to remind yourself to be open to whatever is on the other side, and however it chooses to appear. It may be a word, it may be a phrase; it may come as a feeling or a flash of an image. It may actually take a physical form on the other side of the door. And remember, you’re safe, you’re grounded, you’re opening yourself up to the most beneficial thing in the world: your own answers and your own truth.
But if you’re not ready to accept it yet, that’s okay. Sometimes, it’s just a preview of coming attractions.
I sometimes still struggle with accepting what I find on the other side of the door. Rarely am I ever surprised, because somewhere, on some level, I’ve already heard and seen it. It’s okay to not accept (yet) what’s on the other side, but I would recommend allowing yourself to trust it. And therefore trust that it will take full root when you’re fully ready. Sometimes our answers come as preparation for something that’s a bit of distance down our paths. Happens to me, still, too.
This little meditation, and others like it, as well as that weekend in Malibu, helped me to start trusting myself, my own answers and my own path. It’s okay to bounce your truth knowledge off other people; just be mindful of looking for validation for it that way. And be prepared for other people to discount it. Most people do not trust their own intuitions. Once you reach a point in your life when decision-making is wholly your own, that’s when it’s time to let go of looking to other people for expertise about you (especially your parents; what they did or did not do is irrelevant when you’re fully behind the wheel; looking to them, looking to others is like trying to drive from the back seat of your own life). You can absolutely use other people as sounding boards (many of my coaching calls are from people just wanting to talk themselves through an understanding they’re coming into).
And, sure, there are lots of people out there who are experts in ways of finding personal truths, but those people are not experts in your personal truth. If I’d asked my yoga instructor a question about my own personal truth, wanting her to give me the answer (meaning, tell me what I should do), she would most definitely have turned the question back onto me and asked me what did I feel was right? I’m a big proponent of that myself; sometimes it makes my clients (very) angry, but, eventually, they begin to realize their answers are their answers. I’m just a resource and a guide. I don’t even purport to know what direction a client should go in.
My job as a life coach is to give pointers and maybe a compass; it’s up to the client to decide what their journey is, and what the correct direction is, even if it’s back into dysfunction, or more fully into it.
Besides, one person’s North might be another’s Southeast. Maybe they have some more lessons to learn in the dysfunction before they come out of it. Remember: when someone says, at least when connected to your personal truth and not say…car surfing…"I wouldn’t do that. You should do __________ instead" what they’re saying is I wouldn’t do that. Just because they wouldn’t do that, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. And/or that it’s wrong. It’s fine to try it on for size (you may find that, yes, really, it’s not for you, either, but if it keeps tapping at you — then go with it.) In a session, I might say something like, “Well, if it were me, I probably wouldn’t do that…but that’s just me. If it were me, I might do ___________ instead. But — like I said — that’s just me." (Notice how I phrased it.)
Or I might say something like, “I could be wrong here — but it seems like you’re making the same poor choice again and my sense is you’re doing it for _________ reason. But…like I said — I could be wrong. Only you can know if my observation resonates with you." (Again notice how I phrase it).
I wouldn’t know what you should do, because that’s a judgment. And you know, every time, when you override your own truth and follow what someone else thinks it should be. You feel it in your gut. You feel things coming out of alignment, perhaps more so than usual. In fact, you generally know when you’re out of alignment with your own truth — your “True Dao" as it’s called in Zen; in Chinese it means “path", so it means your true path. Maybe some of you are off in the bush, whacking away with a dull machete…and feeling very, very tired. It’s normal to make an occasional foray out into said bush or forest, but a continual walkabout in the Australian bush with Crocodile Dundee is really best left as a possible awesome vacation idea (or movie). It makes for a poor way of life (unless, of course, you are Crocodile Dundee).
If you’re exhausted, and you feel beaten down, look around. Are you on your True Path, following your True Dao, or are you whacking away at vines and trees, stumbling into marshes and quicksand, dodging said crocodiles and maybe getting into a boxing match or two with kangaroos? If you sense you are, pause, get quiet and ask yourself, “What’s my true path?" You know what it is. It’s just perhaps gotten buried.
This little meditation is very helpful for all sorts of decisions and questions. Be mindful of doing it frequently on the same question, hoping to find something different behind that door. You won’t. I never have, that’s for sure. (You can shorten it, or picture yourself sliding down a bannister for simpler questions like, “What should I have for dinner?") It can also help you sharpen that machete so you can whack your way back to your path and so you’re not feeling so lost. It will help you listen to yourself and begin to recognize the resonance of No and the resonance ofYes.
Mulder on The X-Files was fond of saying that the truth is out there; but, really, it’s inside you. And has been all the time.
Questions? Comments? Email me at heather (at) smallchangelife (dot) org or drop by my Facebook page and leave me a message, leave a comment below or feel free to start up a conversation in the discussion forum. Small Change Life