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 inner wisdom I go through lots of hurdles before the connection is really clear.

When I’m very relaxed it’s easy. I can chat away with my higher self 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:

  1. 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…
  2. 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…
  3. 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…
  4. 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…
  5. 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...
  6. 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…
  7. 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…
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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…
  11. 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…
  12. And then there’s repetition of all the above.
    And so I repeat – just wait a while…
  13. 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…
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

 

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