At the beginning of her famous memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, the 31-year-old writer Elizabeth Gilbert finds herself sitting on her bathroom floor sobbing.
She is coming to the awful realization that after eight years of marriage, she no longer wants to be married to her husband, nor does she want to have the child they are trying to conceive, or the life that they had been planning for themselves:
“I don’t want to be married anymore. I don’t want to live in this big house. I don’t want to have a baby…
In daylight hours, I refused that thought, but at night it would consume me. What a catastrophe. How could I be such a criminal jerk as to proceed this deep into a marriage, only to leave it?…
I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.”
In her desperation, she asks for spiritual guidance for the first time, asking God or the Universe to tell her what to do – this is the start of her spiritual journey.
But there is also no guidance forthcoming – at least not around the immediate decision she needs to make. She’s told to go back to bed.
Why it’s not the best idea to ask for guidance for the first time when you’re in a crisis…
People often tell me they have tried to connect to Spirit during difficult times, and not received the guidance they needed.
I often think of Elizabeth Gilbert’s story when I hear about those experiences.
If you’re on the bathroom floor because you’ve realized you have to turn your life upside down in some unthinkable way, now is not usually the best time to start a relationship with Spirit and get helpful guidance for your life.
It doesn’t mean that the Universe, your Spirit Guides, angels and Higher self are not there for you at such times. They totally are, but it takes two to have a conversation but when you’re in that place, it’s pretty hard to hear from Spirit. They can’t reach you.
Your vibrational state is too low.
Vibrational state is very important for tuning into Spirit – to the point that it’s often the missing piece in peoples’ intuitive development ‘puzzle’.
What Does ‘Your Vibrational State’ Mean?
It’s the sum of your emotional state, combined with the thoughts you’re habitually having and the thought patterns you’re running – negative or positive. It is the energy you are emitting as you go through life. Your vibration can be positive – happy or relaxed, for example. Or it can be negative, such as when you’re in a crisis.
Here is a diagram of the emotional scale to illustrate this:
If you are in a negative vibration, it will be much harder to connect with your Spirit Guides and Higher Self and receive guidance from them.
You usually need to be at least three or four on the emotional scale to receive intuitive information. And the best place to be to receive guidance is five or six onwards (and ideally even higher) because you are closer to Spirit.
It seems back–to–front, doesn’t it?
You may be thinking: ‘Surely you should receive guidance most easily when you most need it—in states of depression or grief?’
It would be great if it worked like that, but it doesn’t – and it is an unfortunate aspect of intuitive development that can sometimes keep the people who most need spiritual connection stuck.
However, it is possible to work around this, no matter where you are on that scale.
There are certain tools and exercises you can use to temporarily raise your vibration and connect with Spirit, even if your vibration is rock bottom (more on that below.)
Being able to raise your vibration in this way is an important key to being a good intuitive (whether you intuit for others or for yourself.) And this is something to pay attention to, because it applies to those of you who often have a low vibration AND those of you who don’t. You can benefit from this no matter where you are on that vibrational scale.
How I Discovered This Essential Key
I had my own sobbing-on-the-bathroom-floor moment (or rather, couple of weeks) when I was living in Brisbane, Australia in early 2010. I was so depressed at the time I had to stop working with my clients for a few weeks because I could no longer tune into Spirit.
I had moved from New Zealand to Australia for a year in 2009 because I was considering settling there and I wanted to try life in Australia on for size. I ended up very miserable after just a few months for a variety of reasons. (Mostly, I was horribly homesick – the wildlife scared me – think, flying cockroaches and huge pre-historic looking lizards. The humid and tropical weather and flash floods I saw disoriented me and made me feel like I had landed on some strange planet…)
There were a few weeks of misery before I made the decision to move back to New Zealand. I did a lot of crying. Perhaps worst of all, I used to tune into Spirit and no-one was there. For a long time, I had been blessed with a vibrant spiritual connection – a source of comfort, connection and support that I had always taken for granted – so the absence of it was a new thing for me, and it scared me.
