In a time when the messages from the outside world seem more and more muddled, the ability to hone our inner listening can make a huge difference. When our conditioned thoughts are whirling from all of the input of human culture, it is not easy to pick up on inner wisdom that waits below the surface.
I am fascinated by the idea that within my being there is a place of union between my innate intuitive nature and a Sacred Source that reminds me of my place within the flow of life. I am grateful for this beckoning wisdom that teaches me how to focus in on what I call “micro nudges,” those hints about what to do in this moment of my life.
Micro nudges occur for me in the present moment. They are not interested in setting my schedule for the day or rearranging the items on my “to do list.” They are “micro” because they are subtle and give me freedom to ignore them. I must choose to shift from automatic pilot to being alert in order to notice them. They are “nudges” because they point me toward or away from a specific task or path, again in a gentle form. They are not energies that pull me out of danger, or grab and turn me between one step and the next. Their nature is polite and compassionate; just an invitation, not a demand.
Let me give you a couple of examples from the other day.
I had been concerned about the small rabbits that live at the edges of the front lawn, since I found a rabbit’s foot and leg bone out in the field a few days earlier. I had not seen my little friends and I was wondering if one had been eaten and the other gone to find safer housing.
As I was making breakfast, I remembered something that Bill wanted to have in the motor home. Instead of setting it aside until later, I felt the nudge to go ahead and take it out there now. I had just come back around the front of the motor home from my errand when I spotted one of the bunnies running under the bushes. It gave me a joyful glimpse and the reassurance that I was not to worry about them. Later that day I saw my usual pair of rabbits eating together near the bird bath.
It would not have mattered if I hadn’t followed the nudge, but in doing so I received a treat that added to my sense of connection with the wild creatures around me.
Later that same day, I found myself in a conversation with a woman outside Starbucks where I had gone to do some outside writing. I knew that my schedule was tight and that I was supposed to go to the post office before returning home, but I let myself relax into the exchange. She was one who gives and gives, and I was there to remind her that the light and love that she is sending to protect her family was also filling her being and nourishing her soul. My listening was a small gift she could receive as I obeyed the nudge to stay with her and open to her story.
By the time we finished talking, I didn’t have time to go to the post office, and this changed both my timing and my route. As I drove the back road home I spotted a dignified and strong animal standing in the road a short distance in front of me. It trotted off into a driveway as I slowly approached and then turned to look at me with golden eyes as I drove past. It was a coyote with a beautiful, rich fall coat and an agile body. It held eye contact with me for a moment, then turned and trotted on. The gift was a reminder that both rabbits and coyotes are part of the natural flow of this area.
If I had stopped the conversation short, or tried to push the errand to the post office into a confined time slot, I would have missed the coyote. My interpretation is that, as I open to listening within, I learn to feel the flow of life and receive the gifts that occur when I allow it to carry me along.
If you want to tune into the micro nudges in your life, (I firmly believe they are available to everyone, not just, “sensitive types,”) it helps to let go of habitual patterns. We often move through life in a dream-like state following the programing of our longtime habits. Breaking out of these opens a tiny window into other possibilities and the awareness of deeper connections.
For example, set your alarm clock for 5:58 instead of 6:00. Stop using one minute or 30 seconds on the microwave and punch in 58 seconds or 29. If you always brush your teeth starting with the outside of your top teeth, begin with the inside of your lowers. Instead of reaching for your usual breakfast items, put those to the back of the refrigerator or cupboard and look to see what interesting combination might offer you a unique meal of the flavors, textures, and nourishment your body wants this morning.
I know these may sound silly, but they provide a symbolic invitation to your inner being to align with the way this day is unfolding. You may be surprised how micro nudges can shake things up.
As you go through your day look for the times when you feel encouraged to step out of the patterned schedule and the way you always do things. Listen for just a moment before determining what is next, or what route you will take from A to B. Once you make a different choice, watch and see what emerges. It may be as simple as spotting a tree covered in lovely fall foliage or finding the ripe strawberries you have been craving at the store where you do not usually shop.
I also find that when I open myself up to this subtle inner guidance, I lose interest in the dramas in the world around me. When my attention is taken to a specific issue or need, I know I am there for a reason and watch for the appropriate response to what is right in front of me. I have the energy and insight to know my contribution because I have not been turned, tumbled and spun in circles by all the waves created by contrasting ideas in the outer world.
I hope that you will have fun experimenting with listening for the micro nudges that bubble up from your inner being as it feeds and is fed by all of creation. We are so much more connected within this amazing creation of light, energy and life than we can possibly imagine. Enjoy exploring what comes to you as you listen within.
Joy and Peace,