◦ 1st: ….What exactly is this ‘wisdom’ that we speak of & strive for?
◦ 2nd: we’ll look at the definition of the “Higher Self” - not only what it is, but what it is not;
◦ And 3rd: we’ll entertain some ideas about how we can connect to the Wisdom of our Higher Self, the wisdom within.
First, what exactly is this wisdom that we are seeking? In the Bible, James 3:17 states: “But the wisdom that comes from Heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”. Now I don't know about you, but this sounds like something I would certainly want for myself. Matter of fact, I am always praying for wisdom; I pray to be wise so I can make the best choices for me and the people I serve. But how do you get wisdom? First of all, we all know this wisdom isn’t just going to fall out of the sky & into our laps. We’re not going to wake up one morning, having prayed for it overnight, & now all of a sudden we are wise. We have to first LISTEN; even Solomon in the Bible says “Listen and accept Godly advice & in the end you will be wise” (Proverbs 19:20). But it’s not enough to just listen…. First we have to listen, but then we have to act.
Having said that, here comes the next question: Since we’re supposed to listen, what/who exactly are we listening to? How can we recognize Spirit’s guidance? And how do we discern between our own thoughts and the voice of God/Divine/Source/Spirit? It’s not like God just talks to us out loud (think of the story of Moses & the burning bush); sometimes it’s in very quiet & subtle ways, and other times? Perhaps not so subtle. I remember growing up as a child in a Pentecostal church and almost every Sunday, someone would "catch the Spirit" (the Holy Ghost Spirit, none-the-less). They would start speaking in tongues, & then another person in the congregation would translate the message. As a kid, I was always excited by when this happened & I kept waiting for someone to catch the Holy Ghost Spirit & get me a message too. Anyway, I learnt through the Elders that this was the gift of prophecy. Some of us call it channeling nowadays. However the guidance comes, you then have to ask yourself “What do I do now with this new insight?"
Now here’s an interesting observation: when we ask God for guidance and wisdom, when we get that which we ask for, do we really, really, REALLY listen? Do we follow instructions or the direction in which we are being led and guided? Or do we act from our ego self and choose whether we want to follow that guidance or not? I get calls all the time from my friends, coworkers, neighbors, family members, acquaintances etc. who will tell me their specific story & then say: “What do you think I should do?” or “What would YOU do if you were me?” In my mind, the answer is clear as day! Sometimes when you’re the outsider & not caught up in the middle of a situation, the answers may seem pretty clear to you but not to them. But I have learnt NEVER EVER offer advice because first of all, no one’s going to follow what you recommend. Usually they go from 1 person to the next telling their story, almost like they’re advice-shopping, asking the same question: “What do you think I should do?” And if 8 out of 10 people say “If I were you, I’d do so & so”, they may consider doing it. But then again they may not! They’ve already in their own heart of hearts or Ego self decided what they’re gonna do.
Our Ego-Self will take action (or non-action) to either protect itself from further pain, to feed an addiction, for secondary gains, to nurse a wounded Inner Child, or to preserve status quo. Status quo is familiar, you see. Status quo is comfortable - even if status quo hurts or doesn’t work. We often don’t choose what’s uncomfortable, out of the norm or different. We choose to stay with what’s familiar instead. The fear of the unknown is a powerful thing - sometimes even more powerful than the pain of the present. Not knowing how the next alternative is going to work out can be scarier than staying in familiar yet painful territory. After all, you’ve kinda learnt over time how to deal with a situation, how to cope with it, how to get by, how to get through, grin & bear..... Some of us can't even fathom that we have options. And some of us are just contrary & will do exactly what we’re not supposed to do. So when people ask me “what should I do?” I can’t say. I just know that if what you're doing isn’t working for you, then you are officially reinforcing Einstein’s unofficial definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over & over again expecting different results”. Have you heard that saying before? That’s insanity! So if your own inner Wisdom leads you to make a change, then do as Bonnie & Clyde would say: “You gotta crack a couple eggs if you wanna make an omelet”. Well a kinder, nicer more spiritual version in keeping with our spiritual teachings would probably be the story of Master Jesus who in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26: 36-46) prayed: “Lord please take this cup away from me; Not my will but Thine”. And he went ahead & served his Father. This should be probably be our prayer, & serve as an example for us. Don’t pray for guidance, wisdom and answers if you’re not willing to go where you are directed.
