In the acknowledgments of my new book The Daily Flame: 365 Love Letters From Your Inner Pilot Light (preorder it here), I wrote this. “I might never have come into close contact with my Inner Pilot Light were it not for the guidance, illumination, and love of my mentor Rachel Naomi Remen. When I first met Rachel, she told me that she recognized me, but that the part of me she recognized only had about 28% stock in the company of Lissa. ‘Maybe if we hang out together,’ she told me, ‘the part of you I recognize can get 51% stock. All you need is 51% stock in a company to make all the decisions.’ I now understand that the part of me Rachel recognized was the part I later came to call my Inner Pilot Light. I still don’t know whether that part has 51% stock in the company of Lissa, but at least I hear the voice of that wise, old part of me, and I am forever grateful to Rachel for recognizing something in me and fertilizing it until it started to blossom.”
When my Sounds True publisher Tami Simon interviewed me for her podcast Insights At The Edge, she told me that reading this acknowledgment comforted her. Maybe we don’t need to have 100% connection to our Inner Pilot Light in order to make all of the decisions. Maybe a 51% connection is all it takes, and if so, then what’s possible? In “What Is Your Inner Pilot Light,” I invited you to get curious about this inner divinity that flames as an eternal spark within us all. In “The Most Common Reason You Can’t Sense Your Inner Pilot Light’s Guidance,” we talked about what gets in the way of your connection to this inner healer, mentor, guide, compass, and beloved companion. Today, let’s talk about how to get started living an Inner Pilot Light-led life instead of one in which your mind and all its multiplicity of parts drives the bus you call YOU. Maybe, as with me and Rachel, if we hang out together for a bit, maybe your Inner Pilot Light will get 51% stock in the company of YOU.
Shifting Your Center Of Gravity
You may not be ready yet, when the inevitable time of gestation in the space between stories is complete, you will start to feel an aliveness moving through you and guiding you in the direction of the operating system of your Inner Pilot Light, and this impulse to connect may lead you to you feeling attracted to certain spiritual practices, trauma healing therapy, shamanic practices, or energy work, which seekers have sought out for millennia as ways to open the portal to connection with the inner and outer divine. Poet Mark Nepo describes it best: “Each person is born with an unencumbered spot, free of expectation and regret, free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry; an umbilical spot of grace where we were each first touched by God . . . This is the only thing worth teaching: how to uncover that original center and how to live there once it is restored.” How to uncover this center and orient your life from it, allowing your Inner Pilot Light to make all of life’s big and small decisions, is the foundation of the esoteric branches of all religions, all energy healing, and all masterfully-facilitated trauma healing work.
Yes, you say, I am ready for this! I have ripened to the point where I no longer trust my intellect and my wants and aversions to be my sole guide in life. But I am not receiving guidance. I’m not resistant to shifting my center of gravity in this way, but I don’t know any other way to make decisions. Help. I need help.
The Need To DO Something
“I want this. What should I do?” you might ask. First, notice that you’re looking for something to “DO.” Our culture is addicted to the story that you must DO something in order to get what you want, and while this is partly true, it’s also true that some things only come to you when you’re BEING, rather than DOING. As Tosha Silver says, “The very act of grasping for the feather creates the wind current that pushes it away.”
Notice any discomfort you might feel if I tell you that doing nothing might actually be a great place to start. But don’t worry. I’ll also honor the other side of the truth of this.
THE PARADOX: There is nothing to do but BE. AND . . . Engaging in certain practices can facilitate your journey.
As Charles Eisenstein writes about the space between stories, “The challenge in our culture is to allow yourself to be in that space, to trust that the next story will emerge when the time in between has ended, and that you will recognize it. Our culture wants us to move on, to do. The old story we leave behind . . . releases us with great reluctance. So please, if you are in the sacred space between stories, allow yourself to be there.”
And . . . to comfort the part of you that is uncomfortable with the necessary non-doing (being), here is something you can do.
How To Get Started
First, let me reassure you that if you’re wanting to know what to do because you yearn to connect to your Inner Pilot Light and you’re seeking help to make this connection, you’ve already completed the first step. Just acknowledging that you need help is Step One. Just admitting that you’ve grown beyond trusting only your mind and your desires/aversions to orient your life opens a portal. Now there’s humility here. You realize that you’ve let your mind make your decisions your whole life, and you’re weary, because it’s not working to help you feel peaceful, fulfilled, joyful, and content.
That humility allows you to bow before Something Larger, to admit that you need help, to feel the longing for more clarity, more courage, more inner peace, more inspiration, more deep meaning, purpose, fulfillment, intimacy, connection, magic, awe, and love for life—that humility activates a powerful prayer—HELP.
