Cultivating Our Inner Guide

In the Yoga Sutras (an ancient and foundational text of Yoga) Patanjali describes the purpose of Yoga, that which is to cultivate stillness in the mind.  In this space of clarity we begin to find our inner guide, that special voice that reminds us of our purpose.  The internal compass that allows us to traverse through the landscape of life with a certain quality of confidence, ease, and resilience.   Finding this space is worthy of our journey but along the path in very simple terms ‘life gets in the way’.  With the intention to share what has worked for me, here are three areas that I’ve found helpful in cultivating my inner guide.

1) Allow for space.  Our inner guide is most essential during times of stress, challenge, and frustration.  But it is during these moments that thoughts and fears most often take over as the mind is tightening up.  When we become aware of this pattern it is helpful to simply give it space.  As opposed to letting the water continue to boil, give yourself permission to “walk away” for some time.  I have found that when we are able to create this gap between the stress and our reaction, we are better able to find creativity and resolve that which has come up.

2) Acceptance.  When we find ourselves going against the current of our life we can spend energy attempting to control and change the situations in our lives.  In the opposite, as we accept and find flow we can tap into a surplus of energy (that which was once used to swim against the current).  As a result our body, mind, and soul are replenished creating a healthier environment for our inner guide to more efficiently rise up.    

3) Practice.  We have to cultivate our inner guide to allow for it to come to life.  We plant the seeds by reminding ourselves of our purpose.  We water and nurture by building awareness of the tendencies of our mind.   We begin to find small changes in our responses and behavior. With this daily practice we begin to see development and growth.  We begin to notice a deep desire to center ourselves.  Our inner guide begins to dive into our life.

It is a remarkable experience when we realize our inner guide is automatically and consistently given us advice.  It is a gift of all gifts, one that we can only give to ourselves.  My wish is that we all take time to focus in this area of our lives.