“There is a guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word.” . . . Ralph Waldo Emerson

What do I do when I’m confused about a situation? I take a piece of paper, label it ‘Guidance,’ and handwrite my question just below it. I phrase the question as simply as possible. This can be anything from “What should I include in this article’s sidebar?,” to “Why do I have this uneasy feeling around Aunt Mary?”

Then I just start writing. Often I begin with “I don’t know what to write. . . ” but within a paragraph, something clicks. Ideas, suggestions and intuitive feelings, sometimes appearing as a single word or a vision, begin to appear. I capture them as well as I can in writing, and I keep going until I’m finished. Sometimes this takes just a page. More often, it’s two or three pages as I explore these thoughts, words or images. When I’m finished, I follow up on the impressions I’ve received.

Sometimes these come in the form of direct suggestions and prompts. I might be directed to make a phone call to a particular person, find a certain magazine or book, or even do a directed journaling exercise.

This guidance is amazingly accurate, helpful and comforting. Some people have a guardian angel; I have one who replies to “snail mail.”

Exercise: Take one situation you’re confused about, label a page ‘Guidance,’ and pose your question. Then freewrite on the information you receive. Follow up on the suggestions, urges and hunches that come from this process.

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