People mean different things when they talk about their “Inner Voice.” Some think of it as their intuition, while for others it’s what their “gut” is telling them. Many people talk about it as though it were something akin to their conscience, while still others think of it as guidance they receive from a Divine source.
However they may define it, many if not most people have pretty mixed feelings about their Inner Voice. They know they “should” be listening to their Inner Voice, the way they “should” exercise more and eat more healthily. But it feels too hard.
And a lot of people are afraid that if they stopped to listen to their Inner Voice, it would probably be mad at them and scold them for all the things they did that went against their own best interest, or against what they knew they truly wanted.
No wonder, then, that so many people don’t want to listen to their Inner Voice! Who’d want to listen to a voice inside that they’re sure is going to scold them? Unfortunately, this sets up a kind of vicious cycle. When you don’t listen to your Inner Voice because you’re afraid of what it will say, you’re more likely to do things that make you feel bad, which then leads you to feel even more like avoiding your Inner Voice.
I believe that, while the Inner Voice may incorporate intuition, gut-level feelings, and guidance from a Source larger than ourselves, it’s not any one of those things. And it’s definitely not that voice inside you that lists all of your failings and tells you how bad you are and have been.
Your Inner Voice, if you learn how to tap into it and then trust it, can become your most powerful ally, mentor and friend. And if you already tap into your Inner Voice regularly in your life, you can learn how to tap into it even more.
What is the Inner Voice?
So what is the Inner Voice? Your Inner Voice is the wisdom of your entire self – your entire body and mind, all 100 trillion cells endlessly changing and growing — as it makes itself known to you. It arises out of your inner self, not from what others say you should be, or even from what you think you “should” be. It expresses itself in many ways; as impulses, as urges, as body feelings, as a sense of knowing what you need and what to do, as a deep desire, and sometimes as a wisdom that can seem to come from beyond your physical body.
Your Inner Voice directs you toward greater fulfillment in your life the way a flower turns toward the sun. Rarely, however, does it demand big changes. Usually, when you’re truly in touch with it, it leads to small, do-able, 10-degree steps that slowly add up to big and important changes if you follow them.
Even when you don’t listen to your Inner Voice for years or even decades, it doesn’t disappear completely. It simply goes in the background, becoming softer, ready at any moment to show you a way to take the smallest half-step, if need be, back toward living in a manner truer to yourself.
And, though you may think it will, nor does it start attacking or rejecting you, no matter how far you’ve gone afield. Extremely critical and self-attacking thoughts may sometimes feel like they’re needed to push you forward. And sometimes they may have some limited effectiveness, though more often than not, they simply hurt. But either way, no matter how accurate those critical self-judgments may seem to be, they’re not your true Inner Voice.
To live from your Inner Voice is not to have a perfect life, but to feel a spaciousness in your soul. It is to listen to what your body, heart, mind and spirit are trying to tell you. It is to let the wise and gentle Self within point you to a more satisfying and joyful life.
Living from your Inner Voice means going from living from what seem to be your only choices, to living from what’s truly possible.
You Already Have it in You
You have the keys and doors to your Inner Voice already in your possession, which I describe in the next two articles in my Journal here. The “keys,” you might say, are in the attitude with which you approach your inner self. I call these The ABCs of Your Inner Voice – Acknowledging, Being With, and Compassion.
The “doors” are what I call the Five Pathways of the Inner Voice, five ways in which your inner experience makes itself known to you: Knowing, Sensing, Feeling, Wanting and The Voice of the Larger Self.
I believe that tapping into your Inner Voice doesn’t have to be something that just “happens” every once in a while. Rather it’s a skill you can get better at and use whenever you want to. For that reason I developed the “innercizes” described in I Know I’m in There Somewhere and recorded in My Inner Voice app.
I hope you embark on a journey into more consciously and consistently tapping into your Inner Voice. It is the very best journey of all!