Gone With the Wind! Six Practices to Develop Inner Guidance
I was sitting in the car near the University of Illinois at Chicago, when I saw this cute young woman looking in the grass near the car as if she had lost a diamond ring. She kept getting really close to the ground and feeling around with her hands. She moved onto an asphalt parking lot, doing the same thing on her hands and knees. So I thought she must have been looking for something very small and valuable. When she came back near the car for the second time, I rolled down the window and asked her what she was looking for. She helplessly said, “MY GLASSES!” The wind was blowing so hard in Chicago that it literally blew them right off of her head and they went flying! The poor young woman could not see well enough to find them.
The winds were something terrible that sunny October day in the Windy City. The news reported sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and the unusual weather system produced gusts of up to 81 mph, snapping trees and power lines, ripping off roofs, and taking a helpless young woman’s glasses and launching them into the concrete abyss of the city. The strange weather system mesmerized meteorologists because of its size and because it’s barometric pressure was similar to a Category 3 hurricane. It mesmerized her and I as we joined forces to look for the glasses.
We looked for nearly 20 minutes along the whole city block and they were nowhere to be found. She had to leave to go tutor a student in the speech lab and sadly knew she couldn’t drive home without her glasses. Losing your glasses can be disabling. I decided to keep looking and told her I would put them under her windshield wiper if I found them. I found an empty cigarette lighter near where she lost the glasses and dropped it shoulder height to see which direction it would go. It sailed for 1/2 a city block before it rolled to a stop. I decided to head in that direction. I walked down to the next block and took a stick to move all the piles of leaves as I came across them. Surely, the glasses would have taken the same path of the leaves and the empty lighter. Nope.
After a diligent search, I went back to the car to finish writing the report I was working on. When she returned, she said she called her boyfriend for a ride since she couldn’t see to drive. With curious hope, we both decided to look again, one more time, while she was waiting for her boyfriend. We discussed how scratched up they would probably be if we did find them. I headed north, went across the street, and circled back with the leaves again. She went back to the asphalt parking lot with her limited vision and her hands reaching out to “feel” her way around. She found them! They were stuck in a chain link fence a half a block away from where they had launched. And, they were not scratched! She could see again, and could drive home with a funny true story to tell her family and friends.
I love this story. If that was me losing my glasses downtown in the big “Windy City,” I would have been in big trouble. Sometimes when the Spirit moves through our lives it can be like hurricane-force winds that leave us feeling helpless, disoriented, scared, and unable to clearly SEE our way. Yet, Spirit is always right there to guide and assist if we have faith and stay present. I had the better vision that day as we searched for the spectacles. However, she was the one led to find them with her limited vision, reaching hands, and blind faith.
A dictionary definition of blind faith is “belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination.” Blind faith isn’t necessarily blind when we understand how to tune into our inner, spiritual guidance and intuition. I like to say intuition is like seeing with your soul. The ability to trust this different way of knowing starts with the practice of mindfulness and present moment awareness. Listen with your soul. Breathe. Relax. Stay present. Look within. Be still. Welcome the mystery and learn to live in the questions. There are as many different expressions of intuition and guidance as there are individuals. And there are as many ways to learn an effective practice. One must find what feels resonant and develop commitment and discipline. Here are six simple practices you can start with:
1. Tune into your body sensations and “gut” reactions. Some people filter their intuitive guidance through physical sensations and the body. When you get a hunch, “Go with your gut.”
2. Tune into your heart, feelings and emotions. Some filter intuitive guidance through emotions and the qualitative experience of feeling. Open expansive feelings usually mean something different from that of constrictive narrowing. When tuning into your heart, you tune out the distractions of the rational, logical mind. What do you feel? “Follow your heart.”
3. Tune into the still small voice. Some discern spiritual guidance by developing and understanding the difference between egoic self-talk and the still small voice. Egoic self-talk usually comes from the place of fear, separation, self-preservation, competition, comparison and judgement. The still small voice of spirit guides from the place of unity, love and the greater good of the whole. Start with quiet prayer, meditation and contemplative practices. Be still and know.
4. Tune into signs and symbols. Some develop a sophisticated guidance language based in signs and symbols. When you live in the question, guidance appears on your path in a variety of ways. People, conversation, words, numbers, music, images, and symbols can present literally, and/or intuitively. Pay attention.
5. Tune into your dreams and visions. Some develop dependable guidance by harnessing the language of dreams and visions. Access to the subconscious and unconscious mind can occur when the conscious mind is quiet during sleep and meditation. Again, this is another language of signs, symbols, and emotions. Sweet dreams.
6. Tune into nature and animals. Some develop guidance through communion with nature and/or animals. Many patterns and possibilities exist in the natural world. If you feel called to nature, ground your practice in connection to the earth and natural world. Tune into plants and animals. Connect with your pets and pay attention to wild birds and animals. Become one with nature.
Universal intelligence is in all living things. Connect. Listen. Trust.
We are living in a time of expanded consciousness and amazing global shifts. We are stepping into the fullness of who we are and taking responsibility for our health and quality of life, discovering the resources we have within as we connect with Creator, creation, community, and our own divine essence. This is not an abstract idea, but a calling for all who are committed to practice unification. We are divine essence in human form becoming spiritual change agents in the world. Tune in and trust. Even gale-force winds may be a source of guidance for you.
A World of Love,
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