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Listen to Yourself More

March 26, 2010

Listening to others more is very important to gaining  understanding. But I also want to encourage you to listen more to yourself. This is a skill that’s sometimes harder to master than listening to others because self-doubt creeps in, often leading to second guessing ourselves. But I’ve found through experience—and I truly believe—that when we honestly listen to ourselves despite self-doubt, we’ll find not only answers we need, but inner wisdom, clarity, and courage.

Listen to your body. As the home of your mind and spirit, your body has a lot of wisdom to offer. Emotions manifest themselves and process through your body, so listening to your body can give you clarity about how you’re feel when you’re unsure. Pay attention to the ways your body responds to know when you’re:

*scared (For me, it’s my pulse or heart racing, muscles contracting, breathing becoming more rapid, etc.)

*stressed (I get tense muscles in my neck and shoulders, and my stomach churns, unsettled.)

*confused (I start to feel mentally far away and breathe more shallowly than normal.)

*and any other emotions. You get the idea.

I also want to encourage you to listen to your body’s limits. In general, Americans tend to “power through”, so I have a tendency to ignore my body and keep going even when I’m ill or tired and it’s clearly telling me that resting may be the best course of action. Our bodies have limits, and that’s ok. When we’re really listening to our bodies, we can find ourselves rested, nourished, and healthy instead of overtired, undernourished and ill. That sounds like something worth listening to.

Listen to your inner voice. You have a lot of wisdom inside of you, and listening to your inner voice is how you tap into it to solve dilemmas and know which choices to make. Whatever we call it—a gut feel, a feeling deep inside, a voice in your head, a lightbulb going off—that inner voice has a lot of answers to the things troubling or puzzling us.

What does your voice sound like or how does it manifest itself? Sometimes my inner voice is a sarcastic voice in my head (fitting for a person prone to sarcasm, I suppose) that knocks some sense into me or helps me ligthten up. Sometimes it’s a strong feeling from deep inside me that confirms or denies something immediately, often before I’ve even fully mentally processed it. However your inner voice speaks, try to listen to it more. I’ve found the more I do, the more I trust it, which means the less self-doubt creeps in and more wisdom is allowed to come out.

Today, try listening to yourself more. I’m certain you’ll find your body and inner voice have a lot to offer. Leave a comment to share your experiences or tips so we can learn from them.

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