Balance Stress with Insight Self-Help Advice

Written by Pat Sullivan

Transform stress and burnout into energy and insight. Balance the obvious with your inner wisdom.

A few hours after meeting John Sullivan (my future husband) 19 years ago, I heard an inner voice saying he was the mate I sought. An image of a pure spring bubbling from the ground, a circle of supportive friends, and lots of laughter came to mind.

Your soul is smarter than your ego or intellect. Listen as it taps into the information that is most relevant to you.
Your inner voice may speak in a variety of languages. Learn how to interpret dreams, follow your intuition, and tune into memories and emotions.
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Seventeen years of marriage later, that guiding vision is still vital. Sometimes it offers ideas on how I, a very imperfect person, can build a good marriage with an imperfect partner in a crazy world. More often it reminds me there's more to learn by muddling through marriage and life with positive intent.

When I'm open, I see spiritual guidance everywhere. While climbing a Scottish mountain I received surprising but right-on career guidance. When I got lost on a rainy night in the Catskills, spirit led me to sit on a log and pray for help. Then it guided me to my tent.

We're all designed to receive spiritual wisdom, for life's big issues and the moment-to-moment process of turning stress and burnout into energy and insight. Fear and limiting beliefs often block clear reception. The ego's illusory chatter can seem truer than spiritual realities; the intellect seems more logical.

Finding guidance isn't about discovering one grand plan for happiness. It's more about listening in the moment to your inner voice and to the wisdom of others. Here are a few useful daily spiritual practices:

Face your faults as well as your gifts, your challenges as well as possibilities.

Don't expect spiritual guidance to be as clear and detailed as a blueprint or roadmap.

Welcome guidance leading one step at a time into the highest and deepest good.

Don't wait for the right time or circumstances to seek guidance.

Develop a habit of praying in the midst of everyday activities.

Keep your feet on the ground and your ego in check.

Before you follow any guidance, carefully discern whether or not it is true for you.

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Photographer: John Hix

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