You Have the Answers Within – a creative exercise

Our inner wisdom
We carry within us the knowledge to guide our own lives. We each have an inner compass that can help lead us on our journey through life. At times it is beneficial to seek advice from others, but not to the exclusion of our own knowledge. We are unique individuals and we alone know our own past experiences, what we have learned from them and what is now our own reality.

By trusting our own wisdom, our own intuition, the guidance we can get in touch with the answers that are best for us. Overtime our ability to access and trust this wisdom grows. In today’s challenging economic world, many of us are making decisions about finding new jobs, moving to new places, or having to make other critical life decisions.

Perhaps you doubt your own wisdom and want to build your confidence in yourself. It may sound counter intuitive, but one of the best ways to do this is to think back to a situation where you made a wrong decision.

Think back to how you felt.
*How did your body feel?
*Did you have a sense of what was best?
*Were you anxious about the decision you were making?
*Did you move forward in a certain direction because you were determined to do it a particular way?
*Did you resist or ignore what your body/spirit was telling you?

Perhaps you didn’t even stop to listen.

Recently I asked some trusted colleagues for their input on a document’s design and content that was to be posted to the internet. They gave me their input and suggestions. Interestingly, the three top things they recommended to improve the document were things that had also crossed my mind, but I ignored. My intuition was right on, but I didn’t listen to it. Has this ever been your experience?

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” Author unknown

One way to access our own wisdom is to learn to be quiet and to listen to what are bodies are telling us. By learning to be silent and listen to our intuition, our spirit, we can find the way that is right for us. By using this information as a guide we can begin to expand our trust for our own answers and our confidence will grow.

If you are in the midst of making an important decision and you find yourself unsure of what to do, it may be helpful to try the creative exercise below. Our minds hold just the right information for us. This doesn’t replace the need for research or even seeking advice. But when it comes down to the moment of making the decision – trusting in our own inner wisdom is often the best guide. You will find it is like gold panning, for in the further reaches of your mind there are nuggets of wisdom that can creatively guide you along your way. The way that is just right for you.


Learning to brainstorm for your own benefit
Many of us have done a brainstorming activity at work. I remember once when a team I was a part of was asked to come up with some creative answers to reduce the budget. We gathered in a room and followed the rules for brainstorming. We came up with some very creative ideas that would reduce the budget by 5%, and if needed by 10%. (This was back when 5 to 10% made a difference!) More importantly, we came up with solutions we knew would work for our team and that would still support us in achieving the Team’s responsibilities. This was much more palatable for us then having someone else review our budget and make random cuts just to make the numbers work.

The Exciting News
The exciting news is that this can work for us as individuals as well. Let me share my own experience.

My Own Experience
There was a time after being laid off from my job that I was uncertain what to do next. I had been looking for work but nothing seemed to materialize. I decided to sit down and do some brainstorming. I found a quiet place, cleared my mind of my daily worries and cares and began brainstorming all the possibilities I could think of.

I had decided to the best of my ability I would think outside the box. I knew I wanted to stay in the same line of work, but what I hadn’t been open to was moving away from the city in which I lived. My being open and creative with the process brought this up for me in a very clear and direct way.

The individual brainstorming exercise helped me become really clear on all the possibilities that were there if I was willing to move. I also got in touch with how right this was for me at this time in my life. Something up till then I hadn’t even considered. I became increasingly clear on what I wanted and what I was willing to do to achieve my goals. I then put the word out to people I knew, that I was up for a new ride, where ever that might take me.

It wasn’t but a few months later that I got a job offer from a company I had not even applied to. It came as a result of putting the word out to others that I was looking for a job and open to moving. After investigating the offer I accepted the job with a clear knowing that this job was right for me. I moved to the State of Georgia and begin an amazing adventure with an organization committed to a great vision. While this opportunity resulted in being my being able to make a strong contribution to the organization, it also provided me an opportunity of professional growth and to expand my world view – literally.

I travelled extensively and my world view took several huge leaps. It was one of the most enjoyable 5 years I ever spent working inside an organization. It was an experience I probably would not have had if I had not spent time getting in touch with my own inner wisdom and guide, and then letting others know what I was up to.

How About You
Are you wondering what to do next? Are you in the midst of indecision? Do you want something in your life that you are not sure how to get? Why not do the following creative exercise for yourself.

