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On Listening to Guidance

I specialize in following spiritual instructions. Ah, if I only knew what they were sometimes!

rock at high hope
Standing stone at high hope ranch in texas





Right now all signs have pointed me to get my foot off the gas pedal. What strange guidance. I try to push ahead and this is the message I get.

I am grateful to be able to listen to guidance in my body wisdom and dance! HA! Instead of resisting what shows up  I learn to play with it.

When I move it seems to recalibrate my body and soul. I feel more attuned to the field around me and more open to messages. Do you have a practice that helps you do that?

Balancing inner and outer states opens channels.

Luckily, I have several places each week to listen in with my whole being: my Friday morning InterPlayce group, the online interfaith prayer chapels that I lead with Nancy Pfaltzgraf, and in one to one sessions where I include movement in spiritual direction.

I also honor guidance from other sources– from those who read the stars, from animal visitors, holy books, dreams, and strangers. The key thing in listening is that it must feel right in my whole being, it must feel aligned. The more I listen and trust the more alignment I feel.

But what about when you get instructions to do something difficult or uncomfortable. Oh my!  Yes, I know that well. It is one of the demands of loving, serving, and being on a soul path.

To rest is not my strong suit. In fact, it brings me to a powerlessness that can really challenge me. Still, many loved ones invite me to receive its blessing. These last couple of months I didn’t even have to take time off work, to rest. in fact work supported me with structure and rhythm. Neither high or low in coasting.

So how challenging is it? For me-challenging. I make things happen!

I know that “not doing” may be just as important as doing in the days to come. My purpose is to foster freedom, but I can over-do this and put too much ME in the world. It is time to put others first: Millennials, Leaders of Color, wise coleaders, those who are emerging!

krisjnamurti says, “Action must be seen in relationship. Without appreciating and understanding our relationships, action will only breed conflict. The understanding of relationship is infinitely more important than the search for any plan of action.”

For sure, guidance is not a solo art! Listening to my spiritual director, trusted friends, inner voices, and those who show up with wisdom is  crucial. I notice them nod and light up when I speak, discern and live from the poetry of purpose. I feel a sense of Rightness between me and them as my path correlates with theirs.

All of this is contingent on being able to really honor my own path. Otherwise everything goes out of whack.

What if guidance asks for sacrifice?

Turkey is one of my totems and give-away is her medicine.

Prior to my birthday I received this fantastic piece of quilted art from Penny Sisto who makes fabric icons and talks to animals near her cabin in the woods. She talks to turkeys. Can you see them?

Penny Sisti




I remember when I wrote What the Body Wants Turkey Medicine was all over me!  Feed the people! Being a published author isn’t about fame. My DNA is organized to gift.

Clarity about guidance requires that I not resist what the world is telling me, nor take it as absolute. I try to remember to just do my best and keep dancing.

The good news is you live ON PURPOSE no matter what, even when you don’t know what it is. Your purpose is in you. Your cells are charged with it like a gps. But, it’s important to get the blessings and nods of others for how you fulfill purpose, for why you are here has everything to do with relationship.

Other things I have learned about listening to guidance-

-Never pass up on a chance to honor the dead, holy people, helpful beings, or sacred lands. This is good practice for receiving support from those communities.

-Don’t ignore guidance even if you don’t take it. Bow, and say thank you if someone extends themselves to you. I have received some guidance that felt seductive but morally wrong. No angel or energy can obligate you. If you are not ready or don’t agree with guidance ask for it to come another way. Ask as many times as you want. The Universe is neutral in its regard for you. You have All the unconditional love and freedom and freedom you need.

-Living on purpose often requires that we undergo initiations to master skills that we need but don’t enjoy (like administrating), gain wisdom about practicing, or to face the opposite of our purpose, in my case oppression or restriction.  The opposite of our dream of purpose is often a big door into our power.

-We may be called to deepen rather move forward, to slow down and drop into practices with more care and intention.  A new move can feel sexy and inspiring but may be a distraction. How we deepen in place is more and more important as we age.


My current guidance is to play on a mundane level, to delight in the ordinary. This is harder than it sounds for someone like me. But the rewards are real. My friendships and homelife are thriving. Indeed, rest is not counter to freedom. It creates spaciousness, perhaps one of the greatest of all spiritual qualities.

I’m always curious about spiritual guidance. Do you have a spiritual director? Practices that recalibrate you? People and guides who help guide you?

I’ve heard that surprise is a sure sign of spirit. How is your life and guidance surprising you?






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