Guidance vs Feedback
I love the feeling of being guided, you know, getting those prompts from the Universe that point you in exactly in the direction you need to go when you didn't even know it was where you needed to go.
I think it would be awesome to live life in a state of full-on surrender to whatever life wants for me, never making a decision without a clear YES from some sort of higher wisdom. Yet, as much as I desire that, my experience has been that waiting around for guidance is almost certain to leave you...waiting.
When you don't know what to do, and the Universe is keeping quiet, your best bet is to take action and check for feedback. In other words, do something and see what happens, notice how you feel, and whether or not you get the expected outcome.
A while back I got an idea in my head about an additional income stream that I thought would be the perfect complement to my coaching business. I was excited about the possibilities and jumped right into promoting some products that had played a big role in elevating my health and fitness level.
I love the products (still do!), but selling them felt cheesy. I didn't feel authentic even though I was just sharing information that I believed in and not doing any sort of a hard sell. Within a month, I had totally backed off because I felt off—that was my feedback. It was quick and it was clear.
I was talking about the situation with a good friend of mine who then told me a story that perfectly illustrated the relationship between guidance and feedback:
A woman and her teenage daughter were traveling by car through a remote area. They had been told by locals that to get to where they needed to go they simply had to stay on the road they were on and would arrive at their destination in about 150 miles. The two set off, but at around the 50 mile mark they came to a fork in the road. They were not prepared for this as they had been advised to simply stay on the road. Both roads looked equally well traveled (or more accurately, equally less traveled) and there was no indication that one road was more primary than the other. Because they were so isolated they had no GPS or even a map, the mother saw this as a teaching opportunity and suggested that her daughter ask her higher self for guidance. The daughter sat quietly for several minutes and then told her mother that she felt prompted to take the road to the right.
The mother agreed that this felt right to her also and they began to follow the road to the right. About two miles later the road abruptly ended at a gorge that was clearly impassable. The daughter was dismayed and confused as the guidance seemed clear. The mother breathed deeply and then started to laugh as she said, "well, now we have our answer!" The mother continued, "If we had chosen the fork to the left we would have spent the next 100 miles wondering whether or not we had made the right choice, but instead we have driven two miles and have been shown that this is not the correct path. Now we can take the other road with confidence."
Sometimes we feel guided to do something that doesn't work out, but this isn't necessarily because our guidance is wonky—it's giving us valuable information. When something doesn't unfold as we hoped or doesn't feel right to us that is important knowledge for us to have and will ultimately act as guidance for us to find our true path.