I’m sitting comfortably in my kitchen right now, enjoying the spaciousness and quiet of a Sunday afternoon. I’m also appreciating that my floor is intact and dry, which may seem like an odd thing to appreciate as I sit down to write.

Actually, what I’m really appreciating is my inner guidance, and I hope that in sharing this story with you, you’ll be reminded of how loving and helpful your own inner guidance is, too. 

If, like me, you want to deepen your understanding of what it means – and how it feels -to be in the flow of your own life, the wisdom of following inner guidance becomes abundantly clear. The very purpose of inner guidance is to guide us in Grace- and ease-filled ways toward more and more of what we want.

Yet even with that loving and glorious purpose, we sometimes talk ourselves out of following it – as I almost did yesterday.

I had planned to drive to Pennsylvania for an overnight stay with my sister.  Those of you who know me well know that spending time with Boo (yes, that’s her name) is one of my all-time favorite things to do.  I love her beyond measure and know I’m deeply blessed that she’s my sister.  We have so much fun together!  Of course, Boo brings fun with her wherever she goes; that’s one of her many gifts.  Yet we also have rich and insightful conversations – my favorite kind – so I get the best of both worlds.

I was particularly looking forward to this visit because Boo had just adopted a new kitten named Trooper, her 7th feline family member. (Being a loving and generous mother to multiple cats is another of her many gifts.) I adore kittens and cats and couldn’t wait to meet the little guy.

I awoke Saturday with a headache, which is unusual for me.  I wasn’t concerned about it, though, because I’ve developed an ability over the years to, in effect, dissolve things like headaches and sore throats before they become something more troublesome. But this headache wasn’t readily dissolvable.

I took a walk to help the process along, yet the headache remained stubbornly with me.  Along with it came a vague but noticeable sense of unease, almost of foreboding. It seemed to be telling me not to go to Boo’s house.

I decided to ignore it. After all, I very much wanted to go! And if there’s one thing I’m passionately committed to, it’s the understanding that in honoring what we genuinely want, we honor ourselves.

But I also very much wanted to feel good, so after returning from my walk I chose to lie down and, in a restful state, refocus on how easily and naturally my body comes into harmony with vibrant health.

Yet I couldn’t maintain the focus.  My mind was already flowing to how and when I would tell Boo that I wasn’t coming.  What? Of course I’m coming! Yet I couldn’t help but notice that those thoughts didn’t feel like the random thoughts of monkey mind or a tangle of unwanted thoughts that had gained momentum in an unhelpful direction.

They felt like guidance, and the feeling was direct and persistent. (So, too, was that sense of unease.)

I was pretty persistent, too, in wanting to dissolve my headache so I could visit Boo, but finally I gave in to what I knew in my heart was guidance not to go. I texted Boo to tell her what had happened. We were both disappointed but of course she understood.  We ended up “visiting” by phone in the early evening, and even with my lingering headache I enjoyed our connection.

A bit later I went into my kitchen to get a glass of water.  I was uncharacteristically barefoot and found myself standing on a wet floor. I looked down and saw that the refrigerator was leaking.  I began to have an inkling of why I was guided to stay home.

I got some towels to absorb the water and went back into the living room, hoping that the leak would stop quickly, as it had about a week earlier when a similar thing had occurred.  After that incident I’d called an appliance sales and service company to schedule a visit with one of their technicians, which I’d been meaning to do for many months because my stove is also not working properly. I actually appreciated the prompt to call.

The earliest date a technician was available was almost two weeks from the day I called, on a Tuesday.  That worked well for me so I confirmed it. I expected to be told that I would need new appliances, but I wanted to explore the possibility of repairing the ones I had before making that decision.

That Tuesday was – in the moment of my second leak – three days away, and of course I wanted my frig to hang in there until then.  But as the evening progressed it became obvious that I couldn’t wait until Tuesday…or Monday, or even the next day. I needed to stop the leak immediately, if not sooner. Before I came to that realization, though, I called Boo to let her know that I’d discovered why I’d been guided to stay home and to get her advice on what to do.

Prior to calling her the thought had crossed my mind to call my plumber, but I hated to bother him on a Saturday night. So I hadn’t acted on it.  But when Boo suggested the same thing, I had the inner tingle of recognition that it was guidance and texted him right away. He and I had exchanged texts earlier in the day about an unrelated question I had, so I knew he was responding to text messages.

