How to Give Advice Like a Pro

Here is what I've decided I feel about advice of the what-to-do variety:

I'm not a fan.  Of giving or receiving.

Actually, that's not true.  A part of me is a HUGE fan of giving it.  Because then I get to feel wise and pulled together, smart and popular.  Loved.  When people come to me for advice, I get to feel loved.  Because it means they value what I have to say.

Except, when they seemingly don't.

When I am asked advice, I carefully consider the question, and then consult my intuition and carefully choose my words to dispense the requested advice.  If I'm typing, I painstakingly mull over each word because I don't wish to sound bossy or know-it-all-ish.  I also don't want to sound too sure.  (Unless I am too sure.  That Ego, she can be something else, ya know).  If I am speaking, I am sure to speak at just the right speed, and to breathe as I consider the right thing to say and the right way to say it.  

After all of this work and time and effort and love, I can be a bit attached to my advice.  My opinion.  The Ego can sometimes step in, and then it feels like a mini work of art that I have crafted and handed over proudly.  (Maybe a little bit too proudly.  So now we've got too proudly and too sure, in case you lost count).

There have been times when I've been asked advice, and I've carefully responded, and then I've been ignored.  Or I've been matched by a counter-point.  Sometimes, what I say doesn't resonate.  Or perhaps it does and the recipient just isn't quite ready to hear it yet, even though they asked.   

And then I feel hurt.  It stings.  It sucks to have taken the time and the care, only to have it basically thrown down or chewed back out at me.

But here is what I am learning: we usually don't actually need advice.  We just need someone to hold space and hear us out, so that we can hear ourselves and process.  We need someone to listen and feel the pain or the confusion or the dilemma with us, without running away or being preoccupied with how to respond or what to say.  

Every one of us has intuition.  It's that still, quiet voice inside that knows.  We just have to slow down enough to hear it, and then be willing to trust that even though it won't give us the full picture, it will give us one step at a time.  Our soul speaks through our intuition, and we are always the best person to ask for our own advice.  If we too often look outside of ourselves for it, we won't ever get the practice of getting still and listening, and we surely won't get the practice of trusting it when we hear it or feel it.  

In the rare case of giving advice of the what-to-do variety,  it really truly does need to be given as a gift.  A gift with no strings attached, no expectations, and with non-attachment to the results or the reception.  An act of sacrifice.  What the ancient yogis would call Karma Yoga.

Advice or guidance, if ever dispensed, should be given as an act from one's god self, directly to another one's god self.  It's an act of beauty and pure love from one soul to another.    

The best heartfelt, ego-free advice is Validation.  That which says to the recipient, "You see, you actually knew it all along." 

THAT is how you give advice, said the non-advice-giver-but-super-generous-open-ear-space-holder-loving-fiercely-intuitive.  Unless the reciprocation is chocolate.  You maaaay be able to break this karma yogi with good (dairy free) chocolate.  

I may not be able to tell you what to do, but I can perhaps tell you what I think with great love.
— Laura Biddle (psssst, that's ME).
 

 
 Photo cred. Joan Wyatt

Photo cred. Joan Wyatt

Laura Biddle, also known by her spiritual name Tera Sundri Kaur, is a coffee-addict and lover of yoga.  She teaches Kundalini Yoga and meditation, channels spirit guides who DO give guidance, and is always looking for ways to implement and understand ancient yogic philosophy.  Her most current obsessions are her harmonium and blogging, with watching Elementary with her partner coming in closely behind those.  Her mantra right now is "Tell The Truth," as she works to share the more challenging aspects of her human existence with readers.  Find more from Laura, as well as her offerings, at www.rootsforwingshealing.com