Episode 34: Electric Wavy When I Turn It On
In today’s episode (part one of a two part series), I’m gonna teach you what your inner guidance is and why it’s so underdeveloped.
A couple of months ago, I sent out a survey to the Honey Bunny Inner Circle, my gorgeous gang of go-getters (Insert shameless plug here:
asking them what they’d like to know.
I can’t tell you how many responses I got from women who want to know how to trust themselves, how to make better decisions, how to decrease the amount of confusion in their lives, how to lean into their inner guidance, how to strengthen their intuition.
Over and over again. I almost started suspecting that it was the same person submitting the same message over and over again, that’s how many times this episode was requested.
It was a resounding cry from my tribe to learn how to tap into a fundamental, underused and deeply mistrusted part of themselves. So here I am answering the call in this two part series.
In this week’s episode, we’ll talk about what exactly your inner guidance is and why it’s so underdeveloped. Next week, we’ll jam on my best practices for cultivating your inner guidance.
Ok, let’s get started.
What is your inner guidance?
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
The same thing can be said of your inner guidance.
“Inner guidance by any other name would still be able to guide your life.”
That’s a good thing, too, because your inner guidance has a gazillion names and an infinite number of ways it can manifest.
Here are a few examples:
Inner wisdom, inner voice, intuition, God in me, highest version of myself, internal GPS, inner knowing, instinct, hunch, feeling, gut, gut feeling, inkling, impression, suspicion, premonition, foreboding, knot in your throat or stomach, sixth sense, “I got this feeling inside my bones.”
I’m gon keep it real: there’s a lot of woo-woo jargon in the self-help world. Life coaches, self-help gurus, yoga teachers, influencers… they throw around these words and concepts that sound great in theory, but often leave you scratching your head like, “Okay, so now what? How do I apply that to my life?”
It’s frustrating. I want to be the best that I can be and I need a little more help than “Be open and keep an open mind.” (and oftentimes I’m the one who is saying this stuff!!!! I know. Frustrating, right? I have a love/hate relationship with the woo woo AND I do try to give examples, perspective and tips + tricks to balance it out. I’ve gotten so much better at it.)
Here’s my definition of what your inner guidance is -- your inner guidance is a 100% customized GPS system (with coordinates that belong to only YOU) that God installed in you while you were in your mom’s womb.
It helps you navigate your life, the ups and downs, the twists and turns, the stuff you didn’t see coming, the stuff that hurts you, the stuff that makes you say, “This is awesome.”
All of it.
It helps you figure out WHO you want to be, WHAT is important to you, WHERE you want to go, WHY you want to do what you want to do and HOW to do it.
This goes for anything.
Whether it’s figuring out what you want to eat for dinner or who you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Your inner guidance is there for you to help you to be the most you possible.
I don’t think that God put us here on this earth to live cookie cutter lives.
That’s why he made us all so different in everything -- the way we look, what we like, the dreams we have, the talents we have, the way we were raised, the beliefs we have. Everything. Even if you have siblings that were raised with you, ya’ll are two completely different people who see things totally different.
I remember Mama Terry taught me very early on to embrace my uniqueness (and everyone else’s too). She used to say, “Tisha, if everybody was the same, the world would be a very boring place.”
I don’t believe that when you’re born, you arrive and that’s it. Good luck. Figure it out, kid.
I think that God can use anything or anyone to deliver a message to you, including you. Your inner guidance is one of the many ways God speaks to you. It’s your direct line to God. We often think of God as a being outside of us. Even now, to this day, when I pray, I tilt my head up so that he can hear me better because, of course, he’s in the sky.
That’s where heaven is, right?
If you really think about it, if God created the entire universe and infused all things with divine essence, that includes you, too.
Genesis 2:7 says that God breathed the breath of life into us and BAM here we are.
(I know somebody out there is probably gonna want to get all Bible nerdy on me and say that he breathed into the nostrils of a man and that woman was formed from man’s rib. You get what I’m saying, tho.)
In John 14:26, Jesus talks about sending the Holy as a helper to “remind you of everything that I have ever told you.” I believe your inner guidance is a huge part of that, helping you to remember that God is everywhere and that includes right here with us, inside of us, around us.
Another very important thing to keep in mind is that your inner guidance is a muscle. If you know anything about muscles, they have to continually be strengthened or they’ll atrophy, which is a fancy word for “decrease, decline or waste away.”
You gotta exercise them, right? You go to the gym and you lift weights. You do the crossfit or pilates or yoga or whatever it is that you do to get it right, get it tight.
The same goes for your inner guidance.
