As I was driving to see my father in his final days in hospice, I heard a voice in my mind say to me, “He is going to die today.” This message from my inner guidance confirmed my feeling that I had only precious moments left with my father.
Hearing words of guidance and insight this way has been a normal part of my life for the past 20 years. Internal guidance can make itself known to us in a variety of ways, including messages we hear in our mind, messages we see in our mind, or messages we feel in our body. The ability to hear messages in our mind and sometimes in the form of outer sounds is called clairaudience.
One night after I’d become a chaplain, I was lying in bed after midnight and heard a helicopter fly over our house. Minutes later, my pager on my bedside table started vibrating. I quickly got up, called into our nearby trauma hospital, and learned that the staff needed a chaplain. I got dressed and was out the door within minutes.
I walked into the ER around 1 a.m. and met the medical team in the stabilization room, where they were attending to a young man who had just been in a factory accident. They quickly determined that he was not going to make it. The staff identified and called his family and I met them shortly after in the waiting area of the ER. We gathered the family around the young man’s bedside to say goodbye to him. He died an hour later.
After his family left the hospital, I was tired, emotionally drained, and ready to head home at 4am. I got in my car, and I said a prayer, “Okay, I have had enough. Please let me be done for the night.” I then heard my inner guidance say, “You are done.”
On other nights, I’d said the same prayer and response heard, “You will have one more page.” No matter what it actually said, this inner guidance always comforted me. I knew that I was not alone, but had help on my path.
Three years ago, my husband, Scott, suddenly collapsed and was taken to the ER and ended up in the intensive care unit (ICU) of our local hospital. The medical team thought he might have cardiac sarcoidosis or amyloidosis—both grave diseases. As they worked, I spent time in silence, meditating and listening within, I heard, “He does not have amyloidosis.” This guidance helped me navigate this challenging time and again- reassured me that I was not alone.
This past month, I was walking out of my home office to give a talk on resiliency for a group of local business executives. As I grabbed my bag, an inner voice said to me, “Bring some essential oils. Someone will ask about aromatherapy.” I listened. I grabbed some aromatherapy inhalers from another bag and left the house.
At the end of my talk, I opened up the discussion for questions. The first question came from a female executive, who said, “I have been hearing a lot about aromatherapy lately. Can you tell me about the benefits of using it?” I smiled, dived into the healing benefits of aromatherapy, and pulled out my inhaler samples from my bag.
Each year I open and listen more closely to this inner guidance that is ever present. I am guided by my inner wisdom and something greater that it’s connected to. I have learned over the years that it’s easier to hear guidance when I am still, present, and silent.
Breathing exercises and meditation help us release all the noise and distractions around us and bring us into the present moment. Stepping back behind the mind we can observe and witness our many thoughts that come and go. And in that space, of pure awareness, pure potential, there is room to open and hear guidance that is present for all of us.
Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of patients and families.