If you’ve spent anytime on this website, you’ve probably noticed that I talk a lot about how I help sisters and brothers connect with their inner guides, their souls.
Today I’m going to share my favorite practices for doing this, and my hope is that you’ll find something here that helps you connect with your own beautiful soul.
What’s the point of connecting with your inner guide, your soul, anyway?
The fact that you’re here leads me to believe that you’re not actually pondering this question. But, let’s address it briefly because, well, there’s a chance that you are.
Imagine for a second that you’re facing a difficult situation and you need to make a decision. You’re evaluating your options and can’t figure out what to do.
You really want to make the ‘right’ decision, so maybe you make a pros and cons list or – if you’re a math and economics nerd like me – do a cost-benefit analysis complete with weighted values for each factor so that you absolutely know what the right choice is…at least on paper.
Except that it may not be the right choice.
Case in point…
When I said “I do” the last time, it appeared to be the right decision. We were in love, our parents and friends fully supported us, and there was no obvious reason to call things off. So, I did my best to silence the sliver of doubt I’d been feeling since, well, pretty much the whole time we were engaged.
There was always a reason why we shouldn’t call things off. Like, we loved each other. We invested the money. The invitations went out, I paid a shit ton of money to get a fairy tale dress.
Think about that statement for a second.
I’d stopped focusing on whether we should get married and instead shifted the debate to be about whether to call the wedding off.
Well, we got married. And three years later we got divorced.
I didn’t listen to my soul, my inner guide. She was sending me plenty of messages, but I wasn’t connected to her then like I am now. I overrode her with logic…and I paid the price for that.
When you aren’t connected with your inner guide, your soul, and you make decisions using logic, you may make the right-for-you decision. But you may not.
What’s right for you involves a lot of factors, only some of which are obvious. And considering that so many outcomes in our lives have an interdependency on so many others, what seems like the logical decision in the moment can magnificently backfire.
The antidote is to check in with your soul, your inner guide, for she knows the answer.
I say this with absolute certainty, and yet I don’t have a way of proving it to you. If you’re skeptical, that’s fair. But, I invite you to consider whether you’re currently where you truly want to be in life as a result of your rational decisions. If you’re not absolutely brimming with fulfillment, why not consider exploring a deeper connection with your soul to see where it may lead?
How I connect with my inner guide, my soul
Some of my go-to ways for connecting with my own inner guide, my soul occur via:
- My breath: deep, slow inhalations and extended exhalations with retentions at the top are my favorite, but I’ll mix in others as appropriate. This is also one of my favorite tools to use with clients, and it can take as little as a minute or two to be effective.
- Meditation: silent mediation – especially after breath work – is a daily (well, almost daily) practice that keeps me connected to my soul. Journeying meditation – though I don’t often do it myself – is one of my favorite things to do with clients and participants in my workshops and cacao ceremonies. Being guided to meet some element of your Self is simply something else…
- Nature: walking barefoot in the grass, resting my cheek against a pine tree, or prostrating to the earth are some of the most potent soul connectors I know of. I dream of having an in-person client to do this with! Some day…
- Cacao: the ritual of preparing Mama Cacao combined with offering heartfelt prayers and drinking such a sacred elixir often brings about tears of gratitude within me and an expansive heart connection. When I’m connected with my heart, I’m connected with my soul.
- My body compass: checking in with my body to see what I’m holding onto (or not) and how it shift as I hold different choices or thoughts in my mind is a very tangible way of connecting with my inner guide. This is also one of my favorite tools to use with clients.
- The sway: if I need a yes/no answer, I’ll usually default to the sway. It’s super efficient and easy to interpret. Note that a friend of mine uses a pendulum for the same purpose.
- Symbols and Guides: as I began composing a related blog post today, I noticed two hawks circling outside my window – a sign I interpreted to keep at it. Bald eagles and great blue herons are also soul messengers for me.
- Visioning: pick a date in the future – say, three years – and describe where you’re at. What is your life like, and what decision did you end up making three years earlier?
- Fire: there is something powerfully elemental about fire. I love sitting around my fire pit at night…listening to the crackling and feeling its warmth. I feel so damn connected to the Universe, Moon, humanity, and LOVE in the presence of fire. Fire awakens my soul at a depth that’s pretty indescribable.
Other practices I’ve been known to do to connect with my soul include reflecting or meditating on an oracle card, channelled writing (I often have clients do this), and even yin yoga.
The practices I’ve shared are ones that I use to actively connect with my soul. But so often I’m already consciously present to and connected with my soul. Other times, I just choose to connect with her in the moment with some deeper breathing to invite in stillness. Then, I’ll ask my question or just become receptive to whatever my soul wants to share.
My invitation to you
I invite you to try anything on my list that speaks to you.
The secret to connecting with your soul is entering into a state of stillness or – as my mentor Martha Beck likes to say – wordlessness. At least for me, it’s much easier to access my inner guide when I’m not exposed to outside stimulation or even my own thoughts.
Here’s a simple approach I often use to get still:
To get still, set all distractions aside. If closing your eyes feels safe, consider doing so. Inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale fully either through either your nose or mouth. Notice your breath and become intentional about slowing it down. This is a very calming practice that helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Do this for at least a minute – until you feel a sense of being grounded – before you move onto any of the practices I shared earlier in this post.
No matter which practice you choose, do it with intention. Let go of any future-tripping or ruminating on your past. Get curious about what’s being communicated. Feel it. Let your brain rest.
How do you know if it’s your soul talking?
My first mentor (and unofficial life coach) once told me that she could tell the difference between her ego and “God voice” because her “God voice” was never based in fear. It was calm, often soft-spoken, and felt like “home”.
Her ego, on the other hand, was stressed, anxious, and fear-driven.
Here’s an example of the distinction as it played out for me the other day…
I was applying for my ICF (International Coaching Federation) certification so that I could readily coach in corporate settings…if I wanted to.
My soul wasn’t having it. But, my ego wanted that badge on prominent display on my website. So, I began filling out the application…
And I felt this anxious energy the whole time I was doing it. Something felt very off to me, and yet I kept plugging ahead. I was very aware of the negative sensations I was feeling due to my ego trying to drown out my inner guide, but I was stubborn. I submitted my payment for $245 and waited for the opportunity to upload my documents showing that I was qualified. It never came.
It turns out that I’d misunderstood the application process that – in hindsight – ended up not being a big deal. But had I listened to my inner guide as it was trying to get through to me, I could have avoided a misunderstanding, paying for more than what I needed, and (ultimately) delaying the certification process by several months.
My ego was anxious AF and compelling me to just submit the damn form already, and my inner guide was telling me to wait. It was like a tug-of-war, and my ego won.
And then my ego got a bit incensed when it realized it had been duped.
It was a tough reminder to heed my soul’s guidance.
The more you listen to your inner guide, the easier it’ll get to distinguish between your ego’s voice and your soul’s voice.
That is all.