Tuesday, March 06, 2012

What Visions May Come: Listening to Inner Guidance at Mid-life

Since my mid-life quest or transition began, I have gone on many journeys and retreats, taken classes with inspirational authors and sought answers to my questions in many, many books. The odd thing is, all of these ended up teaching me one thing: turn within for the answers.

At one retreat week in particular, I had booked an appointment with a woman who was said to channel spiritual guidance, hoping she could help me discover which writing project deserved my full time and energy. I sat in the chair across from her, nervously waiting for her to open her eyes and speak. She looked at me after a few minutes of silence and said, My guides are telling me you have to find your own answer!

I was a little bit peeved at the time, thinking, I came all the way to Taos, New Mexico to hear this? But ultimately, it was a very good truth. I had been looking for the answers in other people's books, in conferences, in outside authority. And it was time for me to be author of my own existence and trust my own inner authority.  Easier said than done.

Over the past four years, I've been developing my trust in this by using various exercises and visualizations, and I have to say, it takes practice to trust your own inner guidance, but it becomes easier and easier. Two of my favourite authors on the subject, Dr Mona Lisa Schulz and Dr Christiane Northrup, both say that our bodies are the greatest source of intuition or women's wisdom if you like. Sometimes we get small whispers, but if we don't listen in, the signals get stronger and stronger. For example, a friend of mine recently recovering from a burn-out, is back at work and her work hours are increasing. She told me one week she had a recurring dream three times, that she was in her car, stepping on the gas pedal and there was no power, no movement, no response. That seems an obvious metaphor for lack of energy, no gas in the tank.

Through dreams, through body signals, through direct questions in your journal, you too can access your inner wisdom. Shakti Gawain has shared her visualization for meeting your inner guide in her book Creative Visualizations ( and I use this exercise often in my Creative Journaling classes.  I also use angel cards, tarot decks and native totem animal cards to get access to the sub-conscious or inner guidance on mini-retreats I make for myself at home (see my website for tips on how to do this at ).

I believe we all have a Wise Inner Self; perhaps it's the same thing some people call Soul, or Heart. It doesn't matter what word we use, but there is a wonderful feeling of accessing our best or higher self, when we let go, ask for help, and release self-doubt. Writing in my journal and doing my sitting practice of going inside, I access this wise, quiet voice. Solutions and answers to my questions bubble up from inside. I begin to trust that everything I need to know is inside me. My teacher Prem Rawat has been inspiring me to go inside for years now (, and his teachings have been most helpful.

It takes a bit of practice, but anyone can get in touch with their inner guidance. It strengthens your connection to your self, to your faith in an Inner Authority. It is a powerful, free, inner resource. It releases you from self-doubt and helps make you a stronger more confident person. It feels good to be aligned with the Creative spirit and I believe we are all co-creators with the divine energy of creation.

Writing Down Your Soul is another good book to get you started, by Janet Conner,  and I find that in general, writing a question in my journal and asking my Inner Wise Self for guidance always helps me find my way through whatever confusion or doubt is assailing me.  You can develop a trusting relationship with your own wise self, and practice using affirmations and positive thinking to undo the years of negative conditioning or crippling self-doubt that some of us were brought up with.

Going on Retreat and spending a whole day or two nurturing my connection within is also an excellent way to strengthen your connection to your own intuition and wisdom. I have so enjoyed working with Karen Ely, Ken Nelson, Joan Borysenko, Jennifer Louden in workshops and retreats, and hearing Prem Rawat`s live inspiration has been especially wonderful.

Check out my website for more information on classes and retreats in the Montreal area. I hope to offer an e-course one day, so keep posted for that development.


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