Saturday, April 3, 2010

Listen to your inner voice

“Your mind knows only some things. Your inner voice, your instinct, knows everything. If you listen to what you know instinctively, it will always lead you down the right path.”
Henry Winkler

Our inner voice speaks gently with a deep wisdom. This voice does not nag or repeat itself incessantly. It is more like a gentle nudge to a greater awareness.

We have many voices in our heads. Our minds are constantly chatting up a storm. Too often that chatter is negative, derogatory and repetitive. These voices are the ones we need to change. They do not help us but rather hold us back.

The inner voice that comes quietly often urges you to do something beneficial. For example it might remind you to put on gloves when you are pulling weeds in an overgrown area. If you ignore that spontaneous thought you could end up with a bad case of poison ivy.

It is easy to ignore our inner voice because we become so preoccupied with other thoughts of the future or the past. Sometimes we are just caught up in our emotions and refuse to stop and do what our inner voice is telling us. For example sometimes when you are upset with someone and are about to say what is on your mind, a thought might pop up that says this is not the right thing to say. So you either listen to that guidance and probably have a better conversation, or you ignore it and typically end up hurting the other person and not really accomplishing what you wanted anyway.

In times of real danger or fear this inner voice can come as a stroke of insight. It could let us know the course of action that is safe. The voice comes in a flash and then is gone. It does not hang around and repeat over and over again. But somehow we have a sense that the voice is telling us the right thing to do.

Yoga can help us be more receptive to our inner voice. Just being with the breath and being aware of our bodies with a deep focus helps to filter out the mindless clamor of our random thoughts. It is not always easy to come to the mat when times are difficult or when we are busy. But if you can just start with a simple pose that may be enough. Or you may find you just keep going once you have started. You may even receive little internal messages while practicing that will guide you to enhancing your pose.

Our inner voice sounds tiny but it is huge. It is connected to the supreme consciousness. It has our best interests at heart. So next time you hear that tiny voice telling you to do something that you know instantly is the right thing to do, don't ignore it. Time after time you will learn that paying attention will give the most reward.

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