A patch of light from the setting sun brightens the circular flowerbed. Small colourful flower heads of yellow, violet, white and lavender sparkle in the sun's low slanting gentle rays. In this patch of sunlight a few tiny flies dart and hover above the flowers. A magpie pecks persistently on the nearby grass as petals dance in the gentle breeze.
Your Calling Can Be Checked
Our guidance is usually very gentle. We sense its presence through our feelings, images and thoughts. People often ask me "How do I know if the feelings, images and thoughts I am having are from the call?" There are five ways we can tell if they are coming from inner guidance. I would like to share with you a major decision I made a few years ago and then use this as an example to illustrate how we can know if we are being guided from within.
When my wife Carolyn and I were courting I lived in Belfast and she lived in Dublin 100 miles away. Since we were seriously exploring making a life together, we had to agree where to live. Was it to be Dublin or Belfast or somewhere else? This was not an easy decision as we had lives rooted in our respective cities. In our discussions about bringing our lives together we were both prepared to make compromises. I reflected privately on this question about where we should live, and sensed that it was right for me to move to Dublin. By offering to move to Dublin I felt I was offering a gift that would bring us closer together.
One summer's day - as we lay in long grass looking out across open fields on the edge of a hilltop wood, I offered to move to Dublin. I made the offer with the reservations that I would try living in Dublin with Carolyn for periods to see if I liked it, and that we would discuss the possibility of living in the countryside some day. My partner was overcome with emotion and shed a few tears. We realised that my decision was taking us closer to marriage and a shared life.
In making this decision I was guided by my insight, which revealed that it was better for the relationship if I moved from Belfast to Dublin, by my dreams which imagined a new attractive life together in Dublin, by my conscience which sent feelings of discomfort about asking Carolyn to move to Belfast, and by my intuition because I felt in my bones that I wanted to move to Dublin. But how could I be sure this decision was guided from within and was the right decision?
Firstly, I felt enthusiastic at the prospect of living with Carolyn on a try it and see basis in Dublin. There was a natural inner energy supporting this move. I could release the energy of this enthusiasm to sort out the many tasks that would need to be addressed before I could make life in Dublin with Carolyn a reality.
Secondly, as I imagined a life in Dublin with Carolyn, I felt at peace. Of course there were complications and some anxieties in making this decision. I would have to sell my house, leave my parents and two sisters and the many friends I had made over the years in Belfast. Although I knew I could take my Internet project with me, I would have to find work in Dublin. However despite all these complexities I felt a deep inner peace when I considered making this decision.
Thirdly, I just knew it felt right for me to explore living in Dublin. There was an inner "knowingness" that persisted. I had the feeling that, whether or not it would work out for us in Dublin, I was taking the right course of action.
Fourthly, by moving to Dublin and creating a life with Carolyn, I would have to make many new friends, find work and carve out a life for myself in a strange city. However as I contemplated making this move I felt I had the persistence to see the adventure through because I had the patience to focus on building a new life by overcoming every obstacle one step at a time.
These are the four ways I use to know if my decisions and actions are guided from within. The decision or action is surrounded by feelings of enthusiasm, peace, knowingness, and patience.
Of course before making a major decision I may wish to share the background to my decision with business colleagues or close friends and family. When I shared my wish to move to Dublin, and the background to this decision, with close friends and family members, they had some reservations as I had, but could see the value of making this move. Had they been dubious, I would have discussed matters extensively with them to discover the nature of their objections, before coming to my final decision. Through sharing with people close to my heart who know me intimately I come to understand the nature of my decision, but I always rely on my inner guidance to make the decision, and do not follow others opinions. Tuning into my inner guidance empowers me to act in a truly free and independent manner while taking into account the perspectives that other people offer.
Where we need the co-operation of others to fulfil a goal, for example within a marriage, or on a committee, we need to keep communication open and free flowing by encouraging each person to freely share what is in their heart, until consensus about the way forward is reached, (see Your Healing From A Broken Relationship).
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