But there's a critic.
There always is. I have this other tiny voice in the back of my head that you could maybe say "grounds me". I think it's coming more from fear. Fear of judgement and what others will think of me, because I realize this shit sounds "waaay woooo"
How to Listen to Your Inner Guide
I have read several books and heard from several teachers that you will know when you hear it. Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Eat Pray Love, explains it quite well. It sounds like your own tiny little voice, talking to you. It can come to you in meditation or yoga, but I think you might be more likely to hear it when you are in the midst of some super duper challenging hardship. As I've drawn my awareness to it, I realize that my Inner Guide has been whispering to me my entire life. Sometimes I've listened more than others, but no doubt it has been there all along.
Patience is Key
You must have patience and that might be the most challenging part of all. It's practically like a riddle. You can't force it and if you go looking for it you're not going to find it. The mind is super clever too, oh she's a clever girl. That mind will play tricks on you. If you search hard enough for something, you'll find it. That's the difference between the spiritual path and others. People on a spiritual path simply trust, practice, and experience. They don't go looking or forcing anything to happen.
You Must Practice
Practice draws awareness. If you have been ignoring your inner guide for your entire life, do you think it's just going to pop up and say hello the moment you suddenly decide you want to know if it's actually real? No way! It's probably scared of you and it has a right to be so. The mean mind, that critic, your ego - is just waiting to pounce all over it. Waiting to convince you that it's not real, that it's just a coincidence, that this shit is made up. That is why you must practice. As I said, practice draws awareness, the more you practice the more you can separate yourself from that mean, critical, mind. Most people find great success through yoga, because you are in a moving meditation, others do it simply from deep breathing - not even sitting, just remembering to take deep breaths during the day. Try asking for guidance and it might happen sooner, no guarantees. It sure as heck will feel silly, but it will most definitely heighten your awareness.
Don't Beat Yourself Up
Just don't beat yourself up about it. That's the mean mind again, that bully. Can you see yourself asking for guidance, waiting to see if you hear something, and then just telling yourself this is stupid? It's going to take time and that's probably another reason why this concept is so hard to grasp. Our society is hooked on the quick fix and just like everything else I teach and preach, they don't exist.
Believe in Yourself
You don't have to be strong to hear your inner guide, but you have to be strong in order to listen to it. Therefore, believe in yourself. Through your practice and in hand with not beating yourself up, start incorporating some positive self talk. This will let your inner guide know that you are getting serious, because you're not willing to take all the shit your mean mind has been piling on you for who knows how long. If you don't believe in yourself, if you can't listen when your Inner Guide does peep up, that mean mind is going to tell you it's all a bunch of baloney, and you might just believe it.
Okay, but HOW will I know?
You'll know because it will catch you off guard. It might catch you off guard so much that you don't even realize something happened until you're falling asleep at night and you suddenly remember something that came to you in your yoga class earlier that day that you didn't even notice at the time.