06/22/2013 11:05 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Y.A.K.: You Always Know


Sometimes it's a whisper. Other times, it's a scream.

But in all of us, there is a voice of wisdom to help guide us. It's called our intuition. We are all born with it, but like everything else, if we don't use it we lose it.

The secret to living wisely is to live intuitively.

So often, my students say to me, "I'm such a bad decision maker."

I tell them, "Life isn't made up of decisions; life is made up of experiences."

It is time to change our vocabulary. The root of "decision" -- literally, from a linguistic perspective -- is "to kill off." What we really need to talk about are choices: The ones we make, and how to make the right ones.

We all have the right to choose. If that choice doesn't work, or no longer resonates with us, we also have the right to choose again. Many of us are so fearful of making the wrong choice that instead of accessing our own wisdom, we take a poll.

When we stand at one of the great crossroads of life, instead of listening to our intuition, we listen to everyone else.

"What do you think I should do?"

We ask our mothers, our partners, even our therapists. The result? We get 20 different answers to the same question. Then we end up confused, stuck and unable to move forward in the best possible direction.

Even more frustratingly, we often hear competing advice from our own inner voice, too. We might hear "Follow your heart; go for it!" one moment and "Don't be a fool; that's too risky and you'll never succeed" the next.

That second voice is our inner critic, or what I lovingly refer to as our "Itty Bitty Shitty Committee." The committee, and our voice of wisdom, are fighting in a constant back-and-forth. It then becomes challenging to distinguish which voice is the one we should follow.

But, alas, there is hope!

There are many wonderful ways to cultivate your intuition and differentiate between the two. Once you clearly identify your intuitive voice, you can always trust it. It is mistake-free, and will never lead you astray.

You can cultivate that intuitive voice by journaling and meditating. When you give the intuitive voice a blank page to write on -- or a blank space of silence to center on -- you create a space for the voice to reveal itself to you.

Other ways of finding your voice of wisdom include taking some "alone time" in nature, to contemplate and listen. If your voice of wisdom is at work, you will feel calm, centered and relaxed. You'll soon learn the stark difference between this place of piece and the negative emotional charge that accompanies your "Itty Bitty Shitty Committee."

Remember: You always have the ability to guide yourself toward a destiny filled with what you desire and need. Just trust, and understand. The secret lies in three little letters: Y.A.K.: You Always Know.

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