How to access your inner wisdom
What would it be like to have a process you could use consistently to access your inner wisdom? So that each time you have a decision to make you have an inner source you can rely on that provides you with a wise, loving perspective and lifts you to a higher place.
What would it be like to clearly and reliably know the difference between your higher self who is never confused, afraid or weak, and the smaller self who can’t see the wood for the trees and often misleads you, or simply makes bad decisions?
It seems to me that wisdom is the single most important quality you can develop for the 21st century.
I’ve found that being able to connect with your Higher Self is the single most useful skill I have ever taught. It’s something you can use every day, for small and large decisions, and for the rest of your life. It’s works equally well with or without religious belief.
It allows you to access wisdom by having an inner conversation, which is relatively easy for most people.
I experience my higher self as a part of myself that’s also independent. It has its own perspective but it’s always connected to me. It’s the part of me that doesn’t get caught in the daily emotional drama of human life. It comes from love and it experiences life as peaceful and joyful in all circumstances. It’s always available and it loves to chat.
You may have a different conception of your higher self. It doesn’t matter much. What’s important is being able to get in touch with it – then you can find out for yourself.
When I’m at my best I’m united with my higher self. I demonstrate its character, rather than my more limited human personality. I believe this is the bigger potential I sense for myself. I also get the distinct impression that my higher self is responsible for arranging many of the daily details of my life. It organises the synchronicities, serendipitous events and everything I ask for, consciously or unconsciously. It makes the connections that help me fulfill my wishes.
I encourage you to develop a lively relationship with your higher self so you can talk to it whenever you want. It’s a great way to get answers to questions and solutions to problems. It never abandons you and always has a much bigger, brighter view than you.
Having a conversation with your higher self is like having a conversation with anyone else. You need to be you and let it be itself. The more natural you are, the easier it is.
- Begin by taking a little time to relax and calm down. If your mind is very active do a meditation or guided relaxation to get you in the mood.
- Once you’re calmer and feel reasonably quiet inside, call your higher self. You can think of this stage like making a phone call. It establishes a clear connection with the right voice in your head, rather than the other thousands of voices that might want to talk with you. I do this by saying, “My higher self, are you there?” and then I follow up by asking, “Can I ask you some questions?”
- The key is to be aware of what you’re feeling as you ask these questions. You may sense a response. Some people experience a strong “Yes” response from their higher selves. Others may feel a rush of energy, a sense of openness, inner peace, an empty mind or some other sensation or awareness. There are many ways your higher self might respond. I have never known my higher self to refuse me contact.
If you don’t feel anything don’t worry. Sit quietly for a little while and try again. If you’ve been very emotional recently it’s more difficult. Also if your mind is busy. Spending time in the presence of your higher self is enough for now, even if you feel nothing. Practise sitting quietly every day for a while before you move on to the rest of the instructions.
How to ask questions and get a response from your higher self
- Once the connection is established start by asking some yes/no questions. These should not be test questions to which you know the answer already (it closes your connection if you bring doubt into the conversation). They can be simple questions to which you’d like a genuine response.
Examples: Is it beneficial for me to eat this food/make this decision/go to this event? Will this activity/job/person help me achieve a specific goal?
- Again the key is to be peaceful so you can sense the responses. They come in different forms, but there is a distinct difference between yes and no answers. A no lacks energy or aliveness. A yes is uplifting, alive and supportive. It makes you feel good. You may feel the response, hear words in your head, sense it at a very subtle level, see colours, lights or images or something else.
- It’s good to practise asking yes/no questions every day. It’s an incredibly useful skill and will always give you wise guidance in many challenging situations.
- Once you’re confident in asking yes/no questions and getting tangible responses it’s time to have a conversation. The easiest way to start is to ask a question that needs a richer response than yes or no. Ask for advice or help with anything that’s bothering you. Ask one of life’s big questions or about anything that’s mysterious to humans but understandable to your higher self. Don’t be formal or serious – just be your natural self.
- Listen sensitively for responses and feedback. It has many ways of communicating, not only words. So watch out for subtle feelings, pictures and images, awareness, epiphanies and revelations, words that appear to be in your mind.