Channeling Guidance from Spirit Guides
Eventually I went back to New Zealand and was able to work with my students again, and around that time, I was mostly coaching people to connect with Spirit. This took the form of connecting with students’ Spirit Guide team, asking them how the student can develop their abilities, and channeling the personalized coaching directly from the Spirit Guides.
I learned so much from this process.
I remember one of my students was having a hard time in her life, and the guides told me to pass on an exercise to temporarily raise her vibration. The exercise involved incorporating breath-work and calling on Archangels as part of her tuning in process (hint: the Divine realm is invariably involved in helping us to raise our vibration.)
It was very effective in allowing the student to connect with her guide team no matter what was going on in her life.
I also incorporated it into my own toolkit and after seeing how effective these tools could be, I dedicated a chapter to raising your vibration in my Intuitive Awakening Course. Now my students use these tools to raise their vibration and tune into spiritual guidance, whether they happen to be going through a dark night of the soul or feel just fine.
NOTE: Raising your vibration as part of your tuning in process is not just something you do when you’re feeling bad, but something you do when your current vibrational state is anything less than an 8 or 9 on that scale (i.e. very happy indeed!)
This year I was reminded again of how powerful such vibration raising tools can be. My beloved cat passed away suddenly and I was inconsolable. But I was able to connect with him pretty soon after he died and thankfully I was not cut off in my low vibration (as I had been in Brisbane) because I knew how to raise my vibration to bypass the grief.
I was never happier to have developed my intuitive abilities than at that time.
So there are two messages you can take away from this for developing your intuition:
1. Raising your vibration is very important for connecting with Spirit
2. It is helpful to have an established relationship with Spirit in place BEFORE you reach a crisis point
Personally, I enjoy having spiritual connection for more than just something to call on when I’m in crisis, but I know that people come to intuitive development for a variety of reasons, and a dark night of the soul can be a valid one as any.
Life is a grand, magnificent illusion that plays out against a dark canopy, and we catch glimpses of the great beyond at times – those glimpses are like the stars – tiny pinpricks of light in a dark sky. Some of us hardly ever catch those glimpses and some of us are able to live more fully in that light; in that expanded perspective, and remember our spiritual aspect.
Knowing how to raise your vibration is one of the essential keys to accessing that expanded perspective and living your spiritual aspect.
My question for you:
Did you relate to this post? Have you ever tried to tune in at a time of crisis?
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
I can definitely relate
I’m afraid I have to say that I’ve also attempted to contact higher forces even though my vibration was terribly low, as I was in quite a mess. Despite knowing that they would not be able to reach me in that state, I still tried. At that point I had already developed a ind of relationship with my guides and angels, but it was mainly one sided- I had complete faith they could hear me, as they gave me signs when I asked, and I knew they were speaking to me too but I couldn’t hear them, because my clairaudience was (and still is) developing.
Now, thanks to the information on this blog, I’m able to hear messages when I quiet my mind. It’s funny, because I was expecting something very dramatic when I first heard the voices of my guides, angels and higher self, but really, what I got was a gentle voice telling me to take care of my heart by cutting down on trans fats (I have quite the sweet tooth) and a chorus of voices agreeing.
Though personally, I find through psychic empathy, looking at auras and just getting general vibes from people (I do these quite well in comparison to other intuitive abilities) that the lowest vibes I get are from those with extreme addictions, unceasing self pity and those who are chronically insecure.
This is like a bolt out of the blue to me , I’ve been so out of sync for absolutely months ,I tried the last experiment 17 and I think I was fairly accurate but was so unsure of myself I don’t think I even followed up as I usually do I don’t recall responding to the results. I have been so disconnected and scattered for months and had actually tried to contact my guides and tried to ask for guidance and received nothing just blank I’m amazed I got just nothing, I was only on the edge of starting to get somewhere with my ability but it all just dissolved away I had even commented to family that no feelings or insights were coming anymore and this is after years of little things , I’d had premonitions of accidents and natural disaster etc generally with about 24 hr notice ,,things have been so different and I have actually been at rock bottom for months with problems that family have had etc etc , I’d been blaming all these heavy full moon cycles and so on then I even considered all this talk of a large rogue planet passing thru our system that may be affecting me , but all that aside I’m just amazed that your article came to me at this time probably explaining my disjointed feeling , of course all my life and family issues pushing me to such a low level , therefore disconnecting me, sorry this is a bit of a long winded reply maybe not what you were asking for , but anyway thanks for your guidance and information , so many people appreciate it
Appreciate this post. One of my teachers used to talk about enlightenment as a light bulb. A lightbulb is actually blinking light dark light dark so fast we only see the light.
