FIFTEEN WAYS TO IDENTIFY
AND LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE
1. Breathe deeply and get as quiet as you can, stilling the emotions.
2. Practice belly breathing. On the inhale, expand your belly as if you're blowing up a balloon while counting 4-6 times, hold the breath for 4-6 counts, and exhale on 4-6 counts.
3. Ask a question. You can ask God, the Holy Spirit, your guardian angel, your guide, your higher self, your inner voice—whatever you want to call it is ok.
4. Watch for an answer in a variety of forms. The answer may come as a whisper, through a song or something you read, from something someone says, or like a light bulb going on. The answer may come quickly or slowly, but it WILL come. Be patient. The answer usually strikes you as feeling different or deeper than normal.
5. Beware the difference between an answer from the ego (fear) and an answer from the Holy Spirit (love). The answer from the ego will bring you harm, such as to the alcoholic, "Go ahead and have that drink. You deserve to celebrate. It's only one. You'll go back to your sobriety after this one."
6. The answer from the Holy Spirit will have a deep sense of rightness about it, a peace. God's answer always brings more love into our lives. Even if you don't want to hear it, it will feel right and you'll know it.
7. Ask for motivation for things that you don't want to do. As you get help, you'll begin to trust that inner voice. For example, I'd been procrastinating on cleaning out my purse and asked for motivation to do so. I ended up losing some medicine that I inadvertently put in the wrong pocket of the purse. Searching for it led to cleaning my purse out.
8. Pray as if you are talking to a friend. The answers you get may sound like your own voice, but will feel different. When I was angry with a friend I wanted her to admit her role in the problem, and I would admit mine. My inner voice said, "How about seeing both of you as blameless?" I knew that was the inner voice because it certainly wasn't something I would have said.
9. Pay attention to your dreams and coincidences. When something unusual makes you pause, it contains a message. If you notice the same strange thing happening several times in one week, it's trying to get your attention. For example, you may hear or read about surrender in three different places, and it's telling you to surrender.
10. Get comfortable with your own style. Some people see visions, others get sensations or feelings, others hear an answer. There may be a variety of ways in which you get answers.
11. Listen to, and follow, inner urgings or nudges. If some feeling keeps pestering you, it's telling you something.
12. Learn to meditate. This slows down the mind chatter so you can listen better. We cannot hear God's voice when we're in fear. However, in a holy instant we can jump out of fear and hear it.
13. Do a spiritual practice daily. Choose what feels good to you, whether it's reading, meditating, spending time with nature, chakra balancing, rituals, etc.
14. Ask for signs. A word of caution here: sometimes we want what's not good for us and we get signs that seem to suggest that we'll get it. If there is a sense of discomfort or unease, it may be telling you that what you want is not for your highest good.
15. Practice forgiveness. The more we forgive, the more we see things the way God sees them. We will hear the inner voice speak of love more easily.
SEVEN SECRETS OF FORGIVENESS
1. Forgiveness is for yourself. Unforgiveness makes us sick. When we attack someone back, even just in our minds, the stress hormone cortisol is released. This is the "fight or flight" response, which works great in emergencies, but over the long term leads to heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, immune disorders, ulcers and colitis.
2. We don't have to fear that forgiveness gives permission for continued abuse. When we forgive someone, we're not saying what he did was ok or that we are allowing it to happen again. In fact, we're actually setting ourselves free from the fear that it will happen again, because the love that we are comes out, and we feel naturally safe.
3. Don't try to do this by yourself. Forgiveness is done by our higher self, the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. We have to call on this part of us to take over, because the nature of our ego selves is bitterness itself.
4. Give yourself time. Initially it can be very hard to forgive, so don't feel guilty about this. Hold the intention to forgive and pray for your heart to be softened.
5. "There is no order of difficulty in miracles," according to A Course in Miracles. This means that the Holy Spirit, your own loving nature, can forgive seemingly "unforgivable" acts just as easily as "minor" ones. When you affirm this, your process will go faster.
6. Forgiveness is the main tool we use to return to God. When we forgive all grievances, the love that is inside of us starts naturally emerging. We start to feel one with all people, which allows us to feel our oneness with God.
7. We need to forgive everything that bothers us. Yes, even minor irritations need to be forgiven. This is because this world of difficulty is an illusion, and when we're upset about anything, we're making this world real. When we're caught in this world, we're not able to see the true world of God's love.
TEN TIPS TO AWAKEN FROM THE DREAM
1. FORGIVE EVERYTHING THAT UPSETS YOU. When we are judging someone or something, we are blocking the flow of love. Love is inside of us, and when we awaken we find that love stood behind every problem we ever had. We just couldn't see it because we were angry and judging.
2. PRAY FOR HELP TO FORGIVE. Often we're so angry and hurt that we just can't forgive on our own. Holding the intention to forgive will make it happen in the right time. Praying a simple prayer such as, "Help me forgive because I can't by myself," will set things in motion.
3. PRACTICE CHOOSING LOVE OVER FEAR. We have about sixty thousand thoughts a day. Thus, there are sixty thousand opportunities to be the love that we are, sixty thousand chances to wake up.
4. RE-DEFINE SUFFERING. Suffering is the difference between how we think things should be and the way they are. If we stop judging the way things are and accept them, we stop suffering and wake up from the dream.
5. DO AN INVENTORY ON WHO/WHAT YOU NEED TO FORGIVE. We may overlook issues in the past that still bother us, because we don't think of them often. However, if anything bothers you in the least bit, it's an issue that still needs to be forgiven. We can tell if we've forgiven someone by how we feel when he crosses our minds. Any blip on the screen means there's more work to do.
6. SEE EVERYONE AS YOUR BROTHER. A Course in Miracles says we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless we take every brother with us. Of course, heaven is a state of mind within us, but if we judge any brother as unequal or unworthy, we are keeping ourselves in hell. This goes for government officials, too!
7. USE THE AFFIRMATION "I AM." "I AM" taps into the field of God energy. This is the field of pure potentiality, pure love, and pure creativity. Saying "I AM LOVE," "I AM PEACE," "I AM JOY," is stating the truth about your being. These traits are your very nature, but they've been covered up by ego personality blocks.
8. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE ALREADY ENLIGHTENED. We are dreaming that we're not enlightened. In truth there is no time and we are already home with God. Only the ego wants you to think that it's a long, hard road to get back.
9. DO A COURSE IN MIRACLES WORKBOOK LESSONS. These lessons, even if you don't logically understand them at first, are designed to stretch your mind to see love and miracles instead of fear.
10. REMEMBER TO LAUGH AT THE DREAM. The Course says we made the dream in the moment that we forgot to laugh. You will find that as you awaken, you start laughing automatically because you see how silly it is that we ever thought we were separate from God.