Theresa Byrne finally found her groove when she started looking for advice inside herself instead of everywhere else.
After having spent most of my twenties on self-help “research” and thousands of dollars seeking advice on the best decisions to make in my life, I’d become a glorified junkie.
It hit me. I was an addict.
My drug of choice? Advice.
Coaching. Advice. Solutions. Sessions. Intuitive “hits.” Self-help that was everything but!
I needed something—anything to ease the pain of not knowing what to do! Whatever it took to get the high of an answer. Looking for that next score of bliss that came with rush of getting told what I should do. Anything that could stop the uncomfortable squirmy feeling of being unsure of the next step. Anyone with perceived authority was my supplier; a learned or spiritual person with an opinion who would tell me what I should do.
And then there were books. Self help gurus. Experts. Spiritual leaders. Astrologists. Astrophysicists. Psychics. Priests. Therapists. Biblical scholars (I mean they had a direct line to God and all). Hypnotherapists. You name it; I’d probably been there.
This may be an odd first entry for an advice and confessions column, but hear me out. I suspect there may be a few other advice junkies out there.
Growing up as one of the smart kids with an ability to break the curve on tests didn’t serve me when it came to my own life. Correct grammar didn’t structure me for finding like-minded friendships. Math wasn’t going to add up to the perfect path. Science wouldn’t triangulate for me which job would be the best fit. Excellent spelling wouldn’t spell out who was a good choice to date or marry.
Until my epiphany that I was hooked on advice as my “drug of choice,” I hadn’t realized that I never learned how to trust my own abilities when it came to decision-making.
- I never learned how to make decisions that resonated with my own soul.
- I never learned how to figure out what was right or not right for me.
- I never learned which choices would energize or drain me.
- I never felt empowered to make smart choices.
I had learned to question my own ability and feared “getting it wrong.”
- I feared making disastrous choices. I feared the consequences of bad decisions.
- I assumed everyone else’s opinions were probably right and more important, since there was never a lack of people to tell me what I should do.
- I assumed others probably knew more about my life because I’d made mistakes and that meant I was probably blinded by my own perceptions.
- I had a misbelief that my ability to make decisions was somehow “broken” so I needed outside help to advise me.
I had created a system of looking outside for what needed to come from inside. What I didn’t see at the time was that this system kept me stuck in indecision, continually searching and seeking; it kept me vacillating by looking for more and more advice and it kept me out of action.
Analysis paralysis took on a whole new definition: The Advice Paradise.
And it kept me stuck in a land called “Indecision.”
What I truly needed to learn was how to go within and unearth what was inside. Although I had no idea how to do that; I did know I could learn.
I had a strong mind and a desire to be open to whatever power was within me. Because I was tired of giving over the power of my own choices to others. I needed to learn how to feel then have the confidence to take an action. And know that no matter what, it would be the right action.
I had already started my martial arts training and I added classes in Clarity, Landmark Education, intuition, and Science of Mind and Spirit with Cynthia James, and I got certified in Reiki energy healing and as a massage therapist. And along the path I became a self-defense expert, a fear researcher and a Master Instructor.
I found a way to my answers and tools on how to do that. I offer you here seven key pieces of wisdom I learned on my journey:
- Get still: our brains get distracted easily and then it’s harder to hear our minds or spirit. By getting still you simply (purposefully) cut out the distractions. Turn your phone on silent. Focus. Even if it’s only for a short period of time. Close your eyes. Breathe. Feel your heartbeat.
- Ask the question(s): what do you want to know? What would you ask if you had a direct connect to the highest part of yourself? What’s the next step toward a life you love?
- Meditate: this is allowing your mind to focus on one thing. Moving, exercising, cleaning, writing, walking, breathing can all be forms of mediation. Think of all those great shower thoughts! It’s because your brain/body are engaged in rote motions and your mind can open. You don’t have to go all mountaintop yogi unless you like it. And you can say “ohm” to music if you enjoy that as well. Yes, I say “ohm”. I like science.
- Listen: Hear what you’re being told. It may be short sentences, single words, pictures, songs, images, sayings, feelings or just knowingness on the right thing to do next.
- Trust: that you aren’t crazy and don’t just hear voices. That still small voice isn’t loud but it will guide you. Intuition is something we all have in common and it’s something I have to teach people to listen to in self-defense. It’s real. So try to drop feeling that you may be nuts.
- Be ok with the answer: the answer may surprise you. You may not love it but you don’t have to do anything right away; you get to sit with whatever you learn. If it’s the right thing for you, it’ll feel ok. The new agey term is “resonate”. Say that word a lot if you want to sound super spiritual.
- Take action: “the universe meets us at the point of action.” Someone really smart said that, and it’s true. We learn from action and we grow from learning. Doing something inspired is a much better teacher than collecting ideas, opinions, thoughts, and information and doing nothing with it. I’ve learned that trusting my inner voice leads me to peace, so I listen.
I still love books, and learning. But there’s a difference between advice and research, information, and inspiration. There are many inspirational stories of people that have overcome difficulties and surpassed insurmountable odds and thrive. A brain injury from a car accident in 2014 has changed my course yet again, and I find myself fascinated by neuroplasticity. I’m learning to take the advice of doctors to help me heal, but it’s such a new field I’m creating some of my own new healing protocol; using my intuition of course. But I get to call it “higher cognitive processing” and it sounds much cooler.