I think one of the important aspects to navigating energy is being able to enter dark or low energy periods as key to the reality of being an earth energy worker. The question is how do we move from the low energy states back into sync?
I am grateful to be a dancer, an artist, and a person who knows how to rely on others, and one who loves to be of service. Dancing is so efficient in this regard. Dancing in community where it takes less effort to shift up my energy, this is an ancient go-to for booting up. I created a process that uses the birthright, basic body arts of movement, voice, story, and stillness to support this. (its called InterPlay). In my studies I learned that Dance is THE energy/vibration art form. Even witnessing dance can shift your energy. (see mirror neurons.)
I consider phases when I am out of sync to be initiations, necessary for developmental learning. I am 6o years old and definitely still learning. I am currently learning about the dark side of people’s projections as I move into greater success. Also how scary being ecstatic is for some people. Ecstatic can be seen as unaccountable, unrealistic, and separating. Nonetheless, Love is part of my divine nature and through it I have been particularly blessed to have direct connection.
Thanks so much Anne for all the leadership you offer. Bowing in gratitude.
I really understand and value the comments about vibrational state around emotions, and also understand what you say about maintaining a relationship with spirit on a regular basis. The scale was a really good way of explaining it! I wondered if there was any information on raising your vibration for people who haven’t done your course?
Dear Anna – as always you explain spiritual matters so clearly and beautifully. I love your image of life as a grand illusion playing against a dark canopy. It is so easy to forget that we are spirit having an adventure in human form – and that those we are trying to connect to, our guides, are actually friends from home. We have spirit friends who incarnate with us to support us or test us and we have spirit friends who stay in spirit to give us support from that place of love and clarity.
I think often we block guidance because we are afraid of what we will be told. And so we do indeed cut ourselves off from the most constant source of comfort, encouragement and support that there is – 24/7. Like you I have over many years developed a deep relationship with my guides and that connection itself is a source of joy that raises my vibration every morning as I take my walk and tune into them.
When I first started my spiritual practice I could only hear one or two words – usually something came through like love or forgive – but I persisted with the daily practice and now I can have whole conversations with my guides. Most often they speak words of encouragement: Keep going, have faith, well done – etc – but what is most wonderful is the feeling of peace and love and consistent support that comes with these messages.
What a wonderful world we would live in if everyone learnt to connect to their loving guides and support team.
Thankyou Anna, for reminding me why it’s important to keep a high vibration. The first time I had a dark night of the soul experience was the first time I reached out to ask for guidance. Unfortunately I seemed to attract more nightmares, and connect with fearful energies. This made me more fearful. The best thing I did at that time of crisis was to work with a professional who has a high vibration. I was afraid to try to connect to spirit after that experience, and now I know why.
I now how a very beautiful, safe and growing connection to my spirit team, and my vibration is much higher.
Thank you Anna. This is a very nice and thoughtful article.
Joe – so glad to hear that reading this blog has helped you to get back in touch with your spiritual guidance. That is wonderful to hear! Thanks for commenting.
Brett – glad you had a realization from reading this article!
Cynthia – I love your perspective here and also the lightbulb metaphor – I agree, life can be light/dark/light/dark a lot of the time. It’s lucky we only need to temporarily raise our vibe to get guidance 🙂
Thanks Jay, Rose, David, Anna for your comments and for sharing your experiences
Now things make sense, I felt I was making a little progress in my spiritual awareness, attending awareness meetings, meditating, I think my mind became overactive and I felt a little scared, completely blocking myself to any connection, not sure how to get back on track