If you’re feeling stuck or confused about a particular life challenge, it’s easy to feel even more confused when you start looking for answers, because everyone has a different opinion about what you ‘should’ do.
Friends and family have their own opinions based on their perspective and life experience, and well-intentioned people will offer you their advice if given the chance. It’s in our nature to want to help others when they open up about their struggles. But the problem is that you can end up feeling confused and completely unsure about what to do if you don’t take the time to access the one-and-only truly reliable source of guidance – your inner compass.
One of the most powerful things my counselor said to me back during my ‘dark night of the soul’ – the term I use to refer to my period of extremely challenging and difficult circumstances in my mid-thirties – was this:
“You need to stop seeking the answers outside of yourself and realise that you have them right there inside you.”
The problem was, by the time I started seeing my counselor, I’d strayed so far from my true self and become so disconnected from my own inner guidance, that I had no idea how to access the answers that I apparently had within me. I’d spent my life people-pleasing and trying to live up to the expectations of others – I didn’t know how to access my inner knowing.
And I know that this is true for most of us. As we’re growing up, we’re taught not to rely too heavily on our own gut instincts, but rather to trust the advice from our parents and older people in our environment, because they’ve lived longer and therefore know better. And if we feel a strong urge to move in a certain direction, often the people around us make us question the decision, so it’s easy to start doubting ourselves and our own judgment. And when we become disconnected from our own inner knowing, we’re rudder-less and anchor-less – flapping about in open seas in the wind.
If you’ve become disconnected from your own inner guidance, the good news is that you can reconnect to it – and most importantly, with time, learn to trust it.
Listening to my own inner guidance is an ongoing process and something I have to work on constantly, but the good thing is that the more you practice connecting to your own inner guidance, the stronger the ‘knowing’ becomes and the more automatic and second-nature it becomes. It really is the only way to make good decisions.
Below I’m going to share with you the process that my counselor suggested I use to reconnect to my inner guidance. It takes less than ten minutes a day, and it works.
What is Your ‘Inner Compass’?
Your Inner Compass is synonymous with your inner wisdom, intuition, inner GPS – whatever you like to call it. It’s your true essence; the part of you that is all-knowing, all-powerful, creative, loving, and limitless – connected to the infinite part of you. It’s not limited by fear, anxiety, or self-doubt. It knows the path of your fullest expression.
Connecting with your inner compass brings you into alignment with your highest and most fully-expressed potential.
The trouble is, when life is busy and chaotic, you’re not able to hear the gentle guidance constantly coming from within, particularly if you’re not paying attention to the signs. To hear your inner guidance, you need to have a specific intention to converse with it. And then you need to create enough space in your life to be in a receptive state, to receive its guidance. It speaks to you during those peaceful, contemplative moments when the hyperactive mind is quiet enough for it to be heard.
An over-busy mind drowns out anything that your inner guidance might be trying to whisper to you. You need to get quiet and find ways to cultivate stillness inside.
You might not always like the guidance you get. Maybe it doesn’t fit within the picture of where your ego wants to go – the part of you that’s bound up in expectations of others, or the image you want to project to others. The guidance might push you out of your comfort zone and require you to stretch and grow in ways that feel uncomfortable. But your inner wisdom is never wrong. It will always strive to bring your outer world into alignment with your authentic desires, your personal truth, and your true priorities.
How to Connect with Your Inner Compass
The following meditation is the fastest way I know to connect to your own inner compass. I give all credit for this process to my mentor Gina Maria Mele who introduced me to this specific process. It’s saved me countless times.
1. Sit quietly with your eyes closed (I prefer sitting because then you’re less likely to fall asleep!). Put your hands on your belly and take deep, slow breaths through your nose, all the way down into your belly. Feel your hands move in and out as you breathe. Breathe as long as it takes to feel your body and mind relax. Keep focusing all your attention on the breath.
2. Bring your attention to your chest. Feel it rise and fall with each breath in and out. Do this until you feel all your awareness in your chest. You can even try to feel your heart beating if this feels right for you.
3. Think of a time in your life when you felt real joy, love, and/or happiness. Maybe it was holding your first puppy? Your first kiss? Holding your baby in your arms for the first time? When you finally visited a place you’ve always wanted to go? Think of any experience that invokes strong feelings of joy and love.
4. Take yourself back into that experience and re-live it in your mind. Remember how it felt, how it sounded, how it looked, how it felt. Really take yourself back there and feel all the feelings and sensations you felt in that moment.
5. As you sink into those feelings, imagine a big white light radiating outwards from your chest, up to 1-2 meters around you.
6. As you hold the happy memory in your thoughts, bring this white light all the way up to about a meter above your head. As you breathe deeply, now bring it down to about a metre below your feet and all around you, until you’re completely surrounded by a large bubble of white light. You may not be able to visualise this and instead just feel it (depending on your dominant sensory mode).
7. As you sit in the memory of your experience in your bubble of white light, bring your focus back to your chest and ask a question that you really want to know the answer to. For example, “What should I do in this situation?”, or What do I really want?” or “What is my unique gift to give to the world?”, or “What steps can I take right now that are in alignment with my highest truth?. Ask whatever question is most relevant to you right now.
8. Sit quietly and wait for any images, sounds or feelings to come to you. Don’t force anything, just sit quietly and listen in an open, receptive mode. If nothing comes, that’s OK too. It will come later. If your mind drifts, bring it gently back to your question and be open and receptive to any guidance.
Sit in this state for as long as you need. Enjoy the experience. You have just connected with your heart. You just felt its energy.
The act of connecting to feelings of joy, happiness, and love while focusing on the area around your chest is the fastest way I know to connect with your heart and receive its guidance.
If nothing comes during the meditation itself, rest assured that it will come to you in some way as you go about your business in the next few days or weeks.
You may not notice anything different initially, but if you commit to doing this for 5-10 minutes every day, you’ll notice your life starting to shift in a subtle but very tangible way.
You’ll start receiving insights seemingly out of nowhere. You’ll start feeling more optimistic, inspired and joyful. You may suddenly just feel a lot clearer about where you want to go. Or you may notice certain relationships are easier and less strained, and you may notice you feel more compassion.
If you take the time to do this visualisation regularly, you’ll notice that you start feeling a gradual reconnection to your true essence and an emergence of real clarity. Take the time to slow down and hear your inner whispers. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’d like help in identifying that unique calling that’s yours to live, be sure to download my free eBook PATHFINDING: HOW TO FIND YOUR UNIQUE PATH AND PURPOSE and learn all the tips and strategies you need to build a life you truly love.
In service to helping you live your fullest and brightest life,
Inspired Careers International