You may not get answers straightaway. They can come hours or even days later. Sometimes they come through other people, books, websites you stumble across, things that happen to you and diverse signs and symbols that are around us all the time. You will know when your higher self is showing you something.
- Turn it into a conversation. You can ask questions, talk about how you feel, ask for advice, express yourself or communicate in any other way you want. It’s like being with an absolutely trustworthy best friend, who’s always on your side and rooting for the best possible outcome for you. You’re now accessing your inner wisdom in a profound way. It’s a habit you can develop and will support you throughout your life.
How to tell the difference between your higher self and your mind
The most common question I’m asked is how you can know it’s your higher self and not your mind talking. When I first discovered how to communicate with my higher self I often asked it how I could be sure of this. Over many years of personal experience and teaching this is what I found.
- Your higher self often answers a question before you’ve finished asking it – it gets the picture (or energy) long before you’ve put it all into words.
- Its responses are always surprising, not what your small self would have thought of.
- It may touch your soul or make you smile out of the blue.
- It’s inspiring and uplifting – sometimes almost to the point of being embarrassing. For example, your higher self often gives you very lofty goals, way higher than you would have personally aspired to. It sees your unique greatness all the time.
- It always comes from a place of love and unconditional support, so there is never criticism, judgement, disappointment or any of the other responses that belong to limited human thinking.
- If in doubt, trust whatever happens anyway and believe it is your higher self. The more you trust, the more you will give your higher self the power to communicate with you and the more it will respond in kind.
The only challenge is that when you become very negative, or caught up in emotional drama, it can be hard to hear your higher self. This is not because it’s not communicating with you, but because you’ve switched your attention to yourself. If you realise this you can switch it back. It may be hard – it takes a big commitment to stop listening to all the chatter in your mind, but your higher self will be supporting you all the way, so ask it to help you. It will.
I recommend you talk to it regularly. If this is new to you, it’s like exercising muscles you’ve not used before. It takes practice, but that’s all. Do it every day and you’ll be amazed how quickly you get two-way communication happening – and this is quite simply one of the most important relationships of your whole life, so worth devoting time and energy to.
Your higher self is your most reliable authority and will always be there, whatever trouble you might get into. It gives you easy access to wisdom that is personalised for you and will surprise you many times with extraordinarily simple, beautiful and joyful advice.
How to deal with the noise in your mind when you want to connect with your inner wisdom
Sometimes when I sit down to connect with my higher self I go through lots of hurdles before the connection is really clear.
When I’m very relaxed it’s easy. I can chat away as if with my best friend. But if I’ve been too involved in business or other mental activities it can take longer to open the communication lines.
I thought it would be useful to share some of the things that come up to distract you and how to deal with them, as you will probably face most of them at some stage.
If you sit down to reflect and connect with your inner wisdom, your mind may appear determined to prevent you from getting anywhere. It will try any tricks it can to keep itself at the centre of your attention. It looks something like this:
- Your mind is suddenly filled with problems. There are so many of them to be solved that you couldn’t possibly spend time on wisdom. You need to get on with thinking about all the problems and solving them immediately.
Be aware that you’ll never solve them this way. Don’t fight your mind over this as it will fight you back and probably win. Gently remind yourself that accessing wisdom will help you solve the problems if you allow it to. And wait a while…
- Then up come a whole lot of obligations. These are the things you should have done yesterday, have to get done today, must do tomorrow. They take up a lot of mental space because you’re so worried you might forget them, so you keep churning them over and over.
Thinking about them doesn’t help you achieve them. If you really have to do them you won’t forget (or jot them down on a piece of paper and come back to the task at hand). So let them go and wait for a while…
- Next come the objections. They object to you being relaxed (there’s so much to do and so much to think about); they object to you taking time (it would be better to get going now); they object to wisdom (it never works anyway, you’re no good at it, you won’t make it so why bother…); they object to you in general (nothing you do is ever really effective, you’re wasting your time, you should leave it to people who are good at it…); and so it goes on.
There’s always another objection. They’re a waste of time. Whatever they’re saying is actually true about them, not about you. So have a laugh at how silly they are and wait a while…
- There’s a lot of noise. This is not physical noise but just general clatter in your mind, not very distinct, nor intelligible. It’s just loud enough to put you off what you’re really trying to do.
