One of all-time favorite lyrical quotes is from the old Smiths' song "Ask":
"Nature is a Language -- can't you READ?"
The world is carrying on a conversation with you -- but you're behaving like it's a dropped call. When I look at some of the search terms you've used to find my articles about connecting and communicating with your personal spirit guides, I see a lot of focus on negation of the ability, or how the experience does NOT happen, how you're listening but not hearing anything, how your guides aren't answering you, or -- this one extreme word-choice caught my eye -- how your spirit guides are ignoring you.
Really? Think your God Posse is ignoring you?
YOU are ignoring them.
Your spirit guides ARE answering your questions, they ARE responding to your pleas for information -- ALL the time. If you can't hear them, it's not that you're being ignored -- the connection IS there, the channel is open, the signal is on. Listening to your intuition -- hearing something useful -- is more a matter of your interpretation of the response -- or, most likely, your dismissal of the messages.
You most likely confuse responses from spirit with other everyday information, signs, and sources.
Consider some commonplace communication: cell phone calls. Cingular has an ad campaign in heavy rotation right now -- scenarios illustrating the devestating effects of dropped signals on important conversations. The dead air space that greets you from the other end -- the result of a technical glitch, misinterpreted -- or presumed -- processed as an actual response.
If you ask a question, and the person on the other end answers you, but you didn't hear what he said, or the line goes dead suddenly -- don't jump to the conclusion that he hung up on you!
Just this afternoon a friend called me repeatedly on my mobile phone -- I was outside doing yardwork; the phone was inside on the charger. I called her back later and was accused of purposefully screening her. Not answering; ignoring her.
She chose for whatever reason -- her self-esteem, her projection, her insecurity, her lack of faith, her need in that moment -- to believe that I did not want to speak to her. You know this story -- miscommunication, misunderstanding. One pattern this reveals is how quickly we are willing to seize on the WORST possible case scenario and immediately begin behaving as if this is reality -- the only possible version of reality -- without all the necessary information.
Your guides are paying attention to you -- they are communicating to you constantly; they spend a lot of energy making sure you receive at least some little nudge or gut feeling, if not planting physical billboards and glaring signs in your path.
Next time you experience difficulty in locating a response to your prayers, meditations, or requests for spiritual guidance, instead of assuming the worst, consider all the alternatives. Give your guides a break, and do yourself a favor: choose to believe your challenges are technical glitches, confusion, miscommunication, or misunderstandings.
How do you define signal versus noise? We use the term "noise" in the psychic, intuitive, emotional, clairaudient sense to describe interruption -- interference; we separate useful, desirable audio information from too much of what we don't want to hear. All the stuff that overwhelms, competes with, and covers up the minority of information we want to focus on -- pay attention to...
- If you're hiking in a lovely patch of woods, you may call the sound of a plane passing overhead, or a leaf-blower in the distance, noise.
- If you're lost in the woods and trying to find your way back to human civilization, the same noise becomes a beacon of hope and a promise of rescue.
What defines a sound as noise is a matter of context -- conscious awareness, filtered by your need or desire -- and most importantly, your expectation. You still hear the birds chirping and the lumberjack's saw -- which do you want to hear more of, given your present scenario? Which do you dismiss as undesirable or not so useful?
Attention is the most powerful filter of all. If you sit across from me in a crowded cafe, we are in a room full of people all talking and carrying on multiple conversations -- I'm listening to you, but on some level, I'm still hearing everyone.
Listening -- focusing your attention -- is not the same thing as hearing. I'm not paying attention to the people at the table behind you -- I'm not listening to them, I can't necessarily tell you what they're talking about, but I am able to hear them.
Now, if we shift our attention to the conversations at the other tables, we can make out the subject of what's being discussed, perhaps hear every word being said, or catch snatches of keywords and phrases. We can pick up the information, eavesdrop on the other table.
When we're not focused on listening in to other conversations, we tune them out -- calling them background noise. The volume doesn't physically change. The presence of the voices is constant.
The first thing to consider when listening for psychic, clairaudient, or intuitive information -- the sounds are already there. There's nothing extra -- or external -- to hear; it's already here. The popular phrase "still small voice" implies that it's always a quiet whisper in the middle of a roar of background noise, and that to hear it, you must strain your consciousness to impose silence on everything BUT that one sound.
I don't know about you, but I suck at mainstream meditation techniques; achieving mental silence is not something I can relate to. The sounds are all there, the channel's on full-blast -- picking the individual signal I desire to focus my attention on, from the background noise, is not about getting rid of some sounds or adding a new one. What's there is there -- so ask yourself WHAT is here?
Right now, as I write to you, I'm sitting with my laptop on the deck overlooking the backyard, with the creek, and a hill of woods only a few hundred feet away. If you were here, I'd say "Listen to all that racket!" And you'd respond with "What are you talking about?! It's totally peaceful, just the sound of morning birds..."
Really? Just a lovely, serene Sunday morning, with nothing but the still small birds chirping and calling from the trees, huh?
- What about the sound of my fingers on the keyboard?
- What about the dog barking?
- What about the sonic trail of a high-flying plane overhead?
- What about the hum of the air-conditioner on the side of the house?
- What about my breath? (There's always your breath to focus your consciousness in the present...)
These are all present sounds -- some of them -- like the birds -- are technically quite loud and hard to miss. But none of them are internally louder than the "silent" sound of my voice on this page. Because that's what I'm focused on.
You say you hear only birdsong -- I'm primarily listening to one of my inner voices writing this article... As you're reading my voice right now, which is louder -- the physical noise in the background of the space you're in, or Slade's words, which are making no physical sound at all?
By the way, what sounds are available to you right now? Stop for a moment and work out from your breath; listen to all that you hear, identify the sounds, separate them from one another, determine their sources, how close or far away they may be. Which ones are technically louder? Which distract you and grab your attention the most? Are some easier to ignore than others?
Consider radio technology -- are all the radio stations broadcasting right now, or just the one you're tuned into? If you have no radio, or your radio's turned off, does that mean the music and the voices are automatically non-existent?
Your psychic channel works in a similar way -- hearing, listening, focusing, tuning in or tuning out are all different experiences -- but it's all HERE.
To shift your attention according to context and scenario:
- Step back and observe your consciousness from a distance
- Abandon the form you want the answer to come in -- or the way you are demanding it be revealed to you
- Consider everything around you as a potential answer -- and I mean, really open up the possibility of what a sign might look like -- it may be the bird you weren't paying so much attention to; it may be the pattern of the noise in the distance; it may be the source -- the thing -- that's making one of those sounds
Do you often hear astral beings whispering to you, like little cartoon characters on your shoulders? Do you often see beams of sunlight splitting the sky and hear the voice of James Earl Jones booming down from Heaven's PA system? Do you typically receive direct, immediate, unquestionable clear external responses regarding serious, confusing, complicated matters of spirit? Do your dreams answer you with unmistakable subtitles or complete sentences flowing across the screen of your mind like an advertisement trailing behind a blimp?
Do your most trusted friends and family members -- your confidants -- witness and guide you by delivering a set of bullet-pointed directives that you simply follow like an automaton? Or do they listen -- really listen -- and hold your hand as you discover the answers yourself?
I read somewhere once that the true definition of loving someone means listening to his struggles, knowing exactly what he needs to "fix" himself, and knowing when NOT to tell him.
People don't take original advice -- they make willful decisions and at best seek outside confirmation or affirmation of the choices they want to make. Faith means you DON'T make sure; following your gut is not doing what someone else tells you to do.
Hearing and listening are two different things; heeding wisdom -- and choosing to behave accordingly -- is something else altogether.