What to do after you have heard your inner voice.....
The term 'inner voice' is banded about a lot in the world of therapy, yoga and all sorts of 'alternative' practices - by which i mean practices that encourage us to step out of the waking dream of our daily lives.
What is our inner voice though? It is the truth that you absolutely know to be true, we all have an inner voice talking to us, guiding us in the wisest way to lead our lives. Most of us don't even get to the point of ignoring it though, we are so busy believing what society tells us is correct and then acting in the way that we think we should or behaving as we think we should. that we have drowned out the inner voice entirely and it is no more than a faint whisper.
So first of all, it can take a very long time for us to actually hear our inner voice again. where is it located? Certainly not in one physical spot, although our physical body may hold reflections of our inner emotional state for sure. But it can seem like our body is telling us what to do, the inner voice is also called listening to your gut and of course the gut is sometimes called the second brain of the body, but I don't think we should get carried away with pinning it to one particular location - it is much more subtle than that.
To hear the inner voice we need to be still, not physically, although that might well help, but a much deeper entire stillness. A stillness of the whole being. We all avoid this stillness, this 'doing nothing' because it is contrary to everything we believe about the world - that we should always be busy, we should be striving towards something, an imaginary destination - yet we find that destination is always shifting, ever eluding us, we chase ever more, less and less still in our frustration to find that stillness though action....its a very bizarre situation!
To listen to you inner voice is the most natural thing in the world and when we learn stillness, through meditation or any other practice we will start to hear it more clearly. The more that we listen out for it, the easier it will be to hear. After all, if you dont listen to someone speaking, eventually theylly stoop bothering - so it can take time for your inner voice to begin a dialogue with you again.
But the title of this piece is 'Not just About Listening to Your Inner Voice' and that is because it isn't that simple. With dedication we can all hear our inner voice, but to trust it and to follow its advice, against the constant anxiety and fear projected by out thinking mind is another matter altogether.
You have to trust that voice, however scary it is to do so. If yo hear the real inner voice, you will know its the truth, there will be no question, but still you have to take the next step to implement that advice.
I have had several conversations around this topic during the past month, with different people in different situations. In fact they have all pretty much told me they feel strongly that they should be doing such and such, but find themselves not following that feeling. The result is confusion and a sense of life becoming a struggle. There is resistance to the inner voice, and because the inner voice is the natural flow of life, it feels very much like trying to swim against the current when you ignore it.
You will want me now to give you a mass of advice or some tools on how to trust that inner voice, but Im afraid that there aren't any. You either trust it or you don't. you dive into the flow of life and see where it sweeps you, or you stay safely in your known boundaries and wonder 'what if...'
I haven't written a newsletter for over a month. Ive barely posted anything on social media, I stopped hosting my evening chats during lockdown. There was no specific reason for these, I hadn't thought about them long and hard, I just intuitively felt that I didn't want to do them. I even tried to write a different essay for this very newsletter several times over the past month or so, but each time I got half way and deleted it, the topic just didn't feel right. It felt clunky and like I was forcing it because I thought that I should write a newsletter.
So maybe the key is to stop doing the things that you think you should and just follow the that that you feel instead,
After all, our thoughts and the mind constructed from them are not who who really are, they are just what we just imagine ourselves to be.