Having talked about wisdom, let’s ask ourselves now: What is my Higher Self? I have a couple thoughts, but let's start with what your Higher Self is not. There's no right or wrong answer here. Just like all the world's great Wisdom teachings have their own definition of a Higher Self, define for yourself what is true and right & resonates with your Soul and the will of your Father. Who are you? WHO ARE YOU? How do you define yourself? Think about that for a minute…. Who are you? How do you define yourself? What are the labels that make you “You”, that define you? …… A couple months ago, I wrote a blog titled: “I am mother to my daughter & daughter of my Mum”. This shows the dichotomy of how most of us are; I’d probably venture to say how all of us are. Think of labels that apply to you: mother, father, wife, husband, nurse, housewife, babysitter, president, friend, boss, pilot, BUT the thing is you are not your label – you are not your job, the car you drive, the friends you keep or the places you go. All those components, all those labels are the jigsaw puzzle pieces of your life that make up the patchwork quilt called “You”. You can have all the money in the world, hobnob with the fanciest of people or hang in lowliest of places – but the Essence of who you truly are, is not defined by your possessions; it’s not defined by your title or your lot in life. It’s not defined by the label or labels that you carry. So who or what is your Higher Self?
WHAT YOUR HIGHER SELF IS “NOT”:
- Your Higher Self is not separate from our “self” Self;
- Your Higher Self is not external to you ;
- Your Higher Self is not a judgmental extension of your God-Self who makes you feel guilty if you don’t follow the rules, obey, do the right thing, conform, etc.
- Your Higher Self isn’t anxious, Your Higher Self isn’t fearful, it’s not dramatic;
- Your Higher Self doesn't chase some elusive ‘end goal’, change directions willy-nilly, or focus on short term gratification. That’s not your Higher Self.
You are a ‘spark of Divine’. Inside of you is that part of you that is greater than all of your external Self parts & labels combined. You are Great Spirit, You are the “I am Presence”; you are a child of God & Christ child. It matters not your religion. Your connection to Self is your ultimate connection to Source.
WHAT YOUR HIGHER SELF “IS”:
- Your Higher Self is you; it’s been described as ‘your total soul consciousness’.
- Your Higher Self is that inseparable part of you that knows your spiritual soul contract. “He/She/It” (whatever your wanna call it) holds that little “instruction manual” for life: where you’re supposed to go, who you’re supposed to meet; And it does its best to try to keep you on track day to day. Unfortunately, we can get misdirected by our thoughts, feelings & external influences. We have free will – and that changes things - because free will makes you do stuff that a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum would do. Then physically we get run down (from not enough sleep, unhealthy diet or poor lifestyle choices). Emotionally, mentally & spiritually, we have Ego battles that pull us into the labels & habits of the Wounded Inner Child, victim, martyr, bully or warrior. You (Self-you) are a lot of things. Probably a good rule of thumb to help you recognize when your Ego-Self is talking is that the Ego-Self tends to be fear-based; the Ego-Self leaves you feeling guilty; the Ego-self keeps you 2nd-guessing yourself; you feel unsettled, disconnected, out of alignment, and not at peace. On the other hand, when you are in alignment with your Higher Self, you truly feel a sense of connection with all that Is, you feel on track, life flows with grace & ease no matter what kind of storms are going on around you; your thoughts are in alignment with your feelings, and your feelings are in alignment with your actions. Or non-action. NO feeling is wrong. Everything feels on course, and you feel on purpose. Your Higher Self is your guide to rightful living and gives you clarity to your daily life. How awesome it is to meet & know & have a relationship with your Higher Self!
Connecting to the Wisdom of Our Higher Self:
So we’ve talked about what is wisdom, and what is your Higher Self, (and what it is not). And now finally, let’s look at how we can CONSCIOUSLY connect to the wisdom of our Higher Self (for we’re not ever disconnected from our Higher Self). We may at times feel abandoned & be filled with despair; we feel lost, unloved, alone, not worthy, not connected. When you're feeling this way, your Cup is empty. You have nothing to offer when you have nothing from which to draw. Your only recourse then is to return to Source, to go back to the Well, to fill your Cup with the love & wisdom of Source. This is where you TUNE OUT the outside world, TAP IN to the stillness within, & TURN UP the volume of the wisdom of your Higher Self.
