Q: How can we find the balance between listening to our own intuitive wisdom and the helpful guidance offered by a teacher/counselor/coach? Where do we place our trust if the two are in conflict?

A: Your question is very astute. Intuitively, you already know that trust is something we carefully place, or entrust, to someone or something that understands that it is one of the most precious things we have. Although it is ours to access, trust is not something we own or control. We give it freely, rescind it when we need to, and employ it as often as our intuition or our heart requires. It is one of our most necessary and treasured gifts, as vital as the physical organs that sustain us. Although it is not fragile it can be damaged by ourselves or others. When we are careful with it, it remains youthful, energetic, and innocent. Well-placed trust gives us the courage to undertake adventures, take leaps of faith, assess risks, and overcome fears.

When things go wrong, we sometimes say, my trust let me down, or I let my guard down. Consciously or unconsciously, we place a barrier between ourselves and our own deepest wisdom. Why we do that is a longer story, but most of us do. Unmaking those barriers takes time and is rarely easy, but regaining our trust in ourselves, others, and in life, is an important part of self/soul development.

Reawakening our trust can take many forms and one of them is discernment, the ability to know who, what, and when to trust. When challenging situations make decisions hard to make, we often turn to good friends or professionals to help guide us toward the best answer. Luckily, our discerning intuition is always awake and available, protecting and rebuilding our ability to recognize who is worthy of our trust.

It’s important to remember that we are not meant to make perfect decisions every time, to always be right, or to have the correct answer to every challenging situation. Learning how to use abilities, tools, gifts, powers, dimensions – indeed our entire sensorium (the whole sensory apparatus), is part of the process. Some of these are old and forgotten from lifetimes of disuse, others are so new that we are barely aware of them, especially in during these exceptional times. So, we should all be gentle with ourselves and each other when episodes of spiritual amnesia strike or we become otherwise confused or concussed.

The balance you are looking for rests first, in how much you trust your inner intuitive awareness, and second, in how much you trust your outer intuitive awareness. Your inner awareness will communicate with you directly by using impressions, dreams, memories, synchronicities, personal discoveries, and other forms of distinct communication. Outer awareness will communicate with you through others, outside guidance, opportunities, invitations, and challenges. Your job is to be open, honest with yourself and others, positive whenever possible, less demanding of perfection, and creatively engaged.

Whenever possible, trust your inner guidance first. It is closest to your true nature and to your heart. Next, trust your outer guidance to lead you to people who care for you and want the best outcome for any decision or endeavor you are considering. Most of the time, these will agree. If they are not, take a step back. A big step, if necessary. Wait until shortly after the next new moon, or until you are certain it is waxing (growing towards a full moon). Reevaluate your question, concern, or need to decide. Is there an older version of you that is demanding change now? Is there a newer version of you still in a maturation stage? Proceed with caution.

Restoring how often you commune with your beingness (contemplation, meditation, present-moment self-talk, nature-based activities, wellness wakes) will strengthen every part of you from your physical core to your non-physical uniqueness. I cannot stress this enough.