Category Archives: Spiritual

Inner Guidance: How to Strengthen Your Connection With It

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It’s great to sit in silence with your Inner Guidance, and even have a conversation with it.  It’s also a good thing to take it out into the “real world” and strengthen your “real world” connection with it.

The “real world” can be a very noisy frenetic place with lots of people, traffic, shoulds, and constantly being told “you ought to”.  If the chatter in our own minds doesn’t drown out the voice/feeling of our Inner Guidance, all the hubbub and guilt of the world will surely do it.

When you’re in the middle of a contentious meeting at work and everyone is pointing their finger at everyone else…when you’re in the middle of the grocery store and your kids are crying because you wouldn’t buy them the sugary smacky-pops cereal they saw on TV…when you hope for a quiet weekend to relax and recharge but your in-laws decide to surprise you with a visit, bringing along with their non-housebroken puppy with the delicate stomach….  It’s a little difficult–not to mention impractical–to find a quiet corner and sit in silence.

It’s important to learn how to hear your Inner Guidance in the midst of the frenzy of everyday life.

Here are a few suggestions:

START WITH BABY STEPS!!

~When you’re out and about and having a good time, pause and tune in.  What’s your Inner Guidance saying?  Where do you feel it in your body?  Do you “see”/feel/hear a person or character associated with it?

~When you’re at work and everything is going reasonably well–at least there aren’t any disasters that have people running around in a panic–tune in.  What do you hear/see/feel?  Where in your body do you have a corresponding sensation?

~When you’re at the grocery store, instead of being a robot and methodically going down your list of items, pause a moment and tune in.  Stand in the produce section, for instance, and feel/hear/see which fresh fruits and vegetables your Inner Guidance is leading you to (of course stand in a place that doesn’t obstruct other shoppers!).

 

As you do this in the various moments of your day, you’ll gradually become more in tune with your Inner Guidance.  It’ll become second nature to listen in–in fact, you’ll know it so well that you’ll automatically follow its lead!

Give it a try and let me know how it’s working out for you.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Inner Guidance: Unrelenting

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Another way to discern our Inner Guidance from the other chatter in our brains is that our true Inner Guidance won’t quit; we’ll keep getting the same prod.  The “voice” of our Inner Guidance might be quiet, barely a whisper, but it’ll be gently relentless.

The other thing about our Inner Guidance is that the way it’s showing us is full of possibility and gives us feelings of hope.  We also feel a little surge of energy and rightness.

The chatter, on the other hand, bounces around among thoughts, exhausting and confusing us.  To top it off, the chatter doesn’t make us feel very good about ourselves or about our prospects.

During your quiet time when you’re tuning in and listening, know that this is the truth about your Inner Guidance.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Inner Guidance: Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You!

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The other day, we talked about naming the chatter in your head—all that stuff that interferes with you hearing and paying attention to your Inner Guidance.

Here are two practices that when done in combination, can help you tell the difference between your Inner Guidance and the chatter.

 

First Method:

Take the time today to name and personify your Inner Guidance.  Perhaps use a character in a beloved book or movie that embodies your Inner Guidance.  Or it might be an actual person.

For instance, Mr. Rogers is kind, inclusive, and has a deep loving wisdom.  Perhaps holding an image of him in your mind can help you get to know your Inner Guidance.

Perhaps Mother Teresa can represent your Inner Guidance.  While she was filled with love for all and was gentle and caring to those who were desperate for her loving kindness, she also didn’t suffer fools lightly.  She could be a fierce advocate for the oppressed and marginalized.

It’s okay if you find that the image of your Inner Guidance changes.  You’re changing and you may find that the image or personality of your Inner Guidance changes.  Also, it’s fine to have different images for your Inner Guidance for your different moods.

 

Second Method:

Tune into your Inner Guidance and be mindful of your body.  When you do this, where in your body to you “hear” or feel your Inner Guidance?  Some people have a feeling in their gut, their stomach or solar plexus region.  Others feel/hear their Inner Guidance in their chest area.  Some feel it in their throats, and still others feel/hear their Inner Guidance in their head.

It’s fine to hear/feel your Inner Guidance in different areas of your body.  Your Inner Guidance will nudge you wherever it thinks it has the greatest chance of getting you to listen and follow through!  Usually I hear/feel my Inner Guidance in my chest area but there have been times when I’ve felt it in my upper arm near my shoulder as if my Inner Guidance is asking me to look that way, turn that way.  !!!

 

Combining these two methods will definitely help you get to know your Inner Guidance.  Do these today and every day!

Feel free to share who personifies your Inner Guidance and where you feel/hear it in your body.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Inner Guidance: Can it be Trusted or is it Mumbo Jumbo?

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The other day, I was talking to a friend of mine about Inner Guidance. He asked, “Can it be trusted or is it all mumbo-jumbo and woo-woo?”

I gave him the technique I shared with you yesterday of naming and personifying the different thought groups that are the chatter in his mind.   I explained that this technique will help him discern the voice of his Inner Guidance from all the other “stuff” going on in his brain.

Then I asked him if he’d ever said the following phrases:

~Against my better judgment…

~I knew in my bones…

~My gut was telling me…

~I knew I should/shouldn’t have…

 

I told him that this was his Inner Guidance speaking to him.

He said: “But at the time I had no proof that it was right.”

“EXACTLY!” I said, “Which is why it can be scary and difficult to pay attention to it.”