You have to exercise it in the gym of life. (I’m mad corny and I don’t care.)
What happens when you don’t exercise your muscles? According to Medical Daily, “Significant time off, especially for those who regularly practice resistance training, can lead to loss of strength and muscle mass.”
So if you’re listening to me right now and you’re thinking, “Man, LaTisha, that really sounds good, but I don’t have that connection to myself. I don’t trust myself. I don’t know what I want. I feel confused and lost and uncertain,” it’s because your inner guidance has atrophied after a long period of not being honored and strengthened.
The muscle mass has decreased, so it absolutely makes sense that you feel this way.
In the next episode, we gon’ talk all about how to get back in the gym of life and start strengthening those muscles because your inner guidance is your secret weapon.
How does your inner guidance function?
I think this is the part where the concept of inner guidance gets a bit tricky. Your inner guidance functions in two ways: deep knowing and premonitions.
Oftentimes there’s a deep knowing that occurs in the way you approach your life, the things you love, the activities you’re drawn to.
I often ask my clients to tell me what they were like when they were little. What types of activities were they drawn to? What could they do for hours on end and lose track of time? I even encourage them to ask their parents, siblings, best friends for insight.
That deep knowing shows itself very early on in life.
If you were to ask Mama Terry about how I was as a kid, she’d say, “Teaching. Spirituality. Music.” I would line all my dolls up in the living room and start teaching. My mom was the principal and pretty much every day, my little teddy bear, William Anthony, would get sent to her office. He talked a lot in class, that bear. I couldn’t teach my lessons without him interrupting me. So I’d send him to the office. This just meant he’d hang out with her for a little bit, while I kept teaching.
(Side note: I’m so grateful for my mom because she indulged me when I did these types of things.)
One day I decided I wanted to give mass. My grandpa used to have a money sign blanket and I used clothespins to pin it on my shirt so it would hang in the back like a cape. I gave mass in the back room, even did my own hominy. Never mind you that the Catholic Church won’t allow women to be priests, but that’s another story. I got up behind my pulpit and went to town. It was wonderful.
I loved music, so if I wasn’t watching MTV, VH1, BET, or CMT, I’d be in my room listening to cassette tapes and making my own little mixtapes. My mom would take me to the mall and I’d spend a lot of time looking at the records and deciding which cassette singles I wanted to cop.
Man, that was a different time back then.
If I’m honest, those themes still run true for me today.
I’m teaching, preaching and making random music references in every blogcast episode.
These are fundamental parts of who I am and my inner guidance has always provided me with that deep knowing. It’s an essential part of who I am and it’s so easy to miss because it’s so essential.
If you’re thinking, “That’s great, LaTisha. But I don’t have that deep knowing.”
I want to encourage you to take a deeper look.
The thing about deep knowing is that it’s fundamental, so fundamental that you could be looking right at it and not see it. It’s hiding in plain sight. We oftentimes make the assumption that there’s nothing special about us and we downplay our genius and our uniqueness.
I say this all the time. There is literally no one like you on this earth. No one sees the world the way you do. No one has your strengths, your talents, your perspective. But because these are so deeply ingrained in you, you take them for granted. You mistakenly think that everyone sees the world the way you do. That everyone can do what you do.
I’m here to tell you that ain’t so. I can’t do what you do. I’m not good at what you’re good at. I would literally have tremendo meltdown if I even attempted to do all those DIY projects you do without batting an eye. Or your cider expertise. The way you love animals. I got one dog and one dog only. Or how you rock out at Crossfit. Girl, bye. Couldn’t do it. I’ll be right here waiting.
Is you finished or is you done?
Your deep knowing is 100% unique to you and it’s so easy to overlook it and take it for granted. Start being on the lookout, boo.
The second way that inner guidance manifests itself is as a premonition type of knowing. I think this is what we tend to associate our inner guidance with. That thing inside of us that says,
“Yeah, something feels off about this situation. I think I’m just gonna call it a day and head home.”
“Man, that’s a lot of money, but I’m not sure about working at that company. Something feels off.”
“I don’t know why I can’t get my cousin out of mind. She has just been on my mind all day and I think I need to give her a call.”
In other words, those inexplicable feelings or warnings that root down in the pit of your stomach and say, “Girl, you betta listen to me.”
A lot of times these premonitions are fleeting. It’s like a split second thing and it can disappear before you know it, especially if you normally don’t pay these kinds of feelings any mind.
Why is inner guidance so important?
At any given moment in time, you are bombarded with a shitload of decisions that need to be made. Anything from “What do I eat for lunch?” all the way to “Do I stay in this relationship?”
