Have you ever been sitting in a quiet room and heard your stomach rumble? Although that gastric grumbling may have caught the attention of others, it is your body trying to get your attention. I find it amazing how our bodies communicate with us. Sore muscles complain of age or overuse, heads ache when we over-imbibe in certain drinks, and the hairs on the back of our necks stand out when we’re frightened.
We usually take notice of our body when it talks to us, but we forget about another voice, our inner voice or wisdom. Perhaps we should listen to our own inner wisdom more often, but it can be difficult. Our crazy world is so loud and busy. Who has time to listen to inner wisdom when we have work to do, errands to run, and bills to pay? You do. Well, you would if you took the time.
Finding the time can be as simple as using that quiet time as you drift off to sleep. You can also take a moment while you eat your lunch. You can tune in whenever you can find some time alone. My favorite time is when I go to the bathroom. Yes, nothing like pondering on the potty. It’s not as if you can do anything else while you’re doing your business. Well, you could read a book, especially if it’s one of mine, but for the sake of this post, let’s keep it to chatting with your very own Jiminy Cricket.
To be clear, listening to your inner wisdom is not the same as thinking about how we should act or how we should be. It’s more than living in your head. That actually quiets that inner voice. Instead, you need to listen less with your mind and more with your heart. Author Brian Leaf , Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi (2012), defines inner wisdom “as a knowledge that comes from quieting the mind, setting aside the ego, setting aside one’s ideas of how things should be, and listening and feeling for what feels truly right.”
Your inner wisdom is a quiet voice, not like your loud bodily functions. You need to be still to hear it. Imagine the heart whispering to your brain. Yeah, that quiet. You also can’t just barge in on your inner wisdom. You need to be peaceful to hear it fully. It helps to take some deep breaths and not force it. Once you are in a calm state, preferably from meditation and not from using the bathroom, you can ask whatever questions you like. They can be deep existential questions. What is the meaning of life? Is there life after death? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
Listening to your inner wisdom can open your heart and mind to the real you. It’s you being honest with yourself. This is you after you strip away society’s standards and expectations. Once those trifles are gone, it will become easier to see the possibilities before you. You will be able to make critical decisions easier and accept the things you have no control over—and we all have things we can’t control.
The great part of listening to your inner wisdom is it will connect you with others on a deeper level. Now that you can be true to yourself, you can be true to others. Your relationships will be stronger and last longer. Who knew you could get all that from the tiny voice inside your heart. That tiny voice is looking out for you so take some time to listen to it.