Even as a child, I had an awareness of something I called “A Presence.” At times I envisioned this as a still small voice over my right shoulder that nudged me when I was thinking or behaving in a manner against my own conscience. It even appeared to say, “Jannie, you know better than that.” or “You know you don’t need to feel like that.” Later, I experienced Presence as something all-encompassing of which I am a part of. In my belief system, this Presence was called God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. In other religious traditions, this Presence is known by other names. But it is this Presence that I know is a Higher Power.
Because of my recognition of such a Presence, I have always felt what I term “a knowing” that there is something beyond human understanding, something more than this physical existence. It is “a knowing” that we are more than a physical body and personality, that we are spiritual beings as well as physical beings.
Presence then, for me, is that Higher Being or Force (God) and “being present” or “mindful” is a conscious awareness of Presence in each moment. This state of being brings us fully into each moment and allows us to see the awesomeness of life. I believe we are not separate from this Presence but a part of it. Your understanding about God or a Higher Power isn’t as important as learning to listen for the guidance offered.
How Do I Connect With This Higher Power (Presence)?
Because Presence IS, and we are contained within this Presence, rather than having to do something in order to connect, we have to learn ways to clear away all the “stuff” that keeps us distracted from Presence (i.e. worry, busyness, fear, anger, ego absorption). Ancient practices of contemplation, prayer, and meditation are designed for this purpose. Listed below are several ways to still our minds, open our hearts, and listen and/or speak to that Higher Power.
- Relaxation and Visualization
- Nature Walks and Sitting in Nature
- Shamanic Journeys
“Mindfulness” and “being present” are practices that keep you more connected with the fact that you are not separate from Presence. You can learn those techniques that best work for you through research, study, workshops, teachers, and experience. But you must practice. The most effective way to grow in your connection to a Higher Power is a daily spiritual practice. Find the time in your day when you can take some time alone for such a practice.
What Is the purpose of connecting With a Higher Power?
The answers to our most pressing questions come from within, from our higher self or intuition. In life coaching, we are trained not to counsel or to impart wise suggestions to our clients, but to ask the right questions that help the client hear the answers that are within themselves. The key to listening to and hearing this higher self is through this connection with a Higher Power. This is how that Higher Power most directly communicates with each of us. There is no real separateness between our higher selves and Higher Power.
In my book, Through the Inner Eye, I talk about the two voices we each have within us. One is egocentric and is often emotional, agitated, and what Buddhists call “the monkey mind.” If you’ve ever taken time to watch monkeys at the zoo you get the idea. This voice can be fearful, desperate, often jumps all over the place, and is not to be trusted. There is, however, the second voice. This voice is calm and speaks in gentle, soothing ways. We must be still enough to listen. This is that still small voice that is written about by the saints and sages. This is the voice of wise guidance from that Higher Power.
Guidance from the Higher Power May be Validated by Signs of Various Kinds
This subject may best be left for another blog, but it is worthy of mentioning here. For me, these signs have come through creatures that visit my garden, by something in nature catching my attention, by an unexpected phone call from a friend, by something said or done by a total stranger…..
This form of guidance is closely related to your intuition as well, and I will speak more on this in next week’s blog.
Take a moment now to listen:
Sit quietly; breathe deeply in long slow breaths, and clear your mind as much as possible. Ask the Higher Power to help you listen, to guide you, to connect. Then take notes and journal on what comes to you.