How to Access Your Inner Voice
A lot of people yearn to satisfy their spiritual needs and connect with the divine. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans who feel a “deep sense of wonder about the universe” has increased dramatically in the past several years. Many of these spiritual seekers are asking: What is my purpose? How can I be happy? How can I communicate directly with a higher power and the universe?
This increase in the “spiritual but not religious” category has grown rapidly. As Pew research conducted from April through June 2017 states, “About a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) now say that they think of themselves as spiritual but not religious, which is up 8 percentage points in five years.”
But even as these numbers grow, those who identify as spiritual but not religious are searching for a New Spirituality – one that doesn’t define God as a storybook character who’s looking down on us from some lofty, unreachable place. We’re seeking a more modern, real life, attainable God – a loving being that we can talk to directly and who will provide important answers for them – both about our lives, our purpose, and the universe itself.
As these studies illustrate, the concept of “religion” is changing rapidly – many people are turning away from traditional religion towards “spirituality,” and even those who consider themselves to be “highly religious” are becoming more open to intuitive ability, psychometry, and reincarnation. They are seeking new ways to explore their spirituality, and they yearn to receive guidance directly through “a higher power or spiritual force in the universe.”
According to Archbishop Harold J. Flynn of Minneapolis, Minnesota, people have always had the ability to receive direct spiritual guidance, even if they choose to attend traditional religious services. “This direct connection has always been available to all of us,” explained Archbishop Flynn. “Some receive this guidance through prayer, some through meditation, and others by simply listening to their inner voice. We all have access to divine wisdom – it’s just a matter of knowing and trusting that we are loved and worthy of receiving that guidance.
I believe that we have always had the ability to communicate with this spiritual force – we just have to know that we have an intrinsic ability to connect. It’s the very definition of my book, The Gift Within Us. Just by knowing this fact, we’ve already made great strides to realizing that amazing, empowering connection.
To help you connect with your higher power and the universe, so that you can gain much desired access to the greatest and, in some ways the simplest, form of communication available to each and every one of us, here are six simple steps to accessing your inner voice.
1. Quiet your mind
If you want to access your inner voice, it’s important to clear out your mind and become as peaceful and relaxed as possible. Unclutter your thoughts, and open up your mind to receiving the messages and impressions that the powers that be want to share with us. Be open and receptive, and the messages will come.
2. Be humble, and take your ego down a few pegs
In our world today, in the era of reality TV, we’re often encouraged to be a star, to be the center of attention. Please realize that, yes, you are important and smart, and maybe even brilliant, but that you don’t have to take credit for every single thought that comes into your mind. Some of those thoughts or inspirations may actually be coming from divine guidance, from wise spirits or protective entities who are looking out for your best interest. So in order to be able to hear your inner voice clearly, it’s imperative that you keep your ego in check.
3. Trust your gut
Everybody has had gut feelings – strong thoughts or perceptions that come to us out of the blue, and that make a deep impression on us, regardless of what our rational mind is thinking. Pay attention to these gut feelings. Chances are that these thoughts and ideas are coming from our wise inner voice that’s trying to alert us to something important. It’s a good idea to heed these impressions and to take them seriously.
4. Ask for help
Do you think that God, the universe and the powers that be are too busy to care about our personal problems and to answer our questions or assist us in finding the right path going forward? You would be wrong. Remember these famous words, “Ask and you shall receive?” In the New Testament, in Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus says the following during the Sermon on the Mount: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone who asketh receiveth; and he who seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
These loving entities want us to do well and to succeed, and they often respond directly to us when we ask for their help and guidance. I have had several experiences when, faced with a difficult dilemma or decision, I asked for help with the problem, and an answer or solution magically appeared. Either I was inspired to follow a new course of action that I hadn’t considered before, or I suddenly had a new idea that just “came into my mind.” Certainly, there are times when this doesn’t happen, perhaps because I’m still meant to struggle with the issue for various reasons, but many times, help does come. So don’t be afraid to ask for help, and listen to your inner voice for the answer.
5. Be open and believe that you are not alone in this world
Sometimes being able to access our inner voice is as simple as just realizing that we are loved and not alone. If we’re open to the concept that we all have access to divine guidance and wisdom, we’ve already taken a giant step towards being in touch with our higher self, the greater good, God, or whatever you choose to call it. In your heart of hearts, you may already realize this truth – you just have to have the confidence and courage to truly believe what you probably already know.
6. Become adept at “hearing” your inner voice
After you take the previous five steps to learning how to access your inner voice, you’ll begin to become more adept at actually recognizing and “hearing” your inner voice. At first, you may have difficulty distinguishing between your own thoughts and those inspirations that are divinely guided, but in time you will feel a distinct difference between the two ways of receiving information. One of the best ways to recognize this difference is to ask yourself if the “idea” or thought that you’re having seems to come out of nowhere, and represents a completely new or inspired way of looking at something. If the thought was coming from your brain, it will feel completely rational, because it was borne in your head. But divinely guided inspirations that we access through our inner voice have a fresh, clear and somewhat unusual quality, as if someone planted the thought in your head from another place.
Listen to these divinely guided thoughts. They are the basis of understanding the gift within us. We all have caring collaborators who want to use their divine wisdom to help us on our path in life. By listening to our inner voice, we can help both them, the collaborators, and us, achieve our shared goal.
This essay was featured in the March 28, 2021 edition of The Sunday Paper. The Sunday Paper publishes News and Views that Rise Above the Noise and Inspires Hearts and Minds. To get The Sunday Paper delivered to your inbox each Sunday morning for free, click here to subscribe.