Inner Wisdom and How We Know We Have It

MelSecretAdventure-copyOne thing I know about inner wisdom is that we all have it. Yes, even you. If someone had said this to me twenty years ago, I would have rolled my eyes, while secretly wishing for an inner compass of my own. Much later, I woke up to the disconnect between the structure of my life and what I most value, the gap between my work and where I actually find fulfillment. Death has a way of clarifying things – and it uncovered the hard truth that I had been chasing a life that didn’t hold much meaning for me. Once that shot of certainty broke through, it suddenly seemed reasonable to explore what my heart might actually want, since my head apparently had no idea – for all it’s logic and practicality.

So, how do I know, now, that you have inner wisdom too?

Our inner wisdom is built on foundational truths. And I have yet to meet a human who can look one of these truths in the eye and not be affected by it in some way. It’s like the overwhelming sense of love and fear that arises when you first hold your newborn baby. I’m not a parent, so I don’t know that particular feeling firsthand, but I do know the jolt that ran through my body when I learned that my boyfriend (now spouse) had been in a car accident. It’s the moment I knew I loved him, though because of the disconnect from my heart-reality, I would deny it for many more months.

Our inner wisdom is built on all of the ways that love can feel: Solid and steady and completely without condition. Like *home*, or instead, a new adventure in a far off place. Like justice, rather than ease. Or like excitement that’s a shade away from quaking fear, and maybe even includes it. You know these feelings, and you know what your heart asks of you in these moments, even if it scares you, and even if you feel almost certain you will fail. I had many of these feelings in my life that I discounted, talked myself out of, or flat out ignored. When I heard my patient heart beating steady in the aftermath of my own clarity, I knew this. I also saw that there were many other moments where somehow, my heart had quietly had her say, guiding my path from behind the scenes. There were times where my head could justify my love with logic, and so we moved forward together for a time, without my even realizing it. Amazing. I’ll bet you have some of these moments too. Our inner wisdom works on our behalf, even when we’re not conscious of it.

Our inner wisdom tells us who we are. And this is exactly how it guides us in our day to day, and in life-shaping decisions. If we know who we are, if we know what we love, well, then, we know what to do.

Take a few moments (and a few deep breaths) and reflect on how love has presented itself in your life:

How has love shown up for you?

What did/does it feel like? What has it asked of you?

What light does this shed on your own inner wisdom? 


This post is part of a series on connecting with your inner wisdom, all the many ways that it shows up, and how we learn to actually use it. On June 20th, in Seattle, Washington, my dear friend Kylie Bellard and I are gathering with a group of kind and curious folks to share our most cherished practices for drawing on our inner wisdom. Are you interested in building a more conscious relationship with your own inner well? We would love to have you join us.

Find all the details and register to save your spot, right here. 

Other posts in the series:
It is not selfish to follow your heart

4 comments on “Inner Wisdom and How We Know We Have It

  1. Love this, Mel. Mine asked me to move “home”, a place I never thought I’d live again, to help with my grandparents. something I also didn’t see me doing. There was just a single moment when I knew it was what I was called to do next. And man, did I want to resist it! But I came, and I can see how – in so many ways – it was exactly the best thing for me to do.

    What a lovely description of inner wisdom, as being built on all the ways love can feel. I can see it!

    1. Goodness, I know that feeling (of *knowing*, and of pushing back… wow, do I!) I know this was a big move for you, and I’m so happy to hear how it feels for you now. Love. Yes. It’s the greatest signpost ever.

      Thank you so much for being here, and for sharing. It’s so good to hear from you, Elizabeth.

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