This exercise takes about 30 minutes and is a great way to help release the answers you hold within yourself.

Things you will need:
1. A quiet place to work uninterrupted
2. Pen or pencil
3. Writing paper
4. An open mind

Before beginning this activity you need to prepare you mind. First, to clear you mind and awaken your creative juices do a physical exercise for about 3-5 minutes that is comfortable to do in the room or place you are in. Next, sit down and with an erect posture take 3 deep belly breaths, each time slowly drawing in your breath and counting 1 … 2 …3, and slowly releasing your breath. Now your mind is primed.

The first step to take is to write out a clear and succinct question that captures the arena in which you are searching for more insight or answers. This question, clearly written, will help you focus and will guide your brainstorm.

The best way to brainstorm is to quickly write down whatever ideas come to mind. Let your ideas just flow and morph off each other. Write down all you ideas even though you think they are silly. Don’t judge your ideas; just keep writing them down, push for a few more, until you have run out of ideas. Often the ideas at the very end of our brainstorming are the most creative.

After your have finished writing down all your ideas, especially those at the very depths of your thinking, star 2 or 3 of your top ideas. Ideas that give you the most positive energy. You will be surprised at the nuggets of good ideas you have.

Then explore those top 2 or 3 ideas in whatever way is needed. Decide on some clear action steps to take to bring you even more light and understanding. Go to the library, talk with others, and let the energy begin to grow.

An Example
Two possible questions have been developed plus room for you to clarify you own question. It is critical to take time to develop your own question specific to your circumstances and in the area you want more insight.

QUESTION: What can I do to increase my opportunities to meet new people who will appreciate what I have to offer, and who will nurture me emotionally, physically and spiritually? OR, What kind of job could I search for that would use my current skills, expand my knowledge, meet my financial goals, and help me make a worthwhile contribution?

(Develop the question that works best for you.)


What is the best time and day of the week to look into one of the ideas that you have starred? Choose a date & time and write it in your appointment book.

Repeat this part of the exercise until you have investigated each of your starred ideas. Once you have investigated you top ideas, choose the one you are the most excited about and take the next steps.

Martha Beck’s Suggestion
I love the way Martha Beck in her book, Steering by Starlight, describes a similar exercise.

Find Your Perfect Path through Life
1. Go to your core of peace and stay there, dissolving any thought that tries to dislodge you.
2. Focus on a goal from your star chart
3. Take the step toward your goal that feels most delicious.
4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 over and over until you’re dead.

Make a Commitment

Make a commitment to yourself, write it down, and look at it each week. Adjust it as you move forward to achieve your hearts desires.

I commit to have my top ideas researched within the next month; and I will begin to explore my first idea within the next 4 days. Once I have made my choice I will take the next actions to further my success in achieving what I want.

Ensure Your Success

Create specific action steps to help you further your exploration. Remember to write your goals or action steps into a weekly calendar to help hold yourself accountable and to further ensure your success.

There are four (4) steps to take to help ensure your success.

1. Write you scheduled actions down (day and time)
2. Schedule a self-care (mind/body/spirit) action to support you
3. Tell a friend – keep them posted on how you are doing
4. Celebrate your small successes along the way!

”You can have big plans, but it’s small choices that have the greatest power. They draw us toward the future we want to create.”- Robert Cooper

Nothing we do can change the past, but everything we do will shape our future. Winston Churchill

Sometimes relying on your wisdom, your intuition, your Spirit can be somewhat shaky at first. I hope as you use this simple exercise you will find your confidence in your own internal “guide” system becoming stronger and stronger.

I am very interested in your story. Write and tell me your experience. Or perhaps you have thoughts about this article you would like to share. I welcome you input.

Author's Bio: 

Transition Coach Marlene Lockwood helps individuals and groups navigate through life change and transition with more ease, increased balance, enhanced inner peace and improved creativity and vitality. Through their work with Coach Marlene, clients becoming stronger, wiser, and more in tune with their own wants and needs as well as how to make their desires reality. and life transition. Marlene is a certified health and wellness coach, serves as Faculty for ICA Technology of Participation, is a Qualified Myers/Briggs Assessment provider, a facilitator of Tai Chi Easy, and is certified as a Professional Facilitator by the International Association of Facilitators. Sign up for Coach Marlene's monthly newsletter and weekly blog at