Within each of us, there is this deep knowing. Some call it divine connection, a sixth sense, or intuition, but I like to refer to it as the inner guru. It’s the part of us that knows we are whole and complete, the part of us that doesn’t seek outside confirmation or validation. But we’re trained out of our relationship with it. As children, we are told to listen to our parents and that they’ll have the answers. But what happens when they don’t?
As we age, we seek the answers elsewhere: teachers, books, courses, retreats, self-help programs and events. And while this helps us to expand our inner knowing and learn new language to understand and shape the world we’re in, until we turn our attention inward, we are always left wanting more.
Often times, the start of our spiritual path or awakening begins with one of these outside influences. Think of the first time you felt a full-bodied A-HA moment. Was it attending an event? Was it a TED talk? A podcast? This outside catalyst that awakens the inner spark is the first nudge we need to start conversing with our inner guru. That event is just a mirror reflecting back to you the deep knowing that you’re already carrying in your heart, that is waiting for you to reconnect with it.
Because we experience this awakening due to an outside influence, we somehow start believing that in order to have these transformations, we need help from the outside. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are the 3 steps to building a relationship with the Self, in order to trust your inner guru to support you as you navigate through life.
This outside catalyst that awakens the inner spark
is the first nudge we need to start conversing with our inner guru.
1. Begin Within
Through our teens and adult years, we become very familiar with a little voice inside that whispers judgmental and critical thoughts about ourselves and the people around us. I like to refer to this voice as the inner critic. The thing is, because it can become so loud, it not only drowns out the voice of the inner guru, but we start believing it’s who we are. We can’t distinguish the shadow’s voice from our own.
When we keep ourselves busy, over scheduled, over stimulated, and distracted by things like social media, we drown out our own voice, and that of the inner guru, feeding the shadow self with every negative thought. By tuning out, we allow ourselves to tune in. To listen. To engage. And that’s when it becomes easier to hear the whispers of your heart.
You can do this by spending time in nature, feeling the wind on your skin, and listening to the birds call around you. You can do all things mindfully, like eating or walking. Use all of your senses, take in the experience of engaging with the world around you. You can meditate – whether it’s sitting in silence, following a guided visualization, or chanting. You can journal, giving voice to all of the things that go unsaid so you can get to know yourself in new, more intimate ways.
By beginning within, you bring yourself to the present moment. And when you are fully present, the voice of the inner guru becomes clear.
2. Incorporate More Play
Connecting with our inner knowing is an instinctual part of life in a human form. When we’re babies, we recognize our hunger, as children, we wander around without a filter saying exactly what comes to mind. Intuition is instinct, but we unlearn it as we grow. Add to that the stress from deadlines, bills, and everyday demands, and we are now so far removed from a part of us that is so natural.
When we allow ourselves to play, we reconnect with the little self that knows what it needs and what to do. We tune out our to-do lists, and our schedules and allow ourselves to just be. Once this becomes a regular, integrated part of our lives, it becomes easier to tune out in order to tune in. It’s a natural return to the state of who we always were.
When we allow ourselves to play, we reconnect with the little self that knows what it needs and what to do. We tune out our to-do lists, and our schedules and allow ourselves to just be.
3. Create Rituals that Work
There is a sacred happening that occurs when we carve out space, set intention, and create time that is solely dedicated to our growth. Where we get lost though, is in makings things so big and so complicated that doing the ritual feels like more work than the benefits that come from it. We buy into the idea that rituals need to be a specific way that doesn’t align for us, or require expensive materials, so we choose to do nothing instead.
You don’t have to chant after 5 am yoga to consider yourself a sacred being. Sometimes a ritual is in the quiet you take to sip a cup of tea, or the careful time you set aside for refilling a fountain pen, or the steady breath that comes from a good hike. It all comes back to mindfulness and doing things with intention. They become sacred because you decide they are.
You Don’t Have To Do It All Alone
None of this is said with the intention of discounting outside help. Coaches, mentors, teachers, authors, speakers all have a way of revealing new ways for us to take our inner work further, and deeper, with more meaning. When you’ve fostered a loving relationship with your inner guru, you’ll know not only when to ask, but how to know who to invest in to help you get to the next level in your awakening. You’ll be able to discern which modalities are right for you, even if they seem a bit non-traditional or something you’ve never tried before. You’ll also know if the fit is right. Sometimes an opportunity will present itself, and most of you feels right and excited about it, but a small part of you is holding back. This could mean it’s not the right time or the right teacher but the modality is one you need to explore. Trust your inner guru to lead the way. Trust me when I say you’ll know if it’s right.
What Does Your Body Say?
I’d like to leave you with this one little exercise that I teach my clients for knowing how to trust what their intuition is guiding them toward. This is especially helpful for the people who are quite heady and intellectual and have a hard time tuning in.
Start off with thinking about something you really love. It could be your best day ever or spending time with someone who just makes you feel really great. Tune into your body, especially in your gut, and see how it feels. It should feel really open, and expansive. This is your body’s way of saying YES.
Next, do the same thing but focusing on something that’s really hard, challenging, or stressful. How does your body change when you think about that? It probably feels really heavy and closed off. This is how your body communicates a big NO.
This is your “gut instinct” which is the physical expression of your inner guru. It becomes a barometer for decision making. When you think about an opportunity (a trip, a job, a new relationship), does it make you feel open and expansive, or closed off and tight? Like all things, it requires a bit of practice, but the more we tune in, the more smoothly we can navigate life.
You have everything within, right here, right now, in this moment. It’s time to start putting it to work.