It’s taken me a lifetime to learn that I can trust myself and my own knowing instead of needing to rely on external sources of wisdom: parents, authority figures, teachers, professors, religious leaders, experts, even books.
I spent decades convinced that I was missing some crucial piece of information, that there was a magic pill or silver bullet or golden key that, if I could but find, would make sense of everything. Surely life couldn’t be this hard. Surely there were answers just waiting for the right questions to be asked (of the right people). Surely I should do better, be better, and rise above every struggle and challenge.
I believed that the wisdom I so desperately needed was “out there”; even more, that anything within me was suspect, if not untrustworthy and dangerous.
What I’ve (slowly) earned is that everything I was looking for was already and always mine. I have every bit of the wisdom I need. I am trustworthy. And “dangerous” might be the very best thing.
Despite how long it’s taken me – and the ways in which I still have miles to go – I have picked up a few things along the way. Maybe, just maybe I can speed up even a few of my lessons-learned for you.
Here are 6 (of so many) ways to access your inner wisdom:
1. Give yourself permission to spill everything. Whether on a piece of paper, a new document on your laptop, and/or in sacred space with a therapist, Spiritual Director, or coach. Unedited. Uncensored. Unrestrained. We spend so much time with the opposite: editing, censoring, holding back. Listen to all the chatter in your brain. Let your fear speak or shout. And let it all out in a contained and trusted way. When you let yourself say everything, you’ll hear what’s most true, what rises above the din, what your soul longs to sing out, what your heart knows.
2. Practice articulating one true thing every day. Just one. That’s all. Speak out loud (to a person) one thing that is honest and completely consistent with what you hear and know within. Then feel what that feels like – for you! When you begin to speak your wisdom (in fits and starts, even with baby steps), more of your wisdom will rise up and long to be expressed. I promise.
3. Let others’ responses and reactions become your divining rod, your GPS, the exact data you need to know you’re on the right track. Exactly!
4. Pay attention to anything that has you leaning toward staying in line, following the rules, not upsetting any apple carts. Then ask yourself: What do I really think about this? The answer? Yep. Your inner wisdom – speaking up.
5. Notice where are you clear that things are not OK as-is. In a relationship. At work. Something you witness online. In the larger culture. All of these and then some. That discontent you sense, that frustration, that grief? Mmmmm. That IS your wisdom. It’s revolutionary and radical and all about transformation. Because it’s just that wise!
6. Look back. When was a time in which you DID hear and trust your inner wisdom? What happened? What was the impact? How does that impact still reverberate through time? See how powerful you are? You and your wisdom can be trusted. More of that please!
You are the best and most reliable source of wisdom ever. Look within. Look within. Look within. You’ll find every bit of the insight and direction and guidance you need, desire, and deserve. ‘Promise.
And just in case you’re wondering, yes: there are external sources of wisdom that are of value. Of course! But not when they conflict with that know-that-you-know-that-you-know voice within. Not when they cause you to second-guess or question yourself. Not when they even hint that you don’t know. Not when following them means you quiet down or shrink back or play small or compromise or comply or swallow your truth or, or, or…
Did I mention? You are the best and most reliable source of wisdom ever. Look within. Look within. Look within.
Which of these feels the most scary or risky for you? That one? It’s the place to start. It’s where your wisdom is already bursting at the seams and longing to pour forth. Start small. Build the muscle. And watch what happens, over time, when your wisdom is not only accessed, but trusted and expressed.
Hit “reply” or send me a DM and let me know what resonates for you, where you feel the most resistance, or what situation or circumstance or relationship you already know is in dire need of the wisdom that is uniquely yours. I’d love to hear. Really!