Tune out the outside world!
Our world is noisy. We are constantly bombarded by external stimuli and EMF. We’ve poisoned our food and water sources with toxins that numb our bodies & dull our senses. The media inundates us with world events that make us uncomfortable so what do we do? We turn off the TV & the radio. We’ve become insensitive to the atrocities & calamities that our brothers & sister are experiencing in other parts of the world. Well, no wonder we’ve lost touch with our own inner voice, and ultimately our connection to Source. Yet even more now than ever before, we need to be still & we need to return to center. Tune out the outside world. TUNE OUT THE OUTSIDE WORLD! How can you do this?
* Physically disconnect. Walk away.
* Have a "staycation". I usually take a week off a couple times a year to pilgrimage to sacred sites specifically to do an intensive, to withdraw, reflect, and reconnect with Source. You may not have that luxury so take an hour out of your day. Take 5’ just to breathe and make a conscious choice to return to Source & reconnect with Spirit.
* Be out in nature.
* Take a nap & listen to the wisdom of your Elders, the whisper of your ancestors & the wisdom of your dreams.
* Play with the kids/grandkids/pets. Cuddle.
* Journal: Develop this sacred practice of making time to speak your truth. Write down your dreams, your monthly moon rituals, your annual birthday vision plans, your intuitive readings. Then go back & review at specific anniversary dates & you’ll be amazed at how clear the answers were, where patterns are, common themes, repetitive lessons, accomplishments, promises, hopes & dreams fulfilled.
* Talk with a friend, your chaplain, an Elder. Tune out the outside world.
Tune out the outside world, & Tap in to the stillness within.
A long time ago, I was introduced to one of my favorite quotes: “If the answers you seek lie not within, you will never find them without” (Doreen Valiente). I’m gonna repeat that. “If the answers you seek lie not within, you will never find them without”. Make time for solitude.
*Practice mindfulness – you don’t necessarily have to be sitting in lotus pose with your hands in mudra position. There are walking meditations. I’ve heard Spirit speaking to me when I’m digging in the dirt or in a quick power nap where I wake up with the answers I need.
* Meditate. I still get asked “how do I meditate”? There are many ways, sources, classes. Seek & ye shall find. Then practice. And practice some more.
* Follow your intuition. Listen to your gut. Your gut = Guidance. Then follow that Guidance.
* Look to the elements in Nature: animal kingdom for example; or follow the smell of the rain on the way; listen to the whispers of your ancestors & Spirit Guides. They present themselves to us in the sweetest of ways. Angels show up in numbers, on license plates, and even on the face of the clock when you wake up in the middle of the night or early morning (do an internet search on Doreen Virtue & the meaning of multiple numbers). When you wake up at strange hours in the morning, fret not.... Rumi, the Sufi poet wrote: "The dawn has secrets to tell - don't go back to sleep". When I first read that, I stopped worrying about why I am up so early, and began listening instead. Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still & know that I am God”. Tune out the outside world & tap in to the stillness within.
Tune out the outside world; Tap in to the stillness within & Turn on the volume of what you really should be listening to - the truth of your Soul.
A really great story comes from the Bible in 1st Samuel where Samuel who’s studying with old man Eli goes to bed on his cot & 2 separate times he hears a voice calling him. He gets up & goes to Eli each time & says ‘Father did you call me?’ And Eli realizes that God is speaking to Samuel, so he advises him: “The next time you hear the voice of God, say “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”. So Samuel goes back to bed & sure enough, there’s a 3rd time; the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." Listen with your ears, your mind & your gut. But more importantly, listen with your heart. Your heart never lies. Your heart contains the wisdom of your Soul, and with each heart beat, that wisdom is directed to every cell in your body. Listen to the wisdom of your heart - for in your heart lies your true North, & the heart never lies. Tune out the outside world; Tap in to the stillness within & Turn up the volume of what you really should be listening to - the truth of your Soul and the Wisdom of your Higher Self.