Trust Your Inner Voice
What is Your Inner Voice and How do You Hear It?
Your Inner voice, also known as your inner guidance, inner GPS, voice of Spirit, or your Higher Self can come to you as a voice, a feeling or an image. The voice inside your head may be saying “No!”...or issuing a directive, ”Change lanes now!” You may get the feeling “Something’s not right”. You may see an image of a friend in your mind’s eye that you haven’t spoken to for a year, feel the urge to call her, only to find out she’s in need of your help.
We all have an inner voice that speaks to us. The question is, are we listening? The more you intend to hear, feel, see and heed your inner guidance, the easier it becomes to connect to it and avail yourself of its wisdom. Your inner guidance is a muscle which needs to be exercised to get stronger. If you trust this guidance with little things, you will be trusted with bigger messages also.
How to Know if it's Your Inner Voice or Another Voice
It’s natural to wonder, and ask “Is this is truly the voice of my inner GPS, or is it the voice of another part of me – like my ego or fear?” With practice, it gets easier.
Inner guidance will seem as if it’s coming to you, or through you, but not necessarily from you – at least not your conscious, thinking mind. It may come out of the blue, when you’re thinking about something else, or it may come upon your asking. It may not seem “logical” or make any sense. When I’ve asked Spirit for advice, and heard “The Voice”, It’s given me wisdom beyond what my conscious mind would have said. It’s made me laugh. It’s made me say “Whoa!” and ponder more deeply. Above all, it’s resonated as true in my heart, body and soul.
Whether The Voice is guiding you to move toward or away from something, you will feel a peace when following its promptings. Your decision will feel right, with a knowing you can’t quite explain. You will feel called; that you have to make that left turn, answer that phone call, or quit that job.
In “Field of Dreams” Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) followed The Voice that told him, ”If you build it, he will come”, “Ease his pain” and “Go the distance!”. Cryptic messages! When Ray wasn’t clear he kept seeking the answer. Most thought he was crazy, but he had to follow The Voice. When he did, a miracle ensued.
Examples of The Voice in My Life
In 1997, after living in San Francisco for a few months, one day in frustration I said in earnest, “God, what is the Truth? Is it the Catholic church, Unity, Glide Memorial, Buddhism? Just tell me what it is and I’ll do it!” Immediately I heard “Barbara, it’s ALL The Truth.” “Oh.” I knew that response came from a place beyond my conscious mind. In that moment, I felt humbled. I saw life as an onion, and in that moment of peeling back the layers to find the Truth, the onion just got bigger.
Where to Live
In 2000, I had the intuition I was meant to leave San Francisco soon. My prayer was “God, tell me where to move. I’ll go anyplace except back to Boston.” A good friend called me out “Barbara, you can’t put conditions on God. You need to be open to everything.” Annoyed, I knew she was right and opened it up “Okay God, I’ll go anywhere but I want very clear signs.” Shortly after, I was praying at the dojo where I did light energy healing and heard a voice say “You need to go back to Boston and be of service.” As I heard those words, I felt a whoosh of energy travel from my head to toes, filling me with a chill and resonance of Truth in the marrow of my bones. Then confirmation from the outside world came with a train car that said “Boston” stopped outside a store I was in, a CVS clerk pointing out the change she gave me with “Oh look, a Massachusetts quarter!” and other signs.
In 2001 I was living in Massachusetts and for the past year had been trying to choose among being a counselor, coach or minister for my next career. I felt stuck. Then one afternoon, busy transcribing notes for a consulting gig I was doing, I heard “Your path is to become a coach. Join Coach U”. These words came to me from out of the blue, interrupting my train of thought. Grateful for Spirit’s guidance, I joined Coach U and was glad I did.
