Is it intuition, or indigestion?!
Because we’re conscious beings, we all have an inner observer that notices what’s happening and tries to guide us. But from what level of consciousness is that voice in your head communicating? Is it your subconscious, replaying old impressions from your past, or present-moment, valuable insight coming from your higher self?
This article shows you 3 easy clues that will help you to know the difference.
First, a definition of terms:
The subconscious mind is the storehouse of your hopes and dreams; your doubts and fears.
This is where you hold both painful and pleasurable memories. It’s where your beliefs and expectations – both positive and negative – reside.
Every experience we have leaves an impression on us, in the same way walking leaves footprints in the sand. The messages we receive from our subconscious minds are like those footprints. They trigger the recall of past experiences, but do not necessarily lead us anywhere new.
Your subconscious is a collection of everything that’s ever happened to you – and, more importantly, your interpretation of those events. Until you consciously reprogram it, your subconscious mind provides the automatic, default lens through which you see the world.
In contrast, your higher self is an extension of the life-force that creates and sustains all things. It’s the part of you that understands that life moves only forward. Therefore, when your higher self communicates with you, it’s always in the present tense.
Your higher self may give you a sudden impulse to do something. It might occur as a thought or idea that seems to come out of the blue. One sure-fire way to recognize a communication from your higher self is when you feel a sense of interest or inspiration. Your attraction toward a particular course of action may be obvious, or it could come through as the faintest inclination. In all cases, your subconscious is replaying the past, whereas your higher self is guiding you toward the future.
Here are 3 additional steps you can take to interpret your inner guidance in any given moment.
Step #1: Observe the nature of your self-talk.
Your subconscious mind is connected to the instinctual part of your brain that pursues pleasure and seeks to avoid pain. As a result, the messages you receive from your subconscious usually fall into one of four general categories:
- Catastrophizing: This is where you anticipate the worst – of yourself, of others, and of life in general.
- Magnifying: You pay more attention to the negative aspects of a person or situation, often to the point that you can no longer see the positive.
- Polarizing: You see things in terms of good and bad; black and white, with no shades of grey.
- Personalizing: You view yourself as the cause of other people’s behavior, even when it may have nothing to do with you.
If your self-talk falls into any of these categories, it’s a subconscious throwback, not an insight from your higher self.
Step #2: Notice how the thought feels.
The messages we receive from within – both from our subconscious minds and our higher self – are not conveyed in words. Both of these aspects of us communicate through the language of energy and emotion.
Subconscious messages always trigger strong emotions, whereas communications from our higher self come through as an impassive knowing. The lower and slower the emotion (think, self-doubt, shame, rage…), the more likely it’s coming from your subconscious mind.
Step #3: Deliberately tune to the channel of your higher self.
Your openness to varying levels of consciousness is a lot like a radio receiver. If you want to tune into a particular frequency, you simply tune your dial to the station that’s broadcasting it.
To hear more from your higher self, you don’t need to get rid of the messages you’re receiving from your subconscious mind. You just have to become better at tuning into your higher self.
Subconscious impulses are like static blocking the airwaves. And the fastest way to cut through the static through the regular practice of meditation. You can meditate by following the flow of your breath in and out. You can focus your attention on the flame of a candle, or put on some peaceful music and quietly listen.
Meditation provides a respite from the outer world, and into the subtle realm of energy that underlies all things. The more at home we are in our inner world, the better we are able to distinguish the clarity of our higher self from the static of the subconscious mind.
Christy Whitman is an energy healer, celebrity coach, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Having It All: A Woman’s Guide to Unlimited Abundance. To understand how to more deliberately co-create the life you desire, visit www.watchyourwords.com and gain access to a free 30-day training.