Trusting Your Inner Wisdom

Ever wonder why we depend on the external world to validate who we are?

Instead of trusting our inner wisdom to validate our worth, we wait for others to share theirs, hoping to then, and finally, believe we’re enough.

Funny how we’ll believe others before we’ll believe ourselves…

Unexpected Wisdom

Earlier in the year, my grad students and I spent the day on Batu Ferringhi Beach in Penang, Malaysia as part of our travel aboard experience; an adventure that nonetheless tested our inner wisdom.

As we settled on the beach, a Sikh spiritual advisor approached me out of nowhere.

He seemed a kind, gentle man; I instantly felt captivated by his presence, the sound of his voice, and the words he used.

He took my hand and invited me to sit on a nearby bench.

With my left hand in his, he proceeded to read the lines on my palm and ask me about events that were remarkable only to me.

I wondered, “How could be know that about me?” “Do most people have a broken relationship in their past and low back pain on the right side?”

Nonetheless, I listened closely as he explained how each line symbolized my hard work, long healthy life, wealth in 2018, and lots of happiness.

When he finished, I paid and thanked him for his time; he bowed, shook my hand, and asked me to remember him next time I visit Batu Ferringhi Beach.

He disappeared as quickly as he had appeared.

I felt inspired, affirmed, light, peaceful, and joyful.

Expected Wisdom

Later that evening, our group attended an overnight wellness retreat at a spiritual sanctuary; an experience that opened space for even more inner testing.

While there, the Buddhist teacher who was hosting the retreat provided many of the students with chakra and energy readings; some of them agreed with their readings; others did not.

The very same teacher read my chakras and spiritual energy on a previous trip several years ago.

I agreed with his reading back then; he affirmed what I already knew, or gave me permission to believe what I knew but didn’t trust.

As I listened to each of the readings that the students received, I reflected on my time with the Sikh man.

I remembered how I’d felt after the reading: inspired, affirmed, light, peaceful, and joyful.

In that moment, it struck me that I can believe all those things about my life and me without having to hear it from a “higher” more knowledgeable, wise source.

All I have to do is choose to trust my inner wisdom.

Likewise, I can choose in this moment to feel inspired, affirmed, light, peaceful, and joyful on my own without permission from anyone else.

Content, I chose to not ask the teacher to read my chakras or energies this trip.

I simply didn’t need to; I know my chakras and energies all too well, and trust my life and me to unfold as the Universe intends.

Absolutely, I’m a kind person with a big heart who works very hard.

Likewise, I’m already wealthy and whatever might transpire in 2018 is merely icing on the cake.

Simple Steps to Trusting Your Inner Wisdom

Honestly, I think we know our truth, yet we’re afraid to trust our inner wisdom.

Instead, we seek external validation to confirm what we know.

In other words, we live in our body, mind, and heart, yet do not trust them.

We put our trust in what others believe about us; we literally put our worth in others’ minds.

No wonder we live anxious, distracted, and oh, so afraid.

We’re told to trust ourselves, yet we’re unsure how do you do it.

Step 1. Connect with your body.

Our body is the vessel that carries us through life.

We depend on it to move us from one place to another, pick up what need or want, and carry a lot of internal and external weight.

You can connect with your body through a variety of movements such as dance, exercise, sports, yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Qigong, massage, and other various body practices that can help you connect with and feel your body fully.

Step 2. Clear your mind.

A lot of negative, unnecessary mind chatter simply does not inspire trusting our inner wisdom.

Meditation and mindfulness are highly effective practices for clearing and quieting the mind.

Varieties of meditation practices are available so it’s important to find a practice that fits with you and your lifestyle.

I prefer guided meditations. Tara Brach gifts us with access to a range of meditations on her website such as Accessing the Wisdom of Your Heart.

Step 3. Open your heart.

When our heart is open to all that life and the Universe offers, even the painful and tragic, we learn to trust our inner wisdom at its deepest level, our soul.

One of the simplest ways to open your heart is through a daily gratitude practice.

When we acknowledge and express heartfelt gratitude daily, our heart opens to more love, compassion, acceptance, and inner trust.

If you’d like to dig deeper into heart work, check out John Prendergast’sIn Touch: How to Tune in to the Inner Guidance of Your Body and Trust Yourself.”

Connecting with our body, getting out of our head, and opening our heart is the path to trusting our inner wisdom.

As you contemplate igniting your inner wisdom, I’ll leave you with a favorite Shel Silverstein poem:

“The Voice”

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”
Shel Silverstein

Sending you inspiration,




  1. Lauren Schultz

    Such a wonderful post Kelli! Trusting my inner wisdom has been a long and winding road. This newest chapter in my life has certainly tested that! Thank you for these great reminders. I loved hearing about your latest Malaysia trip 🙂 Take care, Lauren

    1. Hi Lauren! So wonderful to hear from you! Seeing your name and post in the comments felt so good on this cold, Wisconsin morning. It warmed my heart! I’m happy to read that you’re trusting you inner wisdom even as life tests you. Life sure does give us ample opportunities to practice, right? I, too, am getting lots of practice these days! Practicing becoming is perhaps our greatest, most meaningful life work. Knowing you as I do, you take your “studies” seriously and will reap the benefits of your dedicated practice. Sending you inspiration, ~Kelli

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