If you spend much time on sites dealing with the spiritual, you may hear the term "higher self" or "higher consciousness," and maybe you don't really understand what that means. It's a pretty nebulous topic, but I want to describe what it means from my perspective.
Your higher self is the consciousness that's looking out for your greater good.
Pretty simple, right? Well, not really.
Let's say you're looking for love, and you start dating someone. There are a few things that bother you about him, but you ignore these things and think, "he likes me, so he's probably The One."
This isn't your higher self talking. This is your ego. How do you know? Because you're glossing over things you know are not great and focusing on the thing you want (a relationship, regardless of who it's with).
Your higher self, on the other hand, is the one saying, "listen babe, he's rude to waiters. That sucks. It's not in alignment with who you are. Plus he only texts when you do. Is that really what you want in a guy?"
Your higher self is your intuition, and many of us ignore it in favor of listening to our egos. Egos tell us what we want to hear! Your higher self is like an annoying older sister who tells you how it is, even when you don't want to hear it.
And yet, the higher self knows that this guy that you're trying to make be right for you will ultimately hurt you. You may not be able to see that from where you are, but your higher self can.
Connecting with Your Higher Self
This, my sweet friend, takes practice. I can think back to so many examples (especially in my marriage, pre-divorce) where I knew something was wrong and I ignored my gut feeling. I've since worked on listening to those little nigglings instead of ignoring them.
One time, I was hiking alone and I turned down a trail when I got a sick feeling in my stomach. I had no idea why, but I listened and turned around. Maybe there was a rattlesnake up ahead. I don't know. The point is, I listened to my higher self rather than risk getting hurt.
So I encourage you to start paying attention when your intuition tells you something's up.
But relying on yourself to connect to your higher self is a bit like having a television with rabbit ears. You can get a few channels if you move the ears around. But what happens if you subscribe to Netflix? Now you've got tons of access to great content. That's where other resources for connecting come in handy.
Your "Higher Self Netflix" channel might include:
Connecting with angels or guides (or Goddesses!)
Tarot or oracle cards
For me, I use all of the above! I'm constantly finding ways to connect to my higher self, and each "channel" offers something different.
So why is connecting to your higher self important? It helps you make decisions from better places than ego. Think of decisions you've made in the past that maybe you regret. It could be a relationship, career move, or even outfit choice. What thoughts led to that decision, and did you ignore any gut feelings?
Now think about a decision you've made from a place of utter clarity and lack of ego. Maybe you ended a relationship you realized would never be what you needed it to be. Or you quit a job where there was no opportunity for growth. This is you listening to your higher self. Congrats!
I invite you to start listening to what your intuition and higher self are telling you. When you have a thought, ask whether it comes from ego or intuition.