From our first day on this earth and every day thereafter, who we are and how we think—aka our psychology—is ever evolving and transforming as we meet new people, learn new things and gather new experiences. Our psychology in turn affects our habits, our beliefs and even the way that we talk to ourselves
. All are influenced by our experiences and circumstances. Early formative experiences and relationships often inform how safe we feel presenting our true, authentic selves to the world well into adulthood, which in turn may affect how well we are able to listen to our own inner voice. Other names you may call your inner voice: your intuition, your gut, your inner spirit, your heart. When we talk about a person’s self- guidance, we are referring to that person’s ability to tune into that inner voice and pick up on any clues the universe might be sending them
along the way. This in turn directs a person’s values and life goals, as well as the deep emotions of their sub-conscious. It informs their innermost desires and shapes the heart. It also helps a person decide whether an experience is a positive one or a negative one and, therefore, how we’ll approach similar experiences going forward, which thereby influences our habits and our beliefs.
Maybe for you, your inner voice is something you have learned to quietly deny over the years. Maybe from negative past experiences you have deduced you can no longer trust yourself. Or maybe years of trauma or abuse have left you wondering if you even know yourself at all
. This is especially common amongst people who were habitually told while growing up that what they thought, felt or needed was invalid or not real. Think of it this way: If as a child you were told every time you said you were hungry that you were in fact not hungry and were not in need of food, would that make the physical feelings of hunger any less real? Would it make them go away? No, of course not, but perhaps what would go away is your willingness to acknowledge that hunger and ask for what you need. It’s the same with your inner voice. Just because you may have learned to distrust or ignore your inner voice in the past doesn’t mean that it has gone away for good. It just might take a little extra work to find it again.
It is waiting for you. All you have to do is listen.
The first step to getting back in tune with your gut and onto the path of self-guidance and discovery is to pause from what you’re doing and take inventory of your thoughts. Be intentional! Go someplace quiet and without distraction, a place where you can be free to sit with the overwhelming (for now) chatter of your mind and really dwell on what you feel and what you need. Don’t be overly concerned with any one thought that passes through your brain. Envision your thoughts as thought they were nothing more than leaves on the waters of a river. Take time to focus on each one, then let them slowly drift away and out of sight.
Are there any “leaves” that you are surprised to see pass by? Any thoughts or feelings that bring you joy or excitement? Embarrassment or shame? As you become more comfortable with this practice, begin to ask yourself why certain thoughts might make you feel a certain way. Any that you readily dismiss or invalidate? Why? Ask yourself what this might mean about where you are in life compared to where you’d like to be. Thank the universe for bringing you these thoughts and express gratitude for the opportunity to send them on their way.
After practicing this over time, you will find that your ability to tap into your intuition becomes more natural, even easy. You will be impervious to the ever changing criticisms and opinions of those around you. You will feel hunger and believe that you are worthy of sustenance. You will feel pain and believe that you are worthy of rest. You will feel joy and believe that you are worthy of love. You will have a better understanding of who you are and what you want and you’ll go and get it. Additionally, you will find that you are more attracted to healthy, authentic relationships and that you no longer allow yourself to suffer bad behavior. You will find that you are more sensitive to the subtle ways the universe calls you away from one thing and pushes you in the direction of another. Finally, you will trust yourself to listen to its call.
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