Getting ready to attend church about 10 years ago, I heard “He’s going to be there this morning, but you’ll be okay.” I thought “Oh, crap!” The voice was referring to my former boyfriend I’d parted ways with the year before. While we’d made our peace, I hadn’t seen him in 3 or 4 months and he’d recently gotten married. The last time I saw him at church was the previous year when I couldn’t stop crying. Sure enough, just after I arrived, I saw him walk in with his two kids and new wife. When he came over and introduced me to his new wife, all I felt was love. During the service, I waited for sadness or anxiety to wash over me. It never did. I felt amazed at the peace and love I continued to feel and knew it was grace.
Obstacles to Trusting Your Inner Guidance
1. Focus. Most of us have not been taught to look within ourselves for the answers, but to look on the outside. To go to an “expert”, psychic, friend, etc. When we do that, we’re giving our power and energy away to others. No one can truly know what is best for you except you. My mother reminded me of this many years ago when she heard me asking several people what they thought I should do for work. “Barbara, stop asking other people. Only you can know.” I heeded that advice, and found that once I stopped asking others for their opinion, I felt empowered, and got clear quickly.
2. Information overload. How can we tune in to what’s going on inside of us when there’s so much noise coming to us from our family, friends, society, the media, internet, and our workplace telling us how we should think and what we should do? Guidance can’t get through when our line is busy. To help you free up your line, here are…
11 Tips for Tapping Into Your Inner Guidance
1. Spend 10-20 minutes in silence each day. Eliminate distractions. Before going into the silence, you may ask a question of your Higher Self or Spirit. Then sit quietly with eyes closed and focus on your breathing. You may want to say a calming word like “peace” on your in-breath and out-breath. If a thought comes into your head, imagine it’s a cloud and let it float by. Afterwards, write down any insights or wisdom that came to you.
2. Be present to the moment. Be where you are and pay attention. If your mind is someplace else, it’s harder to connect with your guidance.
3. Tell the universe you’re open. I say “God, I’m yours. Use me for the highest, best, most joyful good for myself and others. Show me next steps.”
4. Record sudden inspirations and ideas in a small journal that you carry with you during the day. See if you can find patterns over time.
5. Ask “Do I feel aligned with this idea?” Aligned means in your joy; in the zone; your “sweet spot”. There’s a resonance of “yes” in your body. Yes feels energizing, uplifting, expansive. No feels tiring, boring, contracted.
6. Pay attention to signs and synchronicities. In January of 2014, while researching places to travel to, I explored ways to walk the El Camino de Santiago. I felt inspired by the idea, and when I started asking others what they knew about it, I heard “Oh, I walked it myself two years ago” and “Yesterday I talked with a client who just got back – I’ll connect you” and “Funny you should ask, I’m reading a book about it now”. These confirmations grew the idea into a calling and I made the walk that September.
7. Seek your own counsel. Don’t solicit others’ advice, yet pay attention when someone gives you an unsolicited opinion, or you overhear a conversation that pertains to your situation.
8. Reflect on past experiences with inner guidance. What was this guidance like? Did it come in the form of a feeling, words in your head, or an image or picture in your mind? What happened when you heeded it, and when you didn’t? Write down this information and use it to help you know what your inner guidance feels like now.
9. Take time to have fun. A colleague of mine told me one day “Realizations come when you take time for yourself.” He was right. When we’re caught up in work, “doingness” and not having fun, we’re not as receptive to receiving guidance. Spend some time having fun and playing, and magic starts happening!
10. Don’t try to force it; sometimes no decision is the right one. If you’ve been trying to get guidance on something and are not clear, leave it alone for awhile. Focus on something else – preferably fun! Trust you will get the guidance when you need to.
11. Find a wise guide. Go to someone who’s supportive, insightful and grounded who won’t tell you what to do, but will take you through a process or ask you questions that will help you access your own inner wisdom.
When there's no one else
Look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend just
Trust the voice within
Then you'll find the strength
That will guide your way
You'll learn to begin to
Trust the voice within, ohh... – Christina Aguilera – “The Voice Within”
Make a promise take a vow
And trust your feelings it's easy now
Understand the voice within
And feel the changes already beginning…- Moody Blues “The Voice”