Very often in life, we are drawn to and admire the people who we see as “going for it”—the ones who take chances against all odds, create lives for themselves that are deeply fulfilling, and march to the beat of their own drums.
These people seem to follow some sort of deep, internal compass that keeps them charging hard toward their own True North. You could call this listening to and acting according to gut instinct, or you could call it intuition. Either description works, and both point to a person’s ability to tune in to what in Yoga is called the sadguru (inner teacher), and a willingness to trust this voice.
But how does one even begin to find this voice?
First, it’s important to learn how to get quiet. There is a Zen proverb that says, “Silence isn’t empty. It is full of answers.” This is one of the many reasons why meditation is stressed in every sacred text. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali tell us that meditation will help us distinguish the mental patterns (samskaras) that we have created over the years—and perhaps lifetimes—that block us from receiving messages of Truth. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna (God/the Highest Self) tells Arjuna (the everyman) that above all other practices, meditation is key in understanding the true nature of the Self.
There is so much noise in our own heads, let alone coming at us from the external world. Trying to find our truth while on the bus or walking through busy streets is exceedingly difficult, because the external cues that we’re being given are very often catering to the ego part of ourselves—the part that always wants more and never feels like it has enough.
Also crucial when trying to work with one’s own deep wisdom is to learn how to distinguish the difference between the voice of fear and the voice of clear perception. How? One good indication that your answer is coming from a fear-based internal dialogue is that the voice of fear always comes with an agitation that can regularly manifest as a feeling of anxiety or stress. With this in mind, when contemplating some sort of decision—big or small—notice if the answer you receive also comes with a mental and/or physical vibration that makes you feel unsettled.
Finally, if something appears to you as a sign, it is! Many of us have an idea that unless we see an actual burning bush or an angel comes to us in our dreams, we’re not receiving any Divine signaling. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are receiving messages all day every day, and it’s up to us to trust when those messages are actually telling us to go for something.
The truth is that the more you trust your intuition and follow the messages you’re being given, the more your intuition will show up to guide you. Take a chance on listening to the truth that boils up inside you, and your life will begin to unfold according to your own, perfect plan.