One of the key things that makes Ayurveda different from other systems of health and healing is its belief that we are more than just a body and a mind.
The Western medical system sees you as primarily a physical body plus a set of electrical impulses that function to form your mind. The Ayurvedic model of you is a bit more expanded. It sees you as a soul plus a mind plus a body plus a set of five senses which connect everything.
Your soul is the center of who you are. It's your elemental truth and Ayurveda believes that it has a vital role to play in your health.
Your Internal GPS
According to Ayurveda, there is some natural intelligence that governs how everything in the Universe works, everything from how waves form to how a seed becomes a flower, your soul is your individual piece of that natural intelligence, It's what connects you to everything.
It holds the knowledge of your path in life (your dharma). It is the internal compass that seeks health and happiness and it gives you clues and guidance about the choices that will lead you to the most healthy expression of who you are.
You soul functions as your intuition. Connecting to it and trusting it is key to accessing and truly living your purpose. But that's not always easy.
Houston…We Have A Problem
We've all had experiences with intuition, a tingling somewhere in the body, a sinking feeling. But without concrete references or clear instructions, we ignore it (or put on a sweater!). And that's in large part because our world runs on and rewards logical and linear thinking. We live and die by the idea that seeing is believing, and we set out to prove everything (including ourselves) before we believe anything (including ourselves).
Intuition doesn't necessarily follow those same guidelines. It doesn't speak that linear language, and because of that, we don't often listen for it, hear it, or believe it. The result is that most of us have lost the ability to connect to the natural intelligence that we were born with or we've had that connection weakened.
Re-establishing or strengthening that connection can bring you a deeper understanding of yourself and the ability to influence the physical, mental and emotional factors that work together to create bliss.
How to Make Friends (With Yourself) and Influence Happiness
So in order to strengthen the connection to our internal compass, we need to do a few things regularly:
- Get quiet – Take some time, often to just get quiet and feel. Clear the space in your body-mind to allow the signal to get through. Start with taking a few minutes just to stop and be still and focus on your breath. Notice what comes up for you, just notice without making any judgment or attaching yourself to anything. You'd be amazed at how many insights can come from this simple practice.
- Listen closely – Our bodies are constantly giving us clues about the state of our health. Like a compass, they can provide some guidance to get us where we want to be, if we listen. So notice how your body reacts to certain situations. Pay attention to how and where it tenses or relaxes. Notice the tingles and the twitches, the sinking feelings and the shudders. Play the objective observer and ask yourself what's up? And then just listen without being critical or needing to control. Your body has a language all its own and the key to health and happiness is learning it!
- Discover what you believe – This is one that might bring up some resistance, in part because we all know what we SHOULD believe but aren't necessarily as clear or connected to what we DO believe. So again, get quiet, tune in and let the answers come. What do you believe about yourself, about life, about the world? What's important to you, what makes you come alive, what is your life about? And when the answers come, write them down.
- Identify what you're committed to – We're all committed to something whether we know it or not (often it's things like thinner thighs, a promotion, a bigger house or better car). We sometimes forget that we can choose what we commit ourselves to. And I'm not just talking about what you're committed to doing or having. Who are you committed to BEING in your life? Maybe it's someone who is accepting and peaceful or free of judgment or open to new experiences. Whoever it is, choosing who you're committed to being will give you a rock solid and clear foundation for making powerful choices in every part of your life.
Each of these little tasks gives us access to something deeper and each is a part of strengthening our connection to self. Making friends with intuition and learning the language of the soul starts with getting clear about what really matters to us, and enables us to align mind and body with the natural guidance system that will put us on the path to bliss!
So tell me… How do YOU know when your soul is talking to you? What does your intuition feel or sound like?