Several years ago, my colleague Karla Boyd shared a practice for accessing one's personal vision or purpose. It has remained a staple in my toolkit, and I've expanded it to situations in which I need to access my intuition or help other tap into theirs. Sometimes I even use it for deciding what to write about in these posts.
Here's the process. First, write a question that's on your mind or in your heart. You can imagine you're asking the question of your own highest and best self, or some other wise person, present on earth or not. Examples would be: "What do I need to be happy in my job?" or "How can I communicate advice to my teenage son?" The best questions are those tough questions that can't be easily answered using our logical minds.
Then...just write. Write the answer in a stream-of-consciousness format, without stopping to judge the quality or validity of what you're writing.
Early on, I was amazed at the insights that came - even as I puzzled over where they came from. Then a few years later I attended a life-changing workshop led by renowned writing teacher Natalie Goldberg. Goldberg has revolutionized the practice of writing and she teaches a similar process for accessing the heart and soul. She's a purest about insisting that her students handwrite their work, and write continuously for 10 minutes without stopping. She says it doesn't matter if your inner critic tells you what you're writing is garbage - keep writing!
The results are truly amazing, and in fact I used the technique while writing the passages from Erik's Hope in which the character "White Wolf" counseled my dog Erik. I wrote as if I was White Wolf himself, and was often astounded by how eloquent and smart he was...so much so that I now consult "him" on a regular basis.
Here's a recent example. I was struggling with how I would open a meeting in which the stakes were high and asked (wrote), "White Wolf, of what shall I speak?"
Here's the answer I received:
Andrea, speak from your heart. Speak the truth and that truth will be heard by all who need it. Be present as you teach, and the words you need will find you. Above all be kind. Be in gratitude for what you have now and for what will be. Treasure each moment. Be the light.
Even though I haven't shared the details of that meeting, I think you'll agree that White Wolf offered sage advice. He never lets me down. What I needed was not an opening speech, but rather a reminder to adopt the right state of being - truth, presence, kindness, gratitude and light.
Spirited women, if you believe, as I do, that the answers are inside of you, try this method of accessing them. As White Wolf says, the words will find you.