Expert Series: How To Ask For And Receive Guidance: IFSF Formula
By Shiri Joshua
IFSF: *Intention *Focus *Surrender *Faith
are the ingredients necessary for this formula to truly work in your life!
On a peaceful Saturday in April, I sat in the sun by the river, watching the glittering rays bless the cleansing flow of water. I closed my eyes for a moment and took in the warmth and serenity of the space around me. I watched an Eagle sitting patiently on a tree top, gracefully trusting that the next meal would be provided. Not fretting, obsessing, or flying about frantically, Eagle showed me the importance of true trust and patience.
Deep within my heart I asked for guidance about something in my personal and work life that requires me to stretch (way way) beyond my comfort zone. I knew from experience that when we ask for guidance, it always comes. It may be in the form of a sign, a song, a message, an animal, or a stranger we meet on our way home. However, I also knew that the quality and nature of the answer comes in direct response to the quality and nature of the question asked. When I ask “why me?” or “how do I get more?” I may not be asking the right questions and may be frustrated when the answers arrive. Instead, when I ask for true guidance, one that is for my highest good, and that of all those around me, I imply that I trust in the process of life and the genius of the universal wisdom to deliver a plan that is beyond the capacity of my own mind to see. The “universe” (God) always wishes for our happiness and joy, as it is our innate nature and inheritance. And when we are joyous, we are able to help others find their own joy.
I learned in my own journey (and have to still remind myself daily) that when I ask for guidance and truly believe that it will come in the most creative and appropriate manner, I am able to surrender. Then I can make room in my life, get out of my own way, and allow the flow to deliver me that which would best suit my soul and current situation (vs. what my Ego wishes for).
And yes many times I still doubt; I still go to the kingdom of fear and separation from the universe. I learned to ask not for a particular circumstance to come my way, but rather for healing of my mind – so I may be able to become aware of the solution and the distinct way by which the universe speaks to me all the time.
For example, a few nights ago I was on my way home on a bus. That particular evening I was in that place of constant thought and mind chatter. I asked and asked and asked a million questions (I think God needed Advil that night!). Then exhausted from all my thoughts and without conscious awareness, I let go of it all. As I turned the corner near my street, a neon sign literally flashed before me: TRUST, it stated. In (3D world) truth, it was the sign for my neighborhood Canada-Trust bank, with the “Canada” turned off. It was enough to make me smile at the kind reminder of how I am loved and supported with infinite patience at all times (as we all are). It was also a confirmation that TRUST indeed is a core ingredient to asking for guidance. �
If you are anything like me, you may also tend to forget that we are in fact the matter that holds spirit. We ARE the ‘universe’ itself. The art of asking sends forth our intentions on a quantum and spiritual level. But if misunderstood, it also has the potential to imply helplessness and dependency on some force that is outside, or beyond ourselves, which we turn to for help in mending, fixing, or saving us.
“Salvation comes from my One Self,” teaches A Course in Miracles (ACIM). It implies that we are a whole and complete Self. A Self that is capable of creating in the very likeness of that intelligent force which created us; because we are the physical manifestation of it. When we forget this in our human ways, its energy cannot flow through us (and I have many, many days of forgetting my Divine essence and stepping into my Ego based doubts, believe me!)
WE are therefore the ‘universe’ itself! We are constantly designing our own destiny of what it is we so desire (assuming that it is in accordance with our soul agreement and path to serve). A destiny based on the guidance received while in stillness, or in moments of letting go—(of our Ego’s identifications with who we think we are, etc).
When asking for guidance about anything in life, try asking the following:
- What lesson(s) must I learn about this situation?
- What may I let go of in order to make room for the new to arrive?
- What am I attached to that needs to be freed (my relationship, my job, possession, outcome, etc’)?
- Am I getting in my own way? (Forgetting that I am a powerful expression of Source energy /Divine / Spirit/God).
I find the following to be helpful in my life, if you feel inclined to adopt them:
- “Show me” or “Use me:” How can I be of service at this time to humanity,
the animals, the earth, and to myself?
Once asked, take a deep breath and allow yourself to let go. The guidance will show up in your life once you’ve released and allowed the energy of your question to bring forth the answers. Science now shows that we were not made to be passive observers, but rather active participants in the shaping of our own destiny. Rather than passively awaiting a delivery, solution, or decision to be made for us (by “the universe”), let us view ourselves as powerful co-creators in the process, and follow the guidance of the omnipresent loving unseen presence that is available to us upon our asking for it. It actually does not require us to repeat our requests (as I clearly demonstrated in my own life that night on the bus), but rather the knowing that our heart’s inner-most desires were heard, and the delivery is on its way. In truth, the asking becomes the receiving when we “turn on” our awareness of the solution that is already here. (And if you find it difficult to become aware of it, ask to see things differently and through ‘higher’ eyes – such as the eyes of an Eagle or even God).
If we are able to do this, we can move from helplessness to empowerment, from dependency in something vague on the outside of us, to a declaration of our liberation to choose and create along with the force that governs the universe.
But in my humble opinion, it is important to remember that we do so not by TRYING, but by simply ALLOWING. As the reminder I received the other day suggests, if we can TRUST that what we need comes to us effortlessly for our highest good, in the right time and space, we can breathe while waiting, for the Voice of guidance to reveal us the next step in the plan.
These days I start my days by affirming: ‘I align myself with the Law of Least Effort. I allow my Spirit-Self soul to lead and create my day.’ I then take a deep breath and feel the quiet within, which usually yields directions for the next step. A few nights ago I saw a mouse high on a tree near my home. I asked myself how this little timid mouse got himself all the way this high?! It occurred to me that he (she?) did so by looking for the first branch to focus on, then the next, then the next, until slowly he found himself on the top… Smart mouse!
It is Autumn. What a magnificent time to be mindful of the inspiration provided for us by the trees: they silently accept their falling leaves, baring their soul to the world; they trust that spring will come again. Do they force, try, manipulate, fret? (I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think so)… I remind myself of the trees’ patience, trust, faith, and acceptance during Autumn days when I get in my own way in my wish to push things to be different or faster. The trees truly know how to co-create with ‘the universe.’
Happy climbing and co-creating!
Shiri R. Joshua, M.A (Couns. Psych), is a psychotherapist, intuitive animal healer, speaker, writer, and teacher. Shiri is the founder and co-creator of S.O.U.L Academy: School of Compassion and the Canadian Centre for Pet Loss Bereavement. Shiri has been dedicating her life and work to bringing spiritual teachings from the animal kingdom with the aim to facilitate a global shift in consciousness towards unity, compassion, love, and respect for all life (incl. Human-to-human). For more information about Shiri’s work please visit www.SoulAcademy.ca