Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Marie Curie, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa … there are many people throughout history who have changed the world through responding to inner inspiration.
We call these people geniuses. They are the ones who listen to an inner call, who have dedication, conviction, and determination to bring forth into the outer world the visions that come to them in dreams, insights, and “aha!” moments.

Can anyone cultivate this ability to listen to the inner self, to be transformed by divine inspiration, and to be a creative force in the world? Yes, with commitment and discipline. Yes, with knowledge.

One of the best ways to begin to tap into this source of inner inspiration and guidance is through developing a daily practice of concentration. Concentration is the ability to hold the mind still. Concentration can be focused on an outer object or project, like reading a book, working on a math problem, or driving in traffic. Concentration can also be focused on listening to the inner self, through meditation or listening to dreams.

Concentration is a skill that can be developed through exercises. Just as physical muscles become stronger with physical exercises like lifting weights or walking or yoga, the “mental muscle” of attention can be held steady with practice of concentration exercises.

Once one develops the ability to hold the mind still with concentration, the next step to inner listening is to develop a meditation practice. There are many different ways that people meditate. In my experience, I understand meditation as a practice of stillness, expectantly listening to the high self or the Divine Source. Deep meditation is extremely powerful. It brings peace. It brings insight, not only during the meditation time but also throughout the day.

Nighttime dreams are another source of inner guidance. Many creative geniuses have found inspiration through dreams. Handel’s Messiah was received in a dream. The creator of the popular online job site Monster.com had a dream that gave him the inspiration for the service. Mary Shelley composed the novel Frankenstein after having a dream that gave her the central image for the character and plot. The periodic table of elements was “seen” in a dream by the scientist Mendeleyev. The general Patton was reported to have seen battle plans in dreams, which contributed to his success on the battlefield. These are just a few examples of people in all walks of life whose dreams have offered guidance and counsel.

We all dream every night. Learning to remember dreams is the first step to being able to use the knowledge they give us. If you do not keep a dream journal, you can start today! Get a journal to put by your bed. Before going to sleep, date it for the next morning. Then, tell yourself that you want to remember your dreams. If you can, awaken without an alarm clock. (You can give yourself a mental command before going to sleep that you want to awaken at a particular time.) When you wake up, write down whatever you remember before you do anything else. Do not get up to brush your teeth. Don’t start thinking about your day or talk to anyone. First thing, write down your dream. If you don’t remember a whole dream, write down whatever impressions you have, even if just a brief fragment. You may find that once you start writing, the rest of the dream memory floods into your mind.

If you don’t remember a thing, write something in your dream notebook. It could be, “I did not remember my dream but tomorrow I will.” Or, “It is getting easier and easier to remember and record my dreams.” The important thing is to develop a habit of waking up and immediately recording what you experienced while asleep.
A few years ago I was writing a book on visualization. It was complete, except for the title. I had brainstormed, asked for suggestions, written lists of possible titles, but did not have one that “clicked.” I was ready to just pick one and use it so that I could get the book off to be published. One evening, I was leading a discussion about the creative mind and visualization. In my thirty years of study and practice of visualization, I have learned much about universal law. I was talking about some of these universal laws in the discussion.

I asked the group if anyone had any ideas for a book title. No one did. That night, before going to sleep, I asked my subconscious mind for a dream that would give me the book title. I even wrote my request in my dream journal. The next morning, I “heard” in my mind upon awakening, before I was even fully back into my body, these words, “The Law of Attraction and Other Secrets of Visualization.” I wrote them down. As I regained waking consciousness, I thought about it and started second-guessing myself, thinking that it was too “plain Jane,” not catchy enough.

Fortunately, I have learned to trust my dreams and my intuition. I knew that I had not consciously made up the title, that it had come to me from my subconscious mind. Intuition means “inner teaching.” It is knowledge that comes from the inner self, often through dreams. So, I trusted that this was the title I had been seeking. I used it for the book, and it has turned out to be very successful. The book sold out in the first year and went into its second printing.

Learning to develop intuition is an important element of bringing forth the inspiration and genius that lives within each of us!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laurel Clark is the President of the School of Metaphysics, a not-for-profit educational and service institution headquartered in Missouri with 15 Midwestern branches. She is a teacher, author, inspirational speaker, counselor, interfaith minister, and coach. A Spiritual Focus Weekend at the College of Metaphysics called The Genius Code offers an intuitive report that describes how an individual uses visualization and intuition, with specific suggestions for bringing forth genius. You can learn more at:
Dr. Clark's book, The Law of Attraction and Other Secrets of Visualization, can be found at http://www.som.org. Click on the "bookstore" link at the top of the page. You can reach Dr. Clark at som@som.org.