Big, little, trivial, important, life changing, affecting others decisions that fall on your plate.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I long for the days when the biggest decision I had to make was what channel to watch on TV. Or which $0.99 cassette single I wanted to buy at Sam Goody.
Both motherhood and entrepreneurship have dramatically increased the number of decisions I have to make.
For example, right now I’m researching toddler nutrition and it is giving me major anxiety. I want to instill good eating habits in my daughter (because Lord knows that didn’t happen to me when I was a child), but I’m facing the motherhood conundrum of quality versus convenience.
I can remember before I became a mom how quick I was to say stuff, “Oh, when I have my kids, I’m going to puree 100% organic baby food and they’re never going to have screen time.”
Now we’re here and some days it’s like, “Here’s Mickey Mouse and some goldfish. God bless you.”
That doesn’t mean that I don’t spend time with her and I don’t give her good stuff to eat. Nah, we read a lot and she loves fruit and avocados. But it does mean that I am totally not the mom I thought I’d be way back when I had no clue what it means to be a mom.
In terms of entrepreneurship, I’m jamming on customer experience and sales funnel. I’m also debating whether or not to run Pinterest ads for the Red Carpet Collective.
Online ads are not my forté and so I’m currently researching my options to make sure I understand the implications before spending my coins. For me, it’s not so much the set-up of the whole show, it’s more about the experience and are people picking up what I’m putting down.
That’s just two examples in a never ending sea of “You’re the adult now. Make a decision.”
The same goes for you. You’re navigating your own sea of decisions:
You’ve started a new job and you’re figuring out your own system of doing things.
You’re looking for a new place to live. After debating about buying a house or renting an apartment, you finally decided to go the apartment route. So now you’ve gotta weigh your options, pick a place, review the lease, sign it and then figure out how you’re gonna get your stuff into the new place.
You’ve been with your boo for three years and it just feels like ya’ll are going in different directions. You’re on this self-love journey and peeling back the layers of your life and having tremendo a-ha moments all over the place. Your world is changing and yet his has stayed completely the same. It just feels like ya’ll are on two different pages.
You’re constantly asking yourself, “What do I do?”
It never ends and the types of decisions you’re making depend on the season of life you’re in.
As I mentioned earlier, my Beta Babes and I are knee deep in beta testing for the Red Carpet Collective, my monthly membership program.
The very first module I released is “A is for acknowledge the past.”
A big part of acknowledging your past is examining your modus operandi. If you’re into crime shows, the police are always talking about the perp’s MO, their modus operandi, “the particular way or method of doing something, especially one that is characteristic or well-established.”
In this module, we talk about why it’s so important to know what your default mode is (when you get pissed off, when you feel cornered, when you feel overwhelmed, when you feel trusting, when things work out, when they don’t work out. What’s your default mode when life happens?) and the programming behind that default mode (in other words, the stories you tell yourself about pretty much every single thing in your life).
I also ask you to get clear on what your values are, so that you can then start piecing together a road map that is 100% unique to your beautiful life.
You’d be surprised how many people have never stopped to actually write out their values. They know it when they see it, but they’ve never actually declared, “This is what I value. This is what is important to me.” Decision making is difficult because they’ve only got this blurry notion of their values instead of a concrete list that they can use to guide the process.
In order to get clear on your values, you absolutely need to tap into your inner guidance.
When I ask you to think about what’s important to YOU, I want to know about YOU, not your mama, your partner, your kids, your culture.
What’s important to YOU. What you value. Not what you “should” value, not what you valued 15 years ago.
What is important to you right now?
It’s a deeply personal question and one that you should always be thinking about because it’s going to evolve over time. That’s definitely going to be an underlying theme in the Red Carpet Collective, this idea of cultivating, strengthening and listening to your inner guidance.
I absolutely believe that you are the expert on you.
Don’t nobody in this world know you better than you do. You are there from the very beginning to the very end. It’s so easy to forget that. I believe that you already have the answers to the questions you’re asking and the decisions you need to make. Deep within your bones there is a knowing, an understanding and it’s that God given GPS system, that inner guidance, the God in you.
Why don’t you use your inner guidance as God intended?
So why is it that you haven’t been using your inner guidance as God intended? Great question. Let’s noodle on it right now.
Lately I been on an all things Whoopi Goldberg kick.
