Spirit guides and intuition: Lessons on connecting to inner wisdom
I’ve known for a while that spiritual wellness is my space. Mysticism is the one thing I can never get enough of. “Ever since you were little” a medium said to me last year. “Really?” I asked her in response, my eyes wide with curiosity. I hadn’t thought about myself as a child in ages let alone considered how far back my passion for soul-seeking actually went.
For most of my adult life, I’ve been intuitive and sensitive to energies, although I could never really describe why I felt what I felt or knew what I knew. My mom always tells me I have “antennas”. I think what most people do not realize is that intuition is very, very real; it’s an elusive sixth sense we all possess to one degree or another. What separates us is our ability to recognize and honour that feeling when it comes up.
There’s a reason we say “follow your gut” or make reference to a “woman’s intuition.” Another saying I heard often when I got engaged to Rob was: “when you know, you know.” How is it that we have these instincts that allow us to recognize when something feels “right” or “wrong”, and why can’t we always tap in to this ability when we need it? It seems we’ve forgotten how to do so.
When I was a child, like many others, I would dance and sing and ask silly questions simply because I wanted to. As I grew up and the authorities outside of myself started to multiply (family, teachers, coaches, priests, etc.), I began to seek approval elsewhere. This is no one’s fault, it’s simply the way of our current environment. But what this medium, and dear friend of mine, helped me realize is that life is about returning to our natural state: the blissful and receptive condition of our youth, when connecting to that inner feeling of authority is effortless.
Her comment had me contemplating my youth for months. Beyond my love for Harry Potter, I’d completely forgotten my early connection to “magick” and the divine. Working with my inner child helped me remember how I would speak to nature and animals like people, and connect with spirit guides like having a sixth sense was a no brainer. I didn’t realize this was what I was doing at the time because it just felt normal. I remember at nine years old I was perplexed that I was inside my own body. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that when I closed my eyes to sleep, the world would stop as I knew it and then resume when I woke up. I felt like I was playing a first-person video game, and honestly, I was utterly amazed that I existed in my body. I would also marvel at my inner voice, thinking how funny it was that I alone could hear my thoughts. I remember the feeling of being fully present it my body and deeply aware of my surroundings, accepting and reacting to everything with curiosity and no judgement. As I got older and my priorities started to shift away from choreographing dance routines at recess, I “grew out of it” and forgot about my inner voice and my spiritual entourage. Luckily, they did not forget about me. It was only last year that things really started to make sense.
I’ve realized presence is what separates children from adults, peace from suffering, enlightenment from mediocrity. Children live in the moment and, while they do ask questions, they generally accept things for what they are. Remember how long a year used to feel when you were nine years old? Adults on the other hand are constantly living in the past or in the future (two places that do not exist), judging and analyzing information as they receive it based on previous experience. With this in mind, I spent the last year building a bridge back to my youth, back to presence. I became dedicated to meditation, practicing yoga, journaling, reading oracle cards and burning sage (my husband jokes that our house smells like a church). I was trying so hard to connect to spirit and my inner voice which always felt slightly out of reach no matter how much progress I made. I never thought death would push me to where I needed to be.
After losing two grandmothers, a friend (the very medium who sent me on this path), and my family dog Levi, I felt pretty beaten down. It was a difficult year for this reason (and others - I’ll tell you about it some other time), but like a phoenix, I rose from the ashes with a new perspective on life. It might have been my uncontrollable sobbing at the first funeral that helped me clue in to my sensitivity to people and their emotions. Then, my vivid dreams of my grandmother Julienne that felt all too real to ignore. Finally, I started to feel presence during meditation and right before bed when my mind was most still. Somehow, I just knew: I reopened the lines of communication with my spirit guides - the old, and the new. And the less I judged myself for thinking what I knew to be true, the more activity I would get. The more I trusted the information, the more signs would manifest.
Steven Farmer puts it well in his book Earth Magic:
I think the biggest question that comes up when you’re thinking of spirit guides and trusting the information is, “is it just my imagination?” My answer is of course it is.“Imagination… it’s something that extends beyond our mind and immediate physical realm and into the expansive field of interconnected energy that’s around us at all times. Imagination is that miraculous ability to extend beyond our usual self and into the etheric field.”
Imagination allows us the ability to reach beyond the capability of our rational minds. Children, having the most active imaginations, are therefore easily connected to the other side. They haven't been conditioned to ignore the information when it comes up. And that’s the trick when communicating with spirit: allow the information to present itself, and trust its validity. Like a child, leave the ego out of it and meet everything and everyone with love and curiosity. Of course, there are some things you'll need to question, but observing all information will show you there are some things you just can't make up. My ability to discern what is real from what is a construct of my ego has come with practice, but I can share a trick: “when you know, you know.” You'll feel it in your core.
The other piece of the puzzle is more complicated. I’m still working on trusting my inner authority, which ironically is more challenging than believing in spirit guides. Trusting your inner voice and living in your truth is tough because it takes discipline. You need to check in regularly to see if your decisions align with your values. If you don’t give your heart a chance to weigh in, your mind will take over. It's like living in auto-pilot. I live by the following statement: Life is a tug-of-war between doing what is “right” and what is “easy.”
I feel like I’ve just done a huge information dump and it feels SO good. I feel lighter, and that’s because writing this blog post is aligned to my inner truth - it feels right even when my ego is yelling “No! No! No!” in the background. My biggest lesson thus far is that spirit is all around us. From the second we are born up until the ever-after. Whether you recognize it or not, you’re surrounded. And you yourself are “of spirit.” I can’t tell you the easiest way to tap into your childhood curiosity, the pitch of your inner voice, or why you can’t seem to connect to Grandpa Charles, but I can tell you that no one knows the truth better than you. You are the only authority you need. And when you’re ready, spirit will be waiting.