As I waited for a response from him, I sat quietly to slow my breathing and repeat one of my favorite mantras:

I am abundantly guided and supported.

I was able to reach a place of calmness and trust, even when I saw that the towels I’d put down just moments earlier were already soaked.

Still no word from my plumber.

I went online to see if there was anything I could do on my own.  After watching one YouTube video it became clear that I would need another (stronger) set of hands to help me so I called my neighbor. No answer.

I kept affirming that I am guided and supported. I put another towel down.

I went back online to search for emergency repair options and was taken to Angie’s List. After answering several questions, I was given the names and phone numbers of three possible providers. As I looked at them I somehow knew none of them would be available, or perhaps able, to help. I took a deep breath.

I am abundantly guided and supported.

I dropped into that calm place again – the place in which guidance is most easily heard.

That’s when it finally occurred to me to call my plumber to make sure he’d received the text.  

Now, in addition to being blessed by an amazing sister, I am also blessed by an amazing plumber.  His deep integrity shines through in his commitment to customer care and top-notch service, along with fair pricing.  So not surprisingly, he’s very, very busy.  In all of my years working with him, he has rarely been able to answer the phone when I’ve called, so I’ve come to expect that I’ll get voicemail.

But on Saturday night, when timing was of the utmost importance, he answered on the first ring. He arrived at my house in less than 30 minutes and repaired the refrigerator within an hour. Turns out I don’t need a new one. Oh, and it also turns out he hadn’t received my text, so it was a good thing I’d called. (Of course.)

When I told him I’d almost gone for an overnight visit with my sister but something had urged me to stay home, his reaction confirmed that, had I ignored that something, I would have come home to quite a mess. Quite a mess.

I am abundantly guided and supported.

As I reflect on this particular Grace-filled experience of following inner guidance, I marvel at the many different ways my guidance was speaking to me:  through body discomfort and a sense of unease; a tingle of recognition that Boo’s suggestion to call a plumber was guidance; a felt-sense of No to the providers on Angie’s list; in-the-moment impulses to walk barefoot into the kitchen and to make sure my plumber received my text.

It also revealed a way my guidance speaks to me that I hadn’t recognized before, which was an unusual felt-sense accompanying my thoughts about telling Boo I couldn’t come, when I was attempting to focus on feeling better. That felt-sense was subtle but distinct, and in the absence of a quiet mind I probably wouldn’t have noticed it.

This brings me to how we can improve our chances of receiving clear inner guidance when we need it:  by cultivating a quiet, spacious mind that trusts in a loving and supportive Universe.  I believe that some form of inspiration, guidance or support is streaming to us at all times. Our great opportunity is to be open to recognizing and receiving it.

Even when a part of me was having a knee-jerk emotional reaction to the water streaming relentlessly from under the frig, along with dramatic thoughts of the floor crumbling and the tiles crashing through the ceiling below, into my client space, I had the presence of mind to pause and create space within my mind. I intentionally breathed into that space and then invited my mantra into my awareness:

I am abundantly guided and supported.

And so are you.

Our willingness to believe this, to relax into that deep knowing and to trust it, is the golden key to receiving our own highly personalized, loving guidance.

I’ve learned that it also helps to consciously reflect on experiences of having been guided. Reflecting on our guided experiences draws more guidance to us because what we focus on is what expands in our lives.

Reflection also helps us develop our ability to discern subtle forms of guidance we may not have recognized before, as in my experience of noticing a different felt-sense of certain thoughts I was having.

A simple way to enhance our discernment through reflection is to ask ourselves, “How did I know that was guidance?” As we name it and isolate it in our minds and remember how it felt – maybe as a tingle, a sinking feeling in the stomach, a felt-sense of “pay attention,” etc. – we get better and better at recognizing guidance when it occurs.

And perhaps most importantly, reflection gives us an opportunity to deeply appreciate that we are guided, and through our appreciation we strengthen our trust in a loving universe. We also deepen the recognition of our own worthiness to be guided.

I hope you can take a few minutes right now to pause and reflect on an experience in which you knew you were guided.  Allow yourself to fully appreciate and celebrate your absolute worthiness to receive that kind of support. You matter, and what you want matters.

You are abundantly guided and supported.

 

 

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