So, in Sister Act 2, we meet Rita, a beautiful talented singer played by Ms. Lauryn Hill. Rita wants to be a singer and she’s conflicted about it. Sister Mary Clarence has a little chat with her and says,
In Episode 32, I break down the scene where Rita’s mom comes home and finds her working on some music stuff and she goes off. She talks about how her daddy was a singer and it didn’t get him far. She asks Rita does she want to end up on the sidewalk in front of their house singing her shoulda coulda wouldas. She wasn’t playing either. Well, no wonder Rita is so conflicted about being a singer. The person she loves most in this world, her mama, is adamant that she should give it up and stick to studying because singing does not put food on the table.
There may be a lot of reasons why you’re having difficulty connecting to your inner guidance and a lot of them probably have to do with your individual experience. The people who forced their opinions on you. The things you tried that went horribly wrong. The circumstances that made you doubt yourself. It’s deeply personal and I encourage you to take some time to noodle on why you don’t have your inner guidance on speed dial.
Maybe you had a mom like Rita who made it very clear that you only had a certain set of options and anything that fell outside of those options was not possible. Or maybe the first time you tried gardening, it failed horribly and you’ve never again attempted to cultivate your green thumb. Or you were dirt poor and so life became about surviving, not living your dream life or thinking about your life purpose.
Here are some factors that may explain why your inner guidance is underdeveloped or underused:
1. Beware of the good girl.
It all starts at the very beginning. The way that we teach little girls about what it means to be a female. You hear it in nursery rhymes like this one:
You probably have heard parents pleading with their toddler daughters to be a good little girl.
And what does it mean to be a good girl?
Good girls follow the rules.
They don’t make a fuss and question.
They do what they’re told.
They raise their hand and patiently wait until they’re given permission.
Good girls play it safe.
They play nice and don’t rock the boat. You gotta stay on the boat to survive, and you can’t survive if you tip the boat over with your own wants and needs.
From the moment you are born, you are taught what it means to be female. These lessons vary greatly depending on your race, your culture, where you’re brought up, the family you have, etc.
To a certain extent, we need that.
When Lyric was born, she couldn’t even hold her head up by herself. So, of course, she’s gonna need guidance. She’s already starting to ask questions and I’m pretty certain that in the coming months that beloved question, “Why?” is going to become her go-to. Kids are natural scientists and they want to test their hypothesis and they truly want to understand. Part of my job as her mom is to guide her and help her and answer questions about the world at large.
One of the things that I want to teach her is to honor and hone her inner guidance. I want her to trust herself, to believe in her ability to make decisions and to know that she is capable and that she deserves to take up space.
For me, as her mom, part of that is going to be giving her space to make decisions.
I know that one day she and I are going to have very different ideas about what she should do. If I’m honest, we already do. She wants to stay up and watch Pitee Pouse (her nickname for Mickey Mouse) and I know that sleep is critical for her brain development. You goin’ to bed.
But maybe one day I think she should major in Business and she wants to be an artist. What then?
Lucky for her, I have worked in the music business and I’ve seen people make a living off of their craft, so I’d never discourage her from that.
What will happen though is me giving her a real sense of what it takes to be “successful” in that industry. (In Episode 29, I introduce you to the concept of the shit sandwich). I’m one of those people that if you tell me that you want to be an astronaut, I’m gon say, “Alright, let’s figure it out. Let’s understand what it really means to be an astronaut.” I’m not gon’ say, “Singing does not put food on the table.” Singing can absolutely put food on the table.
But I know so many people whose parents aren’t like that or weren’t like that. Who have lived out their lives according to their mom’s dreams or their dad’s wishes. Who broke up with the love of their life because it was frowned upon. Who put their lives on hold because of the opinions of others. Who have spent so much time worrying about whether or not others love them instead of wondering if they love themselves.
For so long we have followed the rules because that’s what was ingrained in us. We figured that our parents, our teachers, our culture knew better than we did, so we listened to them.
You became a teacher even though in your heart you wanted to be a writer. Mama said, “Play it safe,” so you did. You wore your hair a certain way because the boy you like said it looked great. Even though you wanted to do a big chop and go natural. You beat yourself up about finishing your degree because your whole life your dad said that the only way to be successful is to have a college degree.
“Be a good girl.”
You’ve spent so much time listening to and ascribing to that message of being a good girl, that now you don’t know the first thing about listening to your inner guidance. You’ve never really done it before. It feels foreign, unnatural and you immediately want to go back to the old way of doing things because relying on your inner guidance feels unsafe and too hard.
You also have to understand the implications of being a woman within a historical context. Here in the US women got the right to vote on August 18, 1920. At the time of this recording, that’s not even 100 years ago. That’s not a long time at all.
