We all have those times when we just don’t know what to do. You’re rolling along in life and all seems good when out of the blue something unexpected happens. It might be an illness, an accident, or you got laid off at work. Most of us try to rely on our intuition and figure out the next steps. However, what do you do when your intuition seems silent and no answers arrive?

That happened to me several years ago. One of my books, Listen: Trusting Your Inner Voice in Times of Crisis, had just been published. I was out on the lecture circuit and giving seminars, scheduling lots of radio shows and interviews, traveling a great deal. It probably sounds exciting, but to be honest, I was exhausted.

I prayed to God to bring peace back into my life. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t eating well. I felt awful. What did I hear back? Nothing. Silence. I felt like I was in a dead zone. This was particularly painful to me because my book was all about paying attention to inner guidance and I wasn’t hearing any! All I knew was that I needed to rest.

It would be great if intuition spoke to us in a clear, direct manner. “Hey Lynn! I know you’re struggling in your life. Here’s the answer…” Followed, of course, with detailed instructions about what you should and shouldn’t do in order to be successful. In the bible, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. (I don’t know about you, but if a burning bush started yelling at me I’d definitely run in the other direction!) But truthfully, don’t you long for this kind of guidance when you need direction?

I know that in my life during that dark period, I had no down time. I was ON all the time. All my energy just seemed to go out to other people — talking, helping, counseling, teaching. I wasn’t taking time for myself. There wasn’t any room in my psyche for spirit to reach me.

What I finally realized was there was a mantra of sorts going through my mind at all times. It wasn’t your typical “Om” kind of mantra. It was “I NEED TO SLOW DOWN!” I suddenly realized I was missing my intuition communicating with me because I was drowning out this inner wisdom out with activity. I got so involved in my book promotion and other work that the guidance simply was lost in the crowd. It wasn’t until I really took some time to rest, to focus on myself, to be in nature, to sleep, that I felt the reassuring presence of my intuition again.

Following are some things that I found helpful during my “intuition is silent” period.

Rest, Sleep, Dream and Recover

Intuition often seems to go away during those times of our lives when we most need guidance. It may be because we’re so exhausted we’re not taking time to listen. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to feel better today? ” Whatever answer comes to you, do it. Answers I’ve received include, “Take a break and sit outside in the sun for awhile.” “Take a walk in the woods.” “Put your head on the pillow and rest.” “Read a comforting book.” “It’s time to turn the computer off.” Know in your heart these times of “silence” don’t last forever.

Talk and Listen

If you are waiting through a time of silence, ask your inner guidance these questions:

Is there something that needs my attention?

Is there something I’m unaware of that I need to resolve?

What does my inner wisdom want me to learn?

Am I being prepared for something?

I realize that you’re reading this article because you’re concerned about the radio silence from your intuition, so you’re probably not having immediate answers popping into your mind. Try a journal. Write out any responses that come to you. Perhaps simply think of someone you love and who loves you, and they’re giving you kind and loving wisdom and advice.

What You Say to Yourself Matters

You may be telling yourself that you’re doing something wrong, you’re not good enough or you’re being punished. My guess is that none of those things are true. Try one or more of the following statements while you’re going through this difficult period.

My intuition has guided me in the past and continues to do so.

There are many ways to hear guidance. I am open to wisdom in all forms.

I am provided with all that I need with comfort and ease, even in the silence.

Find Pockets of Quietude

In our culture we believe that doing, taking action, and making the effort are the most important ways to get out of a crisis. What if the opposite is true? What if you give yourself permission to simply be, and rest in order to find peace and solutions to your current confusion? Learning to listen requires two things: a practice that facilitates quieting the mind, such as meditation, prayer, or communing with nature; and an understanding or discovery of how you receive the answers.

Listen for Intuition in New Ways

You may be expecting inner guidance to show up in a big and theatrical way — a flash of lightning, a dramatic rescue, a big booming voice from the heavens. Sometimes that happens. More often it’s through words of wisdom from other people, a TV show or a book. The answers may be revealed through nature, or a gentle smile from a stranger walking our way. Often it shows up as a fleeting moment of peace and tranquility in the midst of a difficult day. Sometimes it’s simply a word or two to give us a new direction to follow.

My best advice regarding a silent intuition is, keep praying, keep writing, keep reading, keep walking the path before you. Keep doing the things that have worked in the past (and will work again in the future). Know that we’ve all gone through these times of silence. Ultimately, this too shall pass. In the meantime, "be still and know” that the wisdom within is there guiding you always. Everything will work out okay.