This HELP prayer is a kind of surrender, a white flag raised amid the war between all the polarized parts within yourself. The sincerity of your prayer for help allows your mind’s pridefulness to soften, to admit defeat, to acknowledge that it has failed to get you everything you want and avoid everything you don’t want. It’s a cry for mercy. HELP! From my cosmology, this sincere plea activates a powerful metaphysical process, allowing help to rush in with the full unconditional love and mercy of a benevolent presence that wants to help as much as you want to be helped. This humility allows you to bow before this invisible force of love that you might call God/Goddess inside (immanence, or your Inner Pilot Light) and/or God/Goddess outside (transcendence).
The Other Side Of The Veil
How can it be that simple? Shouldn’t you have to fast, sleep on a bed of nails, and meditate for 21 days straight in order to activate this connection? Well . . . sure, you can try this if you want, but I don’t think you have to martyr yourself in order to connect to your Inner Pilot Light.
I know this may sound a bit “out there” for all you materialists, skeptics, scientists, and atheists, but humor me for a minute. (You can always go back to your “dog eat dog” world view if this point of view isn’t helpful.) I like to imagine that there’s the visible world and the invisible world and an increasingly thinning veil between the two. What we call “reality” in the visible world can be impacted by the help we can receive from these invisible forces of love—but the energies of love on the other side of the veil may only be able to help us if we ASK for help. We have free will after all, so imagine how frustrating it must be to watch us suffer the way we do, simply because we are too prideful and sure of our mind’s superior way of making decisions to allow intervention.
Just to humor myself, I like to think there’s a whole army of support—gods, goddesses, the spirits of our ancestors, angels, guides, helpers, benevolent alien beings—whatever your cosmology allows. But they are impotent to meddle in our human world’s “reality” unless we give our consent for the interference by first asking for help.
A Swami in the Kashmiri tradition once told me “You can’t violate the Prime Directive,” as if he had watched too much Star Trek. “What is the Prime Directive,” I inquired. He looked at me kindly, as if to say “Duh, isn’t it obvious?” “Humans have free will,” he said, “Even the most compassionate, benevolent forces of love out there cannot ethically override a human’s right to free will.” I think of my 13-year-old daughter and how much I’d like to interfere so I can protect her from getting hurt. But short of trying my best to keep her body safe, I also see that I cannot meddle too much in her life and exert my will on her, overpowering her free will with my motherly will. To do so would be a violation of her right to sovereignty. Perhaps the invisible world is bound by the same ethics.
A Prayer For Help: An Inner Pilot Light Invocation
Perhaps this prayer from my new book The Daily Flame will help you get started.
May I surrender all desire to make contact with my Inner Pilot Light to the invisible forces of love that will guide my journey and trust that the perfect path will unfold in divine timing, and I will know what is needed on a need-to-know basis.
May I open the portal into the love that is always present for me, always available to me, and always moving through me so it can overflow out of me and touch the heart of the world.
May my Inner Pilot Light comfort, illuminate, encourage, and guide me so that I may be blessed and I may be a blessing.
May this frequency of love help me love and accept all parts of myself so that I become capable of transmitting this unconditional love and acceptance to those around me.
May I trust the guidance of this infinite part of me so I will know how I can serve love in my own unique way.
May blind faith transform into evidence-based faith as I dare to follow the guidance that comes through the Universe and gives me feedback.
May this be a journey of radical, heart-opening physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.
May I be not a seeker but a finder, for I already have all that I need to have all the love I could ever imagine, right here inside my own heart.
May I know that I am unspeakably precious, that I am enough, that there is no punishing God out there looking to judge me, that I cannot do this human life “wrong,” that I do not have to do anything to earn this love, and that I am deeply, unconditionally accepted just the way I am.
You may find that starting a series of daily micro-practices may help. Perhaps you already have a sitting meditation practice, but maybe a movement practice like dance or yoga, or a writing practice, or a chanting practice (I recommend Karen Drucker’s music if you prefer English chants) or being out in nature may round out your morning practice and help facilitate your connection to your Inner Pilot Light.
You might also find some support with your journey by signing up for the free Daily Flame emails or by reading my new daily devotional book The Daily Flame: 365 Love Letters From Your Inner Pilot Light. If you preorder 3 copies before February 12, you’ll get also get free instant access to Connect To Your Inner Pilot Light, a robust online program I just created to teach you the tools and practices I use in my own daily practice.
Help is on its way, and if you tune into your inner compass, you’ll recognize the support that is right for you.
Trusting your journey,
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