Is there a larger plan for each of us? How do we know where we are supposed to go and how will we get there? These existential questions are common on the path of searching for enlightenment and truth, especially when we find ourselves at an important cross roads.
A friend recently asked me: "How do I figure out what the Universe has planned for me?". Our ability to access the answer within may be more simple than you realize.
There are many theories around fate, destiny and the potential power we possess over our own lives. It can feel scary to ponder these unknowns and overwhelming to try to answer these questions in a concrete way. Regardless of our religion, upbringing or spiritual practice, each of us has the ability to sit with a question and to become open to receiving clarity or guidance in the form of an answer. The process of accessing such deeper wisdom begins with honoring the process of being in question in and of itself. So often in our society, people are looking for a quick solution. We want to get things done, feel accomplished and move onto the next thing. When a tough question comes our way that we don't have an immediate answer to or solution for, it can feel incredibly frustrating. I wonder however: what might it be like to simply let this question live in you? What begins to open up for you when you allow yourself to sit with the unknown? In coaching, we call this type of open-ended question an "inquiry". An inquiry is the type of question that you chew on for a while. It may have several layers to it and usually, simply by being with and exploring the question itself, an answer begins to emerge. I invite you to pause and sit still. Sit down next to this question of the path that is meant for you and notice what arises.
Here are some techniques that you can begin to use that will create a safe and courageous container for you to explore your deepest questions. These tools will allow you to be in conversation with the Universe. We are co-creative, meaning that we work in partnership with life, and therefore it's important to open up to life's wisdom and to learn how to commune with the forces way bigger than ourselves.
Tips For Accessing Divine Insight & Understanding:
1. Allow yourself to be in the question and in the process. Ironically, when it comes to the divine, the answer is often in the question itself. Notice the magic of your question. See if you can appreciate the question, the mystery and the unfolding of life such that the question becomes enough on it's own, without actually needing an immediate answer. Usually when we need to know something so badly, right away, we are acting from a mindset of fear instead of our true center. Because we are afraid of the unknown, of the Great Mystery that is life, we feel the need to attach to something concrete, and this usually comes in the form of needing to know the "plan", the route, the answer. What part of you is trying to control the outcome by needing an answer to an unknown in this moment? What becomes available for you as you let yourself honor the great mystery that is here for you to journey through? How can you practice non-attachment, surrender and vulnerability? Keep your existential question in your back pocket and take it out from time to time during the day. See how your circumstances inform you and how they relate to what you know inside and all that you don't.
2. Utilize your body's wisdom. Although we are each divine and are made of spirit, we come equipped with a living, breathing, tangible human body. Ironically, this body is our doorway to the divine. Begin to notice your body's signals. When is it comfortable and relaxed? When do you feel alive, vibrant, clear and connected to life itself? When do you feel shrunken, contracted, uncomfortable or in danger? Our bodies are wiser than we can ever hope to be. They are constantly speaking to us and when we can learn to decipher their messages and honor our body's guidance, then we instantly become connected to our intuition, our inner wisdom and the larger force field of life. As you bring forward your potential vision of your path, check in with your body. How does your body feel if you were to follow through on Potential Life Path "A"? What messages does your body send you if you imagine yourself following through on Potential Life Path "B"? Notice how your throat, belly, shoulders, legs and energy feel when you follow through on your gut instinct vs. when you choose to act out of fear. Notice how much wisdom is actually available to you there. The quickest way to become aligned with the larger divine forces or with the Universe itself, is to follow through on the divine wisdom inside of you. Your body will tell you when you are in sync with your intuition or not. Honor this guidance and watch yourself open to deeper and deeper awareness, clarity and connection.
3. Get clear on what you already know.
You know a lot more than you may think and you have more power than you realize, even if you aren't in charge of the divine mystery that is at work in the greater scheme. I don't know if there is a "plan" for us. I don't know if God, the Universe or our soul chooses on our behalf along the way. What I do know is that we are here to evolve and that we are here to help one another on this sacred path. Even if there is something larger at play, you are still at choice throughout the day. It is your divine birth right, and your responsibility, to take ownership of your life and your relationship to your circumstances. We are always at choice. So... what do you know? What are you clear on right now? What is your intention for your life and your legacy? This is yours to solidify and more importantly, to claim. We are not passive victims. As Katherine Woodward Thomas says, "Life happens through us, not to us". You get to co-create your life with the Universe by standing in integrity, being intentional, getting clear and living in alignment with your truth. Some questions you can ask to get clear: What is most important to me? What do I owe to myself and to my legacy? What do I long to create, experience and contribute in my life? If I took full responsibility for my life and my situation, what is the next step I would take? What do I want to feel at the end of my life and what will get me there? These are big questions in and of themselves. Take your time. Get quiet and get clear. You'll see the Universe back you up immediately!
4. Practice the art of prayer and deep listening. This is where it starts to get fun and this is where we truly begin to access not only the inherent knowing that exists within us, but also the divine wisdom that resides beyond. Begin by centering yourself. You may want to download my free Centering Meditation MP3 to help center and expand your energy. When we are centered and expansive, we can tune into ourselves more easily as well as more effortlessly access divine answers. From that space, simply ask. You may ask God, the Universe, whomever or whatever source you need to ask. Offer the question: What is the greater plan for me? What is the greatest path of highest good for me and everyone else involved? You may also want to offer the question of: What are my greatest lessons? What am I here to learn? What do I need to accept or take responsibility for? What is it time to let go of? I like the approach of humility within the sacred container of prayer and meditation. Imagine your questions rising up or coming out from within. And then sit. Simply sit in silence and be. Be open, be accepting, without attachment, and see what comes. You may want to say aloud (or quietly within) that you are open to accepting and receiving, or that you are open to answers and guidance. As you sit, really practice being open and unattached. Something may come or something may not. It's ok, don't get frustrated. Be open to answers coming in all times and forms - sounds, sights, feelings, senses, intuition, etc. Eventually, the answers and insights will come. I like to think of prayer and meditation or deep listening like the ebb and flow of the breath: In prayer, we exhale - we offer our question or our longing. In meditation we inhale - we open to receive the clarity, acceptance and guidance from beyond.
This blog is a sacred invitation to bask in the Great Mystery of all that is. It is an invitation for you to rise to your own occasion and claim your longing, your calling and your truth. Here's to the questions, to the clarity and to the divine unfolding of it all.