Before I got sober and started to live the life I was meant to live, I would have thought the term ‘inner wisdom’ meant something ethereal and mystical and that I’d have to devote a lot of time burning incense, chanting and being nice to people I hated. Definitely not for me. I mean, back then, I would’ve smirked even if Oprah said it.
I found out the hard way that not following your inner wisdom or intuition is like being lost and being too proud to ask for directions, all the while having a functional GPS system on board. The GPS doesn’t make mistakes and it’s uniquely yours. But I couldn’t find it with the drama and chaos and pain I was in.
So what does it look like when we DON’T follow our inner wisdom? We go to law school instead of taking acting classes. We marry a guy who we have this tiny voice somewhere that says he isn’t quite right for us but we only find out 12 years later. We let family members control and meddle in our lives so we have no time and energy to discover ourselves and we take our cues on how we should live from people who don’t live the lives we want to be living. It’s that feeling of wanting to wear a different style or try something new and having anxiety about what someone else will have to say about it. Sometimes we don’t even realize it’s happening and we just go along to get along, feeling a faint dissatisfaction that we didn’t stray from the path. But then our rational minds quickly come up with a list of sensible “reasons” why the bright yellow heels were impractical or putting up with abuse because well, family is family, right? We make ourselves sick trying to shove down outrage and sadness while looking nice and wearing a sensible twinset. Doesn’t it make you want to scream?
Here are 6 tips to get out of this defeatist cycle and onto your life adventure! (Incense not included.)
1. Get a role model. Beyoncé recently said in the brilliant Ban Bossy campaign, “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.” When you are indecisive about how to respond to someone disrespecting you, take a deep breath through your nose, slowly let it out of your mouth and do exactly what you think that person would do. Amelia Earhart said when asked why she wanted to cross the Atlantic, “I want to because I want to.” Complete sentence.
2. Materialism. Get rid of this mentality. Less is more. Buying things will never alter your GPS. Expect “the herd” to wonder why you don’t want to go to a fancy club and waste hundreds of dollars. You, yourself, are a more exquisite, exclusive brand than any logo you see on Pinterest. Baby, you’re a star. Focus in on your health, building savings for your security and peace of mind. Find out how to invest in your dreams, not someone else’s fantasy. Your worth and value is not dictated by your smart phone, your car or clothing. Pro Tip: Anyone who thinks that way is someone you do not want to know anyway, so bonus, they saved you lots of time by showing you their snobbery and ignorance at the get go!
3. Things are going to get better. We are on the move. Did you know that Marianne Williamson is running for Congress in California? Yes, the press calls her a “New Age” Guru. When asked if she could “handle” politics because she is an inspirational author and speaker she answered, “Spirituality is not in a separate category. It underlies everything. It has to do with the path of the heart. We all know that when you follow a path of your heart in your personal life, things go better, and when you do not, things are chaotic,” Williamson said. “If you look at what’s happening in our country today, there’s no path of heart. There is less and less of a path of even ethics or justice, and therefore things are chaotic.”
Whatever party you belong to or issues aside, isn’t it great to know that heart centered, conscious human beings can and will reshape our world?
4. Accept & Receive – When your husband tells you your hair looks nice, don’t dismiss him. Acknowledge it. Give him a hug, look in his eyes and tell him thank you. A sign of shame is not making eye contact and keeping your head down. Our old inner critic wants to reject compliments to reinforce what it grew up with, messages of criticism or maybe no acknowledgement at all. Let your guard down, embrace these moments and allow the other the person the pleasure of giving the compliment.
5. Trust & Believe – There is an infinite force of creation that we are all a part of. God or the Universe is filled with beauty and wonder. If you get to feeling lost and downtrodden, try to connect with this power and know you are a part of it and that it is a loving, creative force that wants your highest good. Nature is such a powerful way to recognize the beauty of creation and that imperfections are uniqueness, differentiators. We don’t look at a tree with strips of bark missing and call it “ugly” or want to cover it up. We notice the beauty of the white wood beneath, the moss growing and its majesty and strength. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is within.
6. Let Go of People, Places and Things that do not Light You Up. Here’s a good test. When you get off the phone with someone, be it your mother, father, colleague, friend, take a moment to check in with how you feel. Do you feel angry, confused or drained? That’s a good indicator of how this relationship is affecting you. I’m not saying we don’t have conflict or ups and downs, but in general wouldn’t it be better to have relationships with people who support and uplift you? It is said we are a reflection of the five people closest to us. Make sure that your light is being turned UP, not dimmed. Someone needs to hear your voice and see your sparkle.
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs
We’re not here to fill a role in a dysfunctional family, strive to outdo our peers with material possessions or win competitions. We are here to develop our very special and individualized talents and skills to be able to help another person or humanity as a whole. We have lived long enough and seen enough history to see that if we don’t do this we are doomed. Follow your GPS; you are needed to change the world.