You know the "gut feeling" that people talk about? Well, that gut feeling is a real thing. I am sure I could pull millions of studies of why this inner voice that we all have inside is for real. However, I am not the researcher but rather one that likes to do these experiments in my own life. I am sure I will find the right study at some point, but today I want to share a little bit about your inner guide and simple steps to begin to access it.
I was recently chatting with my sister about our internal guide or intuition and explaining that we all have intuition that comes from our soul. I explained that we all hear it differently. The three most common places to hear/feel/see your inner guide (dhi in sanskrit) are: your third eye (the point between the eyebrows), your heart center (the center of your chest) or your navel center. Each and every one of us are different for how and where we access our dhi. The trick and key to it all: practice! Essentially, the more that you start to ask your inner guide what it is that you might need on a given day or moment (or in regards to a specific question), the more that you will start to recognize how you might hear this. Sometimes you might see a color or a feeling or hear words. For some the words are in the sound of their own voice and others it is a different voice. And then, as mentioned above, the location is typically one of three places (third eye, heart center, navel center).
Are you listening to what is in your best interest? Are you making decisions based on intellect alone or are you giving yourself and your soul a chance in the conversation each day? I know that this skill is an ongoing skill that I continue to develop; the best way that I can get better at it is to practice. When are the best times to practice? When you are learning this skill of listening to your intuition, the ideal environment is when your mind is quiet. We often jump from one thing to the next and our minds follow. We have busy minds, often referred to as monkey minds. The most simple way to calm and quiet your mind is focusing on the breath. Of course, even seasoned practitioners would say that when your mind is quiet, that is when you can truly access your inner guide. As a newer student to this (in the last four years) I would say those are the most powerful times I have accessed it. And your soul will not lie. It knows what you need, hands down.
I want to share with you a simple meditation on the breath, using the technique of pure breathing. My intention is that you have something you can try today (or right now) that will help you begin to tap into that place of knowing. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am studying online with Rod Stryker through his Vinyasa Krama online training. I have learned so much and look forward to training with him when he comes to Minneapolis next week! During my recent studies I did a meditation that included the process of pure breathing! It was awesome. This simple meditation below uses this technique to help facilitate the quieting of your mind. I will then give you the simple process to connect to your inner guide. I learned this technique in Rod Stryker's Four Desire's book, one that I reference and use many days of my life. Giving credit where credit is due, if you want further detail on meditation or accessing your dhi (and more) pick up your copy today (and to be clear I am not sponsored to say this, I just love it!)
Let's do the meditation now (or take a picture/bookmark and do this when you wake or before bed...or anytime that works).
5-10 minute Meditation on the breath accessing your intuition (dhi)
1. Sit tall, with your spine tall. You can prop yourself up on a bolster, pillow or block. Or if using a chair, get your low back to the back of the chair, upper back off of the back of the chair, feet planted firmly into the ground. Spine is tall (think crown of the head is over the spine).
2. Once you find a comfortable seat, close your eyes and have the intention to relax your entire body: relax your face, jaw, neck, shoulders, chest, internal organs, belly, hips, legs and feet. Relax everything.
3. Bring your awareness to your breath. The first minute, simply watch the body breathe. You are not forcing or guiding the breath, just bring your awareness to the body breathing (awareness at the navel center).
4. Have the intention to smooth out the breath and begin to guide the breath. Slow down the breath and breathe in and out as smooth as you can, without pause at the top of inhale or the bottom of exhale. The breath is silent and the the intention is the to stay calm as you breathe in and out.
5. Continue the steady and smooth breath from step four (pure breathing) for 3-5 more minutes. As you do so, relax the body and be aware of any sensations happening in the body. Notice the connection to the quality of the breath and the quality of the mind. If your awareness wanders go back to the breath and do this with as little exertion as possible.
6. After the mind has settled, you can continue the breathe longer, or when you are ready, move to connect to your intuition. First, give gratitude for your life and body. Second, make it known that you are not attached to any answers that will be given. And finally, when your mind is quiet, ask the question that you would like an answer for. When you do so, the answer will come fast and quick. You might hear something or feel something or see something. Again, if you do not get an answer that is okay, go back the breath until you are ready again to ask the question. Note: In Rod's step-by-step process he explains that it is good to start with easy questions that you already know the answer to. This way you begin to build trust in yourself and your inner voice. (Example could be: "should I yell at my kids?"). The second tip is that you must act on the answers that you are given. The more you do this the more your inner voice will be accessible to you. I can attest to that.
7. Once you have gotten an answer or are ready to move, on, give gratitude for the answer and moment and go back to watching your body breathe for a few rounds. When you are ready to come out, deepen your inhale and exhale, rub your hands together back and forth to create warmth, cover your eyes with your hands gently, blink your eyes open with your hands covering your eyes, lower your chin and open your eyes slowly as you connect to where you are physically, and transition back into your day. It might feel good to keep this in a journal and begin to build that trust with your inner guide. You might surprise surprised yourself as you start to observe.
The above is how I started to access my own intuition and how I built trust to what my inner guide sounds like for me. Of course it is in the sound of my own voice, my husband would laugh at that because he knows I can be a bit talkative at times. Perhaps it is a small form of torture to hear my own voice as my guide or on a positive note, it might be a sneaky way for me to build trust in me, Kristin, and exactly who I am and where I am supposed to be. I think it is the latter in my own situation and for that I am grateful.
Have I convinced you yet to try this short and powerful meditation? Have you ordered your Four Desires book yet? All of this is explained and so much more in his book. And the bottom line, you have access to this voice even when you are not in meditation or sitting quietly. In fact, the more you access it, the more that you hear it.
Why did I choose to write about this today? I was on my way to the gym for a workout (hoping for a long sauna, stretching, shower) because I have had very little self care in the last month with both my boys (hubby and son) battling the influenza (the second round with my little man included lots of barfs). Yuck. It seemed logical that is what I needed. However, as I was driving away from school drop-off my inner voice said, "go home!" Darn it! I wanted that hot sauna, but somehow I knew I had to turn back home. I am not sure why, perhaps I know I have a lot to prepare for coming classes, workshop, etc. Maybe my intuition knew that since I am fighting a cold going to a gym wouldn't be the best answer for this moment.
I will leave you with that. What are you doing to connect to your inner guide? Are you listening? And when you don't listen and then the next day you kick yourself, remind yourself that those moments of not listening are there to serve you and to help you listen. And when you do listen, stand tall and know you are doing what you KNOW is in your best interest. That my friends is a gift we all have and my hope is that we can all pause enough to start learning and connecting to it. The more we connect to our soul, the brighter we will be, because your soul will always know what you need to do (insert chills down my back).
Thank you to all of my teachers, especially Yogarupa Rod Stryker, Tanya Boigenzahn (owner of Devanadi School of Yoga and Wellness) and Jessica Rosenberg. You all have inspired me to listen to my intuition and come to that place of knowing.
Off I go to find a little quiet in my life so I know the order of my prepping and what is going to serve me best today. Please let me know if you have any questions or how it goes. I am sure some of you are seasoned at this practice as well and I love to know your stories and resources.
We are in this together and the more we show up for ourselves the more we can shine and kick some butt together in this world. More to come on the yoga front. Thanks for reading. Have fun staying connected and listening!
In love, light and gratitude,