According to this Smithsonian.com article, in the 1970s, any woman applying for a credit card could be asked a barrage of questions: Was she married? Did she plan to have children? Many banks required single, divorced or widowed women to bring a man along with them to cosign for a credit card, and some discounted the wages of women by as much as 50 percent when calculating their credit card limits.
Back then, women weren’t trusted to make decisions, so you can forget about this idea of cultivating inner guidance. Part of that still lingers today. There are so many talented, capable women shrinking themselves at work and at home because their whole lives they’ve been good girls.
2. You’re afraid of making a mistake.
Fear weakens our connection to our inner guidance. Fear intends to keep you safe by keeping you small. Fear reasons that you can’t get hurt if you stay inside your comfort zone. Nancy Levins says that fear paints a bigger story than it can prove. Fear can actually drive you to do things that aren’t in your best interest.
I’ve worked with so many women who are terrified of making a mistake. They are so scared of messing up that they won’t take any action at all.
They are obsessed with perfectionism and they realize they’re fighting a losing battle. Since it’s not going to be all the way perfect, why even try? So they sit on the sidelines of life, watching the game, but never having the courage to get in and give it a go.
Meanwhile, their inner guidance tugs at their heart strings, begging them to get up and get in there. Instead of listening to it, they work really hard to suppress the desire. They worry about what others will think of them. They criticize the people who are out there giving it their all. They distract themselves with busy work. They can name every reason why they shouldn’t and a million ways it could all go to shit.
Here’s the deal: life is always evolving, whether we like it or not.
Change is the only constant in our lives and we’ve got to get on board with that. You could be investing all your energy into developing the world’s greatest typewriter and then BAM the computer is introduced.
You’re knocked flat on your ass. You didn’t see it coming. Or maybe your inner guidance did and you silenced it like you always do.
You used the five year old logic of closing your eyes and saying, “If I can’t see it, it can’t see me.” I once read a book called The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career. One of the things it says is to always be in permanent beta, always in testing mode. Trying things out. Experimenting. Exploring. Pivoting. So instead of sinking down into the mindset of “This is who I am. I can’t change,” you say, “Let me get out there and experiment. Make a mistake. Learn from it. Do it better. Make a mistake. Learn from it. Do it better.”
Inner guidance knows that you’re always safe, even if you’re leaping into the unknown, even when you’re trying something new for the first time. Our inner guidance helps us to navigate life, to make decisions, to solve problems, to take action, to leap, to live. It’s really hard to live when you’re terrified of making a mistake. That fear is cutting you off from hearing your inner guidance.
3. You don’t love yourself.
When you love somebody, you listen to what they have to say. You take their opinions into consideration. You want to make them happy. You want to live up to their expectations. You’re at the grocery store and you see their favorite chocolate bar and you get it for them to brighten their day.
Love is powerful like that.
Yet oftentimes while you’re so busy focusing on other people, you’re not doing that for yourself. You’re not taking your own opinion into consideration. You’re more concerned with making other people happy and living up to their expectations, that more often than not, you don’t even stop to think about what you want, what would make you happy. You lose that connection to your inner guidance because your focus is on everything under the sun but you.
Your inner guidance is all about you.
It has the GPS coordinates plugged in for your journey, not anyone else’s. While I’m all about doing research, asking others for their insight and wisdom, it can’t happen at the expense of your own wisdom.
Yes, do all of that AND listen to yourself.
We often put ourselves last on our to-do lists, our list of priorities and we wonder why it’s so hard to hear ourselves. Or why we’re so confused on what to do next. Or why making a decision is so damn hard. We aren’t tuning into and strengthening the connection.
Honey Bunny, I want you to know that you are 100% capable of making decisions, of setting boundaries, of speaking your truth with love, of honoring that internal wisdom that God has gifted you with.
God breathed life into you. He knit you inside your mother’s womb. He has given you this beautiful life to live. He’s also gifted you with this beautiful system that is yours and yours alone.
If you’ve neglected it or haven’t used it in awhile, that’s okay. There’s no better time like the present. At first, it’s gonna feel weird and you’re gonna feel weak. That’s normal and part of the process. You get better with time and practice. Lucky for you, life is going to give you a million opportunities to practice cultivating and honoring your inner wisdom.
Stay tuned for next week’s episode where I share with you my best practices for strengthening your inner guidance. I’m not gon’ leave you hanging, boo.
Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment below and let me know your greatest takeaway from today’s episode. It really means a lot to me when I hear from you, so holla at ya girl.
I’m cheering for you. Like you’ve got that sunshine in your pocket.