How To Listen to That Tiny Voice Within
It’s a little voice. Everybody has it. You might sometimes call it a gut feeling. Or perhaps you’ve heard people call it intuition. You don’t know if you have that, but you can say you’ve had gut feelings.
The thing is that whether you call it a gut feeling or intuition that voice within can sometimes be elusive.
It’s like trying to see an eclipse. You know you’re not supposed to look directly at it because you could go blind, but what if you just took a tiny peek? I’ve done that before and I’m not blind yet. I can see pretty good. I’ve got my choice of 2 different pairs of glasses to wear.
So, how does one go about hearing the tiny voice within?
I would say a good way to start is to meditate. You don’t have to go with one particular kind of meditation. Just choose one. It’s like shopping for shoes. Pick a pair and try them on. Try walking around a little bit. How do they feel on your feet? Do you think they are okay? Good. Now you can buy them. That means you have chosen a form of meditation and are willing to give it a whirl.
You know that with shoes you need time to break them in before you’re going to wear them all day. Everybody has their own way of breaking in shoes. You also know the telltale signs that you’ve gone a little too far. Do you throw the shoes away? Let’s hope not. You paid $129 for them. Let your feet heal a little bit and try again. This time be careful and really pay attention to how your feet are feeling.
The thing is with meditation you need to break yourself in. The first thing that will happen is you will get thirsty. It’s not like you’re plowing the north forty and need a drink of water. For some inexplicable reason, your body got thirsty the minute you sat down to meditate. No problem. Go have a drink of water. Better yet, bring the glass back to where you were meditating. Sit down and try it again.
Okay, all ready. Begin meditation.
Now, you have an itch. You try to ignore it. It just gets worse.
Maybe, you think, you’re going about this all wrong. All you wanted to do was to listen to that tiny little voice within. She said to meditate, but you can’t even do that.
Did I say this was easy? Try again. Take a deep breath and settle back in. Dip into it. Quietly. Calmly. Take another deep breath. Pay attention to the breathing, the rhythm. Try to visualize the breath. In it goes. It fills your lungs. You can feel your ribs expanding to hold your breath. Hold it. Count one, two, three, four. Now, open your mouth and let it fly. Forcefully out into the room
Are you itching now? No? What happened?
You were focusing on something other than the itch.
Do that some more and let it go. On an exhale imagine that you are in a peaceful place. It is so peaceful. The sun is shining, but there is also shade. You see how the sun is coming through the leaves and is dappling on the ground. It is cool in the shade. It isn’t cold. It’s perfect.
Be quiet now. Enjoy this little bit of peace.
With me, there were all sorts of things that got in the way between me and my meditation. I was thirsty, I was hot, I itched, I kept thinking of things I needed to remember.
This is normal. Your body is trying to keep you safe while you saunter blithely off towards this dangerous and unknown place called meditation.
Be kind to your body. Have a drink. Keep a notebook beside you to write down the stuff your mind doesn’t want you to forget. Stretch. Itch. But, as with a toddler, hold onto her hand and bring her attention back to the path you are both on. Be kind. Don’t get angry. Be patient. Always return to the path.
For each and every one of you the path to that little voice within will be a bit different.
I have suggested that meditation is a good way to begin.
Another way that you can approach this is to draw. This will allow you to focus on drawing to the exclusion of everything else. As with meditation you are focusing on something specific.
What about listening to music? Yes, that too. The point is to go away from your daily grind whatever it is that you do to a place somewhere else and yet still here.
There are all sorts of tiny muscles involved in practicing meditation. As with a course of exercise when you put on your running shoes and start out you are going to be sore in the beginning. That’s what happens to muscles you haven’t used in a while. They are not strong. You need to do it for a while for things to get better. Same thing with meditation.
Finding it hard to “go deep”? Imagine that you are standing on a ladder, and you are going down the ladder rung by rung. Imagine, One, Two, Three, and so on. You are getting more and more sleepy the longer you are going down the ladder.
Okay, time for a channeling funny and that tiny voice within. While I was writing the paragraph above, I heard, “No, no, no, no.” in my head. Then, my guide, one of those tiny voices within said, “You don’t want them to go to sleep.” Anyway, I thought it was funny.
So, maybe that wasn’t such a great thing to do in the beginning. It does have its uses. I like to use it when I am trying to do a past life regression or a childhood regression. It is dipping down into a bit of self-hypnosis.
So, the other thing to do to hear that tiny voice within is to keep a journal. Just allow whatever is on your mind to bubble up and you put it on paper. For some people doing this with a pen and paper is important. I have found I enjoy using my computer. Just let it out. You don’t have to show it to anybody.
You could start with one word. Think of it as a writing prompt. Cry. Just one word. Write about it. You could pick out a whole bunch of one-word things to write about, put them in a jar and then pull them out randomly to write about. What you are doing with this exercise is giving yourself a voice.
The next good thing you might do is to pray if you want to. If you don’t believe in God then meditate some more. Or meditate with a purpose. It’s like picking a theme or, as you did with the writing prompts, one word. Meditate on the word Cry. It’s an idea. It seems reasonable. What you are doing here is to strengthen your connection to the All Is. Or What Is. Or The World. Or The Past. Or The Future. It doesn’t matter what you call it. You are connected to it and with this praying/meditating exercise you are strengthening your connection.
It doesn’t matter if this doesn’t make sense. When you go somewhere the most important thing to do is to know where you are going. You don’t need a map. You can always ask for directions as you go. Shudders from the men in the audience. Hey, I am 66 years old, have been married for 46 of them, and know of what I speak.
There might be other things you need to do before you can hear that tiny voice within. You might need to learn how to play again. I know you are grown up. I know you are responsible, pay your rent or your mortgage on time, go to the doctor when you need to, remember everybody’s birthdays. But you never outgrew your need to play and somehow it might be important to hear that tiny voice within. You might need to play a little bit and somehow through that playtime listen carefully.
You just might need to learn to find joy in washing dishes or doing the laundry. You might need to be able to find joy in just about anything you do. It’s just a thought. Who knows? You might need to find joy in a root canal. At least you can look forward to when it is over.
Did I mention this takes time? It takes faith that you are doing something worthwhile. It takes perseverance for you to continue these practices and whichever other ones come your way even in the face of what looks like failure. It might take years; it might be just minutes. You will certainly learn something during the process. That tiny voice might just be the voice of the divine.