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I gave the best advice I’ve ever given this morning, not going to lie.
Here is how to “tap into your own guidance within," not in like a cheesy, abstract, intellectual way BUT IN REAL LIFE.
I’m really not into giving or receiving advice. Mainly because I’m all for tuning out the noise and tapping into your own guidance within. But this morning I made an exception to the rule because what I saw was my friend “tapping into her own guidance within” not in like a cheesy, abstract, intellectual way BUT IN REAL LIFE. And I didn’t want that to go unnoticed in my conversation with her or my conversation with you.
So this morning my friend and I go for a hike, literally up a mountain, while also metaphorically an inner world hike like I talked about in my “triggers as trailheads” post. Everyone passes us on the trail because we are so immersed in conversation.
Like any good friends, we get into the details of what’s happening in our lives because let me tell you there is A LOT going on especially as I am a caregiver for my mom who has terminal brain cancer. We exchange stories and honestly it always feels so good to be witnessed by a friend in my imperfections, challenges, and breakthroughs and to do the same for her. When she tells me about the challenges she is facing, I notice something really profound. She doesn’t try to find the silver lining or say “everything happens for a reason.” She does’t try to see her situation through rose-colored glasses or downplay the pain of it. She doesn’t try to put lipstick on a pig, she is just like here is my pig. It’s messy and smelly!
And you know what I don’t do? Try to make her feel better. You know what I also don’t do? Amplify the pain of the story and express how sorry I feel for her because “wow that must be so awful and yeah your pig is really smelly and messy.”
You might be thinking okay if you don’t 1) try to make her feel better or 2) commiserate in her pain… so do you do?
I recognize the incredible amount of Self energy she is brings to the situation. How she takes the challenging circumstances of her life and instead of getting immersed in the drama and trauma story, she is turns it into gold that will serve her endlessly in life. In doing so, she is building the capacity to choose how she wants to walk herself through this situation and every life situation ahead. Instead of getting wrapped up in trying to control and save others, she is sees how that urge is a part of her stuck in the survival matrix, the fight-or-flight response of the nervous system, and how that pattern hasn’t served her in the past because it only turns pain into more suffering.
By questioning this try-to-save-everyone pattern, she is realizes that she has access to something else. This something else is that often elusive “guidance within” that we all hear about but are like umm suuureee. But in real time, I heard her describe this calmness that she notices within herself even when people she loves are trying to kick up a dust storm of chaos. Instead of joining them in the chaos, she is taps into this calm, collected nervous system and mind state where she can access choice. This isn’t just spiritual lingo, it’s biological. When you’re in fight-or-flight mode you don’t have access to your pre-frontal cortex, the part of your brain that can think through options and intentionally make decisions. But what she shares with me is that she is finding this calmness within even in chaos.
Ahhhh “equanimity” I respond to her. Equanimity is calm in the chaos, but until you experience it sounds like one of those too good to be true things. When you tap into this innate capability we all have to soften instead of intense up, then you’re like wow. I get it now. Even if you don’t have access to it ALL THE TIME, it’s still there and once you taste it you really want to double down on building your capacity to have more of this authentic, wise, self energy in your life. Because instead of a downward spiral, it’s an upward spiral in life.
After she tells me about this calm, wise energy she is accessing more of in her life, she also tells me how she finds herself bringing this well-intended savior but ultimately not helpful energy to another person she loves dearly.
And I pause and ask, “can I give you a piece of advice?” Not the dreaded advice where people feel they know like what you should do better than you do, not that kind. But the kind of advice that brings you back to you.
I tell her my advice: “just tell this person this story you just told me. Share with her how you are walking yourself through this challenge and even though it sucks through it you have found this deep source of calm within the chaos that feels like a softening and loving energy. That’s going to be the most powerful thing you can do, simply modeling how you are embodying Self energy will be the most helpful thing you can do for this person you love. Because you can’t save them, even if you have all the tools and desire, the best thing you can do is share your story of Self energy with them.”
That’s the best advice people. Even if you have the biggest heart and the most wellness tools, you can’t save or change other people. Trust me, I too have tried and it’s only led to more suffering. The most powerful thing you can do is use life’s challenges to strengthen your relationship with you so you and show others the way by embodying it yourself.
If hearing this sparks within you an “okay but how,” I’ve got you. Even this inkling of knowing there’s a better way shows your readiness to step into your full potential and authenticity and I’m here for it! I am reopening my 1:1 coaching practice in early 2024, send me a DM at @had.hagen or email at email@example.com and we can talk about how I can support you in coming home to your truth because why live another second without living life as an opportunity to strengthen your authenticity.