As we make our way through life, many of us have been trained not to listen to ourselves.

To listen instead to the voices of those who want us to follow their lead, adopt their mission and accept their teachings.  The voices that like to tell us what to think, what to believe, how to live.

In the chaos and confusion of it all, we can miss hearing the voice of our deepest knowing, wanting to lead us back to the source of our personal wisdom.

This inner guidance “speaks” to us in a variety of ways.  In its speaking, it’s actually reaching out to connect.  The question is, will we reach back?

How do we do that?  Well, we do so by taking a moment to stop, turn our attention away from the busyness of our life, and turn our attention toward our inner world.  From there, we listen.

We listen to our feelings, our body sensations, or for our intuitions.   We listen to the silence.  We listen to them all because they all in their own way do an impeccable job of quietly inviting us either to follow their lead, or adopt their mission or accept their teachings.  In so doing, these precious aspects of ourselves, linked to our inner guidance, help us find our way through the complexities of life.

What if you want to listen inwardly but don’t know how?  Here are a few pointers for your consideration:

  • Yield to the desire to listen inwardly.  Resist the temptation to ignore it.
  • Find a place in nature that you love, under a favorite tree, by the seashore, or in your beloved garden.  Spend some time there, perhaps marveling at what you see.  Perhaps breathing in the beauty and the scents all around you.  From that space, allow yourself to listen to whatever may arise from within.
  • Draw a hot bath.  Light a candle, drop a favorite scent or add a relaxing salt to the tub.  Unwind.  Listen inwardly.  You’ll be surprised at what may arise from within when the bodymind is relaxed.
  • Take up Yoga.  Clear the stress from your bodymind.  Undo the tension.  Allow yourself to be present to whatever may emerge.  After all, it’s an aspect of you.
  • Journal.  Write down your thoughts from the day, or write about something you’re struggling with now.  In this way, you connect intimately with your inner world through your thoughts.
  • Create art.  Express yourself through image and color.  Allow yourself to feel what you feel while you do.  Then, when you’re done, take a moment to close your eyes, turn your attention inward, and notice any thought, feeling, flash of intuition, or new idea that may arise from within.
  • Breathe with awareness.  Allow yourself to close your eyes and turn your attention to the rising and falling of your breath in your body.  Notice what you notice in your mind, your heart and your body as you do.  This is a powerful and time honored way of connecting deeply with yourself.
  • Do nothing.  That’s right, nothing.  Be still.  Be present to the silence, even if you have to plan for it.  Even if it’s for a modest 5 minutes at a time.

What if this all sounds like gibberish?

Then allow yourself to stop and turn your attention toward that thought too.  Pay attention to it.  Notice it as it passes through your mind.  This too is a pathway to getting connected to yourself.