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Time was, I thought of guidance as a fruit of diligent spiritual practice. If I prayed faithfully enough,  if I meditated “correctly,” if my thinking were sufficiently positive, then I could tell the difference between divine guidance and ego’s pull. I believed divine guidance required a heavy lift.

Certainly, spiritual practice is important for cultivating a state of openness and receptivity to Spirit’s leading. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. We don’t have to do it perfectly. Nor does it have to be harsh.

Often on airplanes, I don’t pay attention to the prepare-for-landing announcement. So I’m not unaccustomed to tired flight attendants tersely repeating the instruction to raise my seatback and stow my tray table. The last time it happened, though, instead of a verbal rebuke, a lovely spokesmodel hand with perfectly manicured nails gently tapped the edge of my tray table, then touched the seatback in front me. No words. Just a warm affirming nod as I complied.

It was such a gracious reminder, I’m using it as an image for receiving divine guidance. After all, which would you prefer? The gentle tapping of manicured nails or the harsh clubbing of a “cosmic 2x4?"

In our spiritual journeying, may guidance be as gentle and gracious as it is unmistakable.