When we feel stuck or out of our depth, it’s a natural instinct to seek the wisdom of others who may have experience that we don’t have. And in some instances, this can be incredibly helpful.
Yet, for many, the tendency is to only seek external advice because they don’t trust or believe they have their own wisdom to guide them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. All of us may need a helping hand from time to time, yet there is no one who knows the inner workings of your mind and body better than you.
Here are four tips that will help you foster a deeper connection with your own inner wisdom.
1. Seek quiet solitude
The voice inside you that guides you is not always loud, in fact it’s often very quiet. So you will usually need to get quiet yourself to hear it. This means learning to turn the volume down on the other voices that vie for attention in your head as well as finding some quiet solitude where you are not meeting the demands of others. One of the best ways to get quiet is through meditation. This can be a more traditional practice or anything that helps to bring focus and stillness into your mind such as a peaceful walk in nature, knitting, drawing, journaling or gardening. Find a sliver of quiet solitude in your schedule as often as you can and notice how you begin to attune to your inner wisdom more regularly.
Too often we go around in circles because our head is so overcrowded with thoughts and worries and other people’s opinions. Journaling is a wonderful tool for helping you to get the stuff that crowds your head onto paper. It can be a fantastic act of self-reflection to bring to light patterns that you may otherwise not notice and it will help you to better connect with your own truth as you begin to lighten your load.
3. Pause and reflect
Often we feel the pressure to make a decision as quickly as possible. Maybe because there are other people who we feel are relying on us or maybe because the indecision makes us feel uncomfortable and no one likes sitting in discomfort. Sometimes your inner wisdom will push through forcefully and you’ll know in your heart which way to go instantly. Other times you will benefit from pausing and leaving some time for reflection before deciding. This will give you the opportunity to discern your inner wisdom from any other voices that cloud it.
4. Consider your nourishment
It’s very hard to know what works and doesn’t work for your body when you are eating predominantly processed foods. Low on nourishment and high on potentially problematic substances, over time a reliance on these foods will begin to take a toll on the body. Yet you may not realise what the problem is because symptoms creep up over time and it may be difficult to put your finger on the source. There is nothing on this planet that can replace a nourishing way of eating. Troubling or niggling symptoms of any kind are your body’s wisdom telling you that something needs to change. While sometimes you may need to go hunting to find the source, one of the best changes you can make to support yourself is to increase your intake of whole real foods and decrease your intake of processed foods. When you do this, you will clear the way for your body to communicate more effectively with you and guide you towards what works and what doesn’t work for you.
Learning to trust your inner wisdom is something that takes time—and to a certain degree some trial and error. As you begin to lean into it, be patient and gentle with yourself and recognise that just like training the body for improved fitness and strength takes time and practice, tuning in to your inner wisdom can too.