Very often in life we find ourselves at a crossroads. Maybe the coming shift is crystal clear to you: to stay in a relationship or leave, to change a career or not, to move from home, or stay. This is when we need to tap into our inner truth. Sometimes, the crossroads looks more like a maze, and you feel a major change is needed but you aren’t sure what that even looks like. Or maybe you have some idea, but are paralyzed by the choice.
At SpiritQuest, we hear from clients all the time that they either cannot connect to their inner truth, or they hear it, but argue with it. Many people doubt their inner voice so much, it’s hard for them to make the distinction between the inner critic and the inner voice at all. This inability becomes a major block in our relationships.
Finding Inner Truth Direction
If this is you, don’t worry, nothing is wrong with you. Confusion happens to everyone now and again. The focus of so many on the topic of accessing inner truth demonstrates how amazing we all are! It shows the incredible wisdom within we sense we know the answer. We sense it’s right there if we could just harness it, and we are right. The answer is almost always there.
Very often when clients are at a crossroads and stuck, we find the client is disconnected from inner wisdom, and often under the pall of the inner critic:
Does this sound familiar?
I’d love to ___________ (insert dream here), BUT
It isn’t possible
I don’t deserve it
It would be risky
No one would understand
I’d probably fail
It’s amazing just how much we invest in our inner tract of doubt, fear, and limitations. Especially for women, going inward and finding our voice, which has been silenced for so long, is an important part of actualizing our dreams. But men are also subject to social conditioning and limiting beliefs, so the taming of the inner critic is applicable to pretty much everyone.
The confusing thing here is that run-on tape of the inner critic IS an inner voice. At least, it’s always playing in the background. So, how do we get past the run-on tape and hear our real, authentic inner truth, (which is ourselves minus limiting beliefs that stem from social conditioning)? Here are some methods SpiritQuest has found helpful:
I know. It can be hard. The irony here is that we are asking for guidance from our SELF, but unwilling to be with ourselves for even a few minutes. So, create a pleasant, comfortable space where you know you can be undisturbed for a little while. Open yourself up to the feeling, in the body, of being confused. Of being at a crossroads. What does it physically feel like to hold the confusion or question in your mind?
Does your heart ache? Can you open to this ache.
Does your throat tighten? Can you open to this tightness.
Do you feel full of butterflies? Can you open to the fluttering.
If the mind begins to chatter, that’s okay, just bring yourself back to the task: Can I make space to hold what’s happening now, fully? Will I embody my truth NOW? Hot tip: If you can embody your truth now, the future will be a lot easier and you will proceed with more clarity.
Mindfulness and meditation are big (exciting) topics, but I think you will find a lot of clarity with just this short, simple exercise for connecting with inner truth. You might notice what the main emotions are behind the confusion or your blockage—where it’s located, or even other awesome insights. Our experience at SpiritQuest is that a little mindfulness of the body can take you to incredible places within.
Also, if you notice the inner critic’s voice while in meditation, repeat its judgment aloud. This is usually sobering because we hide from ourselves and ignore just how vicious our inner critic can be. We would NEVER speak to someone else the way we speak to ourselves behind the scene. When you make the inner tape speak out loud, it helps to let it go (because it’s so obviously toxic). Once you catch the inner critic in action once, it’s easier to catch it all the time.
If I could do anything I’d…
It’d be amazing if….
Let yourself dream! Go crazy. Maybe put on your favorite song and dance first: anything to get you in the spirit of freedom. Just let it flow. As you dream, your inner critic will flair up with doubt, fear, anger, tiredness, etc. Make a place in your journal to write down any commentary you hear from your inner critic. Also, make a page, if necessary, for ideas/inner commentary you are unsure about (is this inner critic or inner truth?)
Your mindfulness practice should help you being to distinguish critic from your authentic self. However, if you are still unsure, try closing your eyes and saying the statement aloud and feel, in your body, how it hits you and where.
Here is a tip. You may not be able to silence the inner critic. It’s there for a reason (i.e., to keep us safe, from doing stupid stuff). We should, ultimately, (after we give it a good talking to, and create some firm boundaries,) love our inner critic. Because love and acceptance is a good policy, that puts us at ease with all parts of ourselves, even those parts we want to change.
3) Get Outside
Get outside if you can. Hike, look up at the clouds, and make time to look at leaves, ants, and places you routinely pass by without really seeing. Look INTO the world around you. Nature has a way of helping us connect to the feminine side of creative energy: the abundance of nature and her forms are limitless. Gratitude, beauty, and exercise lift our spirits and help us see what’s possible. Do something new outdoors, when you have the space and inspiration, which of the ideas from your crossroads stick? Which ideas still have energy and inspiration?
4) The Paper Slip Test
If you still are at the crossroads, by now, you’ve probably honed in a little on the core of the issue. Put all your ideas on separate slips of paper and put them in a jar. Close your eyes, draw, read the slip, and notice your reaction. Does the idea make you feel like a bird in flight, or heavy? Does the option hit you as right or true? Do you feel inspired?
What is it to feel inspired in your body? All that meditation should have helped you hone your ability to sense and connect to subtle energy, to refine your intuition.
If, after all these exercises you still remain in doubt put all the best options and ideas from the paper slip test back into the jar. Light some sage, say a prayer, meditate, play some epic opera, whatever gets you centered… and draw from the jar.
What would life be like if you acted on what you drew? Sometimes, we need to simply fail or be wrong to know what’s right. Your inner truth is simply telling you to act! It isn’t always in the WHAT of what we do but the HOW.
If you remain confused after significant inner work, this could be a clue that you need to practice the HOW of living. So make peace with potential “failure.” Dive in, and allow yourself to live without the inner critic; allow yourself to fail with grace. Take a risk, take a chance. Experiment with being happy even in less-than-ideal circumstances. Can you make a tedious chore joyful? Is it possible to be of service in some small way today? Can you smile inside even when something isn’t going “perfect”? Perhaps you can let yourself be wrong and not indulge the inner critic? Read about the value of self-care
SpiritQuest offers a variety of skills in our retreat packages, that can help you hold sacred space for yourself and your partner during life’s tough choices. We have a specific session to address the Crossroads, so call 928-282-2509 to ask our staff about this session!