At this point some commitment is useful. Listen for the tiny still voice that’s difficult to hear amongst all the noise. If you listen hard enough the noise will gradually subside. And wait a while…
- You’re overwhelmed with ideas, some of them good and some of them absolutely amazing. Ideas are powerful distractions because they seem so positive that you wouldn’t want to turn them off. But ideas are also endless and have very little real value. There are always more of them and you will only ever pay attention to very few of them in your life.
If they’re really good ideas they won’t disappear, so let them pass through you and avoid getting caught up in them. You can turn them on any time you need them, but right now you’re doing something different. You may come across some wise ideas, which will tend to be simple and practical. Listen out for them and forget the constant stream that comes from an overactive mind. Wait for a while...
- There is an interesting little distraction which I call the drama of connection. This is when we try very hard to connect with wisdom and make a big drama out of it. We breathe deeply, relax hard, work to empty our minds and end up making a lot of internal noise about connecting without the connection actually taking place.
To let go of the drama, remind yourself that the simplest way to connect is to ask for it. It’s not you that needs to do anything. When you ask for it, help will be given to you almost miraculously – totally without drama. Go for that and wait for a while…
- Your mind is busy in discussion. When it starts a discussion with itself it uses a lot of your attention and energy. This is a winning strategy for the mind and will often distract you until you don’t have any time left for wisdom and you have to leave it until the next day.
The best solution is to spend more time, if you can. I sometimes say “I’m going to sit here until I connect and I don’t care how long it takes.” It always works, as long as I really have enough time. Then you need to wait for a while…
- In an attempt to regain control you may start to focus. This looks like a good idea, because by exercising some control you can prevent your mind from being so crazy and dominant. But unfortunately it doesn’t work, because wisdom is not about focus. It’s the opposite. Wisdom arises when you let go of focusing and open up to a much broader and more open source of information.
Wait a while more – you can’t keep focusing for long!
- Your mind is trying absolutely anything that can get in the way of you connecting. It’s simply acting up.
This is a stage, so wait a while…it will pass.
- You see strange patterns in front of your eyes or in your mind. They swirl all over the place and distract you very nicely. There might even be full-blown visions.
This is also a stage so wait a while…
- As all these tricks gradually fail, panic sets in. This is not overwhelming, heavy breathing panic, but a subtle mental panic that makes you want to stop right now. Instantly. For no reason. But you HAVE to stop. And if you don’t stop you have to move, and move again, and keep moving until you’re totally distracted.
Keep going as sweetly, patiently and softly as you can…and wait a while…
- And then there’s repetition of all the above.
And so I repeat – just wait a while…
- But the biggest trap of all is knowledge. This is where you think you know what you have to do, because you did it this way before and it worked. And so you try to do something that worked before. You try really hard. And you wonder why it doesn’t work, so you try even harder.
This is tough. It’s almost the last sanctuary of the mind. Its knowledge is its treasure. It SHOULD work. But it doesn’t. Connecting is always fresh. It never repeats old stuff. Wisdom always supplies completely new information, even if the words are the same. The only way to access it is to open up and allow yourself to be surprised. No knowledge can help you here…so wait a while longer…
- You’re now ready to give up or give in. It’s time for breakfast. You’ve been here long enough. You’re obviously not going to connect today. It’s not the right day for it. blah blah blah blah blah
You’re almost there now. This is your first attempt to surrender and let go. Just wait a while without trying to force anything…it’s not much further now.
- And something starts to open. You receive some kind of communication. You get the sense that something bigger is in contact with you. You’re listening intently to the small voice and it’s becoming louder than all the noisy voices from before. You’re open and it feels good.
Hang in there and keep listening, without trying too hard. You’re in contact with your Higher Self, your source of wisdom. Go ahead and ask whatever you want. It will respond. If it gives you a response you don’t understand ask it to clarify. Keep asking until you’re satisfied and understand. Make sure you ask what you need to do and how you can help.
With communication you get connection. After a while there may be no more words, just a beautiful sense of communing. You’re united with your higher self and in direct contact with your inner wisdom. There’s nothing more to do.