In the Western world, we are not taught to listen to ourselves.
Why is that? Well, I could expound for hours on my theories, but let’s just stick with the idea that we aren’t. Learning how to tap into that “still small voice”, our “inner self” or “inner guidance” or our soul… may seem challenging.
In the beginning, it takes some effort to hear it. But it IS there. It’s a part of you that is different from your brain, separate from your heart and certainly removed from your ego. It is a knowing place inside. And once you begin to listen for it, then TO it and actually HONOR what it’s saying…it will get louder and clearer. And then…watch out…you’ll start to recognize all those things your body has been trying to tell you…are actually messages. It’s as though in the absense of listening to the inner self, the inner self starts “vomiting” all over the body. I know that sounds strange…but I think in some way, that’s what is happening. Because, and here’s some interesting science: every time we deny what we want, stay in a stressful situation when we should leave, put up with something horrible, our innerself in conjunction with our brain…sends out messages and wants in the form of thoughts and emotions. In that case, “I want out of this situation”. Thoughts and emotions are filled with chemicals. But because we didn’t listen to ourselves, stayed and put up with the situation, the chemicals created by our true wants…got stuck in our bodies. Unreleased, unused chemicals, get stored and can create problems.
In our modern world, running away or fighting (which are normal responses to stress) are not always the most prudent courses. Can you imagine in a work meeting…feeling stress and then just deciding to follow your natural instinct and run away. You stand up, look at your boss and say “See ya”, and sprint out the door. Yeah, that wouldn’t go over so well, but how many times have each of us felt that way? Once in a while? Everyday? Just think of all the unused fight/flight chemicals now depositied someplace in your body.
“To thine own self be true”
wrote Shakespeare hundreds of years ago….and it’s just as important now as it’s ever been. One of the most important spiritual tools is learning to REALLY know yourself.
If you’re wondering about whether or not you’re experiencing a spiritual awakening, check out this list of “symptoms”. I would rather use the word gifts than symptoms but her list is by far the best I’ve found. Check it out: http://www.sunfell.com/symptoms.htm.
This page is dedicated to the idea of truly knowing who you are. So many people, when asked what they believe, what they want from their lives, what they think they are here to accomplish, have no idea. Some people have absolutely no interest in figuring any of those things out and there is nothing wrong with that. That is their choice. But since you’re on this page, I’m going to assume that you do! Congrats!
From my experience, the beginning of trying to figure out who we really are starts with discerning what is our knowledge and what is the knowledge of others, or the world, or our parents. Many times, we come to a place in our lives where we recognize that the beliefs of our parents, the beliefs of our culture, just don’t seem to resonate with us anymore. This can often be painful as it may seem as though we are rejecting these people. Yet more than rejecting THEM, we are embracing OURSELVES.
Each of us comes into this world pretty pure. Anyone who has been around a small child can tell you that they come with their own personality, their own unique energy right from the start. Yet through being a part of a culture, a family, an environment, they begin to be socialized into the belief sets around them. This works pretty well for the child, for it gives them a foundation and a set of rules that they understand and can operate within, as long as they stay within the family or culture. When the child grows and begins to interact with different cultures and families, they see that there are multiple ways of doing things. Their picture of the world expands outside just their home. The more the child grows and explores, the more different types of lives and beliefs they begin to come into contact with.
For many, it is difficult to understand how what they were taught to be “correct” differs so from what others were taught to be “correct”. And thus if the child is not taught an appreciation for others’ beleifs, the child may become judgemental, feeling that one way is the correct way and all others are false. Then one day, the child may come to find that as married to his beliefs as he was, so too others are feircely married to their own. Truth for him is as strong as Truth for the others. So he asks: “What is truth?”
The answer to that question has plagued humanity since time began. It may very well come down to the idea that the Truth for each individual belongs to that individual. For a belief is just a thought that we keep thinking.
So the question to you is this: Who’s beliefs to you believe and do they work for you? What do we mean when we ask “do they work for you?”
Are your beliefs bringing you joy? Are your beliefs giving you clarity? Are your beliefs adding to your life in a positive way? Do they feel good to you? Do they resonate with you? You might say, “well, I wouldn’t believe them if they didn’t”. But that is not true. We, many of us carry a slew of beliefs about ourselves and the world that damage us, that hold us back, that hurt us. Identifying the beliefs you hold that hurt you is the beginning of getting to know yourself.
Fill in the following statements with the very FIRST word that comes to your mind. Don’t edit yourself. Be as direct and honest as you can. No one is seeing this but you!
I believe the world to be a __________ place to be.
I believe myself to be a ___________ person.
I believe the people in my life are _________ people.
I believe the future will be full of ______________.
I believe my dreams and hopes are ______________.
When I die, I believe that I will look back over my life and feel ___________.
I believe that love is ___________.
I believe that my work is ____________.
I believe my body is ________________.
Now, having said the very first thing that came to your mind, not what you thought you “should” say, go over each statement again and ask yourself, how did that statement feel? Maybe they all felt good, maybe they all felt yucky. Chances are they were mixed. If any of your answers felt yucky, ask yourself this:
“IS MY BELIEF TRUE?”
Of course your answer may be; “well, it’s true to me”. And that’s fine, but then you want to ask, does it feel good? Because believe it or not, your inner self…has a language, and it’s the language of emotion. And asking yourself if something feels right or good is a great place to begin to establish a connection with your inner self. Does it feel right? Does it feel good? Does it add positively to my life? If not, consider changing your belief. Why believe things that hold you back? What’s the point of that?
If you’ve like to learn more and discover more, consider working with me as a coach! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your complimentary coaching consult!