Tap into your inner wisdom

One of the things I like the most about being a coach is seeing clients find clarity and make choices based on what they already know. While I never know what the client’s answer might be, I am always confident that the client can find it. My role is to help them shift perspective, see things differently and uncover that innate wisdom. As humans we are restricted in what we can see. Our eyes are pointing in the wrong direction to see ourselves and our lives clearly and completely.  Sometimes it helps to work with someone else who can support us in examining what’s really happening and tap into our wise brain. You know moreIn Buddhist terms, this is called uncovering the jewel in the mud. Some folks would refer to this as the divine spark. Others would call it intuition, that still small voice within.  A voice we can hear when we slow down and become quiet. I use a variety of approaches to support clients in getting in touch with their inner genius. Sometimes a powerful question will shift a client into a new perspective, reframe a situation or help them to uncover an answer to a vexing problem. Some sample questions to help you percolate:

  • If you were 95 years old looking back on your life, what advice would you give yourself in 2013? What do you need to consider in order to make a wise decision?
  • Think back to a time when you had a tough choice to make. How did you do it? What strengths and inner resources did you use? What did you learn then that would serve you now?
  • Who are your heroines and heroes? What advice would they have for you to consider right now?
  • If you knew that you couldn’t fail, what would you do right now?
  • What inklings do you have about this situation?
question heart

Love the questions

When that wisdom is slow to materialize, see if you can to live into the question and let go of the desire to have an answer right now. Love the questions, as Rilke advised. Other approaches involve engaging the right brain. The part of you that supports creative, lateral thinking and helps to draw connections among seemingly disparate ideas, information and knowledge. Some ideas for this:

  • Using a crayon, a big piece of paper and your non-dominant hand, write down the problem you are facing and some feelings you have about the problem.  Notice how your writing becomes slow, awkward and ponderous. This slows you down and requires patience and focus in the moment.
  • Create a mind map  (see resource below) with the issue or question in the centre and let your mind drift to identify the elements of the issue. Use lots of colour and stay loose – open to whatever bubbles up. Post this where you will see it and have a look at it every now and then. What occurs to you?

poochAnother way to tap into your wise brain is by giving your conscious, active, monkey-mind a rest. Get out of your mind and into your body. Take a break from whatever you are doing and shift gears. Take a walk. Have a nap. Do something creative. Meditate. Get into the forest, onto the lake, out on the trail. Paddle, walk, ride, swim. Listen to music. Doodle. Anything that takes you out of your thinking mind, to allow wisdom to bubble up from deeper consciousness. This is a bit like what happens when you “sleep on it”. Sometimes you wake up with a solution or fresh perspective that had eluded you.

Mind:  a beautiful servant, a dangerous master. Osho

Tapping into your inner wisdom requires a certain letting go, loosening up and receptivity to unexpected answers and support from surprising sources.  It can’t be forced, it doesn’t happen on any particular schedule, it just shows up.  Sometimes it slams into us like an epiphany. Other times it tiptoes quietly into our consciousness.ladder When wisdom blooms, do what you can to recognize, embrace and trust it. It’s all yours.