Oftentimes, our Inner Guidance seems to be off-base and that if we listen to it we’ll go in a totally wacky direction. I’ve found in my own life, and have observed in others’ lives, that even though it may not make sense,

if we keep getting the same poke or prod to do a certain thing, then we should listen and follow through on it.

Steven Jobs in his now famous commencement speech at Stanford University, he talks about this very thing. He followed his Inner Guidance and even though he did things that didn’t seem to have rhyme or reason (taking a calligraphy class), they turned out to be a significant building block in a future endeavor (the calligraphy class showed him the importance of font styles and, thus, all the choices we now have with our computers).

Again I urge you to follow through on the pact you made with yourself at the beginning of the week that you’ll take at least 5 minutes each day for quiet solitude. In this gift to yourself, just be and listen. That’s it, just be and listen.

Oh, and follow through on the prods!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Inner Guidance: A Technique to Separate Your Inner Guidance from the Noise

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As we talked about yesterday, giving yourself the daily gift of quiet solitude is one of the most effective ways to hear and connect with our Inner Guidance. Maybe you’re like me, though, and find that when I’m sitting in silence, it’s amazing how noisy it is! All the chatter, all the angsting…. Oy!

I came across a technique that is simple yet packs a powerful punch: naming and personifying the chatter in your head.

For instance, when you take a moment for silence and turning within, you notice your thoughts are those of worry: worry about the project at work, worry about paying the bills, worry about your kids, worry about the challenges your spouse is dealing with….

Or perhaps you find a very judgmental voice: she’s not nearly as smart as I am; his kids are far less talented than mine; she thinks she’s ‘all that’; he struts around like he’s so cool….

Maybe your thoughts are bullying. For instance: you should have known better, who do you think you are, you aren’t very talented, you’re getting way too big for your britches….

Your thoughts might be infused with sadness, such as: nothing ever works out for me, no one knows I even exist; I don’t matter….

Give names to the different groups of thoughts you have.

For instance, your thoughts of worry can be called Warren the Worrier, your judgmental thoughts can be Judy the Judge, Billy the Bully can be the thoughts that beat up on you, and Sadness Agnes can the thoughts that bring you down and make you feel hopeless and helpless.

Give personalities to them.

Perhaps Warren the Worrier is constantly wringing his hands and speaks in whiny voice. Judge Judy can be huffy and uptight, where as Billy the Bully might have mean little eyes and a grimace on his face. Sadness Agnes might have lank hair, be dressed in dull browns, and mope about all day.

When you have named and personified the chatter in your mind, it’s easier for you to choose whether to listen to the chatter or to move it to the side. When you move it all to the side, then it’s MUCH easier to hear your Inner Guidance.

Remember to name and personify your Inner Guidance as well. Then, you’ll be able to quickly and easily tune into it.

What are a few of the names and personalities you’ve given to your inner chatter? Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way, named her inner critic Nigel. She pictured him as a fussy, up-tight man who speaks with a British accent!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Inner Guidance: Six Inspiring Quotes

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The unshakable foundation of a soul-prospering life is built by being deeply connected with your inner self, your true self. Through this connection, you clearly hear the Still Small Voice.

Here are a few quotes to ponder:

Build your inner environment. Practice silence. I remember the wonderful discipline of the great ones. When we used to talk and chatter, they would say: ‘Go back into you inner castle.’ It was very hard to comprehend then, but now I understand the way of peace. ~Paramahansa Yogananda

 

The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.   ~Rumi

 

 Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Listen to your heart for guidance and be guided by its message of comfort or discomfort. Your heart is the junction point between your mind and your body. If the choice feels comfortable in your body, move into it with confidence. If the choice feels uncomfortable, pause and see the consequences of your action with your inner vision. Honoring the guidance that is provided by your body’s intelligence will help you make the most evolutionary choices for yourself and those in your life. — Deepak Chopra

 

Solitude is not an absence of energy or action, as some believe, but is rather a boon of wild provisions transmitted to us from the soul. In ancient times, purposeful solitude was both palliative and preventative. It was used to heal fatigue and to prevent weariness. It was also used as an oracle, as a way of listening to the inner self to solicit advice and guidance otherwise impossible to hear in the din of daily life. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes

 

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. – Lao Tzu

 

Take time today for stillness and quiet. Just be.   Listen.

Make a pact with yourself that you will take time–5 minutes is a great baby step–every day to listen, to just be with yourself in quiet solitude.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Pilgrimage: From the Comfort of Your Cozy Armchair

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Perhaps you find yourself in circumstances that don’t allow you to go anywhere for a pilgrimage.

No worries! You can enjoy one from the comfort of your cozy armchair!

Your library or favorite bookstore is loaded with memoirs with the theme of “A Year of…” These are a few that I’ve enjoyed:

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock,
365 Thank Yous by John Kralik
Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower by Tom Krattenmaker
Holy Rover by Lori Erickson

The Internet is filled with images of Holy Sites, Shrines, as well as photos and videos of the wonders of the natural world. Here are a few websites to check out:

American Religious Sites

Huffington Post’s suggestions 

BBC’s suggestions

National Park Foundation

National Parks in the USA 

 

Also, you can refresh yourself with an afternoon of surfing sites related to activities and hobbies you enjoy. Here is one I’ve enjoyed surfing:

YouTube.com

Let me know the interesting pilgrimages you’ve taken from the comfort of your favorite cozy armchair! Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren