When I was five years old, my mom and dad took me horseback riding. The horse was large, and she had recently given birth. My parents barely got me in the saddle when suddenly the mare took off. She ran as fast as possible down a dirt road, leaving my stunned parents in the dust.
Never having ridden a horse before, I had no idea what to do. I clung to the saddle horn for dear life. As the horse feverishly galloped down the road, I became aware of a silent, yet comforting, “knowing” within that offered, Lean down and hold the neck. Without hesitation I followed its direction.
The horse continued to race down the road, then abruptly turned and headed to a nearby shed. She ducked to avoid the low-hanging tin roof. Because I was holding on and leaning beside her neck, I avoided injury—maybe even death.
Listening to the Presence Within
In high school, I was not part of the in crowd. Once I was asked out on a double date by a young man who was very popular. You may remember certain kids who walked the halls and caused wakes of envy as they passed. If you do, you might appreciate my adolescent excitement at being included in a world I did not dream possible. Yet there is often a huge disparity between the way we fantasize someone to be and how they really are.
The young man drove like a maniac all over town, speeding through neighborhoods at seventy miles an hour. He endangered himself and his passengers as he moved ever closer to the edge of losing control. From beginning to end, I was terrified.
Even through my fear, I became aware of a quiet yet firm presence within that advised, Go home now! The advice felt so calming and empowering that I asked right away to be taken home. Without caring what anybody thought, I no longer wanted to hang out with him. I began to question why he was part of the in crowd and why he was deemed someone to be admired and emulated.
About a month later, his reckless driving was determined to be the cause of a severe automobile accident. Although injured quite badly, the young man lived. His sister did not.
We All Have Access to Unexplainable Intuitive Guidance
When I was in my mid-thirties, I was driving home during a strong thunderstorm. The rain was coming in torrents. The wind was blowing so hard I could not see. Out of the blue, I became aware of a forceful internal message urging me, Stop NOW! I did. A split second later, a huge oak tree crashed in front of my truck, landing right in front of my bumper.
You and I are home to an unexplainable intuitive guidance. The counsel we receive from this wise and loving presence is often protective, as the previous examples demonstrated.
Sometimes a mysterious awareness arrives to help us avoid doing something we feel is not in our best interest, such as cosigning a loan for an irresponsible relative (or anyone, for that matter). Perhaps the message is to pass on an invitation to go out with someone who is handsome and entirely self-absorbed. Maybe we need to turn down a job offer even though we need the work because something does not feel right about the situation. Possibly it is our intuition that prompts us to go back to the grocery store counter where we absentmindedly left our car keys.
Each of us has access to this aware, watchful guidance inside us. To benefit from its direction, we learn to trust that our inner intuitive wisdom is more accurate than the information offered by our often biased and self-centered minds.
Learning to Trust Our Guidance through Experience
No one ever advised me, “Regina, trust your gut.” I was not taught that my conscious inner wisdom, hunch, or comprehension was more accurate than my mind. My formal and religious education did not address listening to and acting on perceptive directives from my heart. Our current society still places its highest value on intellectual prowess and mental function.
Parents wait in line to enroll their very young children in programs to prepare them for kindergarten. Our educational institutions teach us to examine the external world. These programs are primarily intended to challenge us to judge what we see, to think critically, and to appraise what goes on outside of us. Yet the guidance you and I receive from the higher, wiser part of our being is distinct from our rational and logical thoughts developed in formal education. A lifetime of experience taught me the key to benefiting from our internal knowing is to learn to trust its wisdom over our thoughts.
When I was downsized from an executive position, I did not appreciate how tight the job market was. After several months of searching unsuccessfully for work in my preferred field, I opened myself to a wider range of possibilities.
I interviewed with a physician for a job in a busy practice in a small Texas town, and it went well. The physician was pleasant, and the position seemed to be a good match for what I was seeking. Unfortunately, I did not have the same experience in a follow-up interview with the physician’s partner, and I’d be working with both physicians closely.
Although she was congenial, I had a nagging hunch that all was not as it seemed. I was not able to put my finger on exactly what it was, I just knew something was not right. When I was offered the position, even though I needed the work, I turned it down. Only a few weeks later, I learned the physicians had dissolved the partnership, the practice suffered, and widespread staff layoffs resulted.
You and I receive these kinds of messages each day, but we often do not act on our higher inner awareness. One reason is that we have a tendency to embark on a fantastical mind voyage of creating what we want to be true, rather than using our intuition to help us determine what is really true.
My thoughts attempted to convince me I was making up the tension between the physicians. My thoughts went on to justify how, if the tension was not imaginary, my accepting the job would help the situation.
Beware of Rationalizations & Judgments
Our rational mind—and its thoughts—will defend what it offers as more appropriate and intelligent than the wisdom of our quiet inner voice. We must be wary any time we feel stress, fear, or confusion in our gut, or when our thoughts create a rationalization about someone or a situation. These feelings are a clear indication our mind is judging people and situations based on what it wants to be true. When we pay attention to advice such as Slow down, or Wait, where are my keys? or Stop NOW! we can take the recommended action.
When other people are involved, we take time to ask ourselves questions such as, “What makes me think my irresponsible relative will be responsible this time?” Or “What is it about this handsome stranger that feels off?” Taking time to genuinely care about the answers causes us to place great value on the input from our higher, internal guidance.
To avoid problems and have the best, safest, most trouble-free life possible, it pays to trust our inner knowing. Without fail, each time we courageously act upon its protective, loving, and responsible guidance, life is better for it.
MEDITATIONS AND EXERCISES
Sit down in a quiet place and write down your answers to these questions:
1. When have you discounted your inner wisdom, only to later learn that it was indeed correct? What do you think would have happened had you followed your heart in that situation?
2. When did you act upon your inner guidance? What was the outcome?
Here are a few exercises that will help you connect to your inner knowing:
1. Find a serene space, such as under a tree. Sit and observe the world around you. Keep your mind quiet. Note the colors and textures of the flowers and trees and clouds. Listen to the sound of birds and the leaves rustling in the breeze. Focus on your senses to go beyond your mind and into your inner self.
2. Create a place of reverence in your home. Make it a space where you can light a candle or incense. Put out items that lift you up—photos of special people who inspire you, fresh flowers, or other treasures and keepsakes. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. Slow down. Sit for five or ten minutes and ask Spirit to awaken your awareness to your deeper knowing.
3. When you eat, slow down to really taste and smell the food. Envision it nurturing your body. When you shower, feel the water on your body. Smell the soap. Stay aware of what you are doing, but at the same time try to clear your mind of specific thoughts. Quiet your mind and allow yourself to be fully present with each action. When you are present with a still mind you can hear your inner self.
©2014 by Regina Cates. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hierophant Publishing. www.hierophantpublishing.com
Lead With Your Heart: Creating a Life of Love, Compassion, and Purpose
by Regina Cates.
Throughout the book, Regina shares her amazing (and often heart-wrenching) stories of how she moved away from a volatile, victimized frame of mind to a place of making conscious actions and decisions from a centered, heart-driven state. By following along with Regina's personal stories and practicing the exercises she's developed, we can all learn how to choose positive, heart-centered solutions for the difficulties in our life.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book. Also available as a Kindle edition.
About the Author
Regina Cates is the co-founder of Romancing Your Soul, and her Romancing Your Soul Facebook page has over 150,000 engaged followers. Regina conducts workshops, teleclasses and one-on-one sessions to help people uncover love and meaningfulness in their lives. She lives in Los Angeles, CA. Visit her website at: romancingyoursoul.com.
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