In a world filled with so much noise, it’s no wonder that listening to our inner voice can feel like a struggle at times. We’re used to being bombarded by outside information, to the point where asking Siri for answers can feel more comfortable than trusting our instincts.
No matter how disconnected you may feel, however, your inner voice is always there to guide you — if only you create the space to turn inwards and hear it. According to Hudson Healing Arts founder Beth O’Boyle, your inner voice is your innate wisdom. When you embrace it as a compass, life tends to feel more peaceful and aligned to what your body and soul truly desire. In this month’s post, Beth shares her best tips for tuning in and heeding the guidance of your inner voice.
Getting In Touch With Your Inner Voice
First things first: What exactly is the inner voice? As Beth explains, “It’s not a great big showman.” It’s that quiet whisper before the mind chatter launches its own campaign. Your inner voice isn’t to be confused with self-talk or mind chatter, which can be quite loud and critical. The mind naturally looks toward what happened in the past, which doesn’t allow us to be open to possibilities.
“Your inner voice is your North Star,” says Beth. “There’s a great quote I love: ‘I’m telling you you’ll be fine if you follow your spirit and travel with your instincts.’ Truly, you’re much more likely to have a happy life if you follow your intuition.”
While your impulse is a knee-jerk reaction, your intuition or inner voice is more of a deep knowing. Tapping into that wisdom requires us to tune into the present. Slowing down and unplugging from tech. Even giving yourself five extra minutes in the morning creates the conditions for your inner voice to be heard.
“It’s so important to listen to that quiet awareness that arises immediately, the seconds before the mind jumps in,” says Beth. “If you have a decision to make, find somewhere quiet to sit. Think of the first option, whether it’s what to eat for lunch or which job to take, and simply notice how you feel. Then, take a breath and let it go. Now consider the other choice. Notice which inner response feels better in your body. Which gives you a lift in your energy, a vitality, or a lightness?”
Reexamine Your Self-Talk
As you get in touch with your inner voice, you’ll naturally be inclined to be gentler to yourself. However, when negative self-talk does arise, don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up! “It’s all a learned response. After all, young children don’t experience inner criticism unless they’ve heard and learned it from others,” says Beth.
When you say something to yourself that you would never say to a friend, ask yourself, “Where did that come from?” Perhaps it was a careless comment someone made 30 years ago. Often, we get these ideas about ourselves that don’t reflect who we really are. They’re simply reflections of other people immersed in their own stuff...stuff that they too inherited! Letting go of these hurtful beliefs frees us up to be the best, most confident version of ourselves. Here are a few tips for softening that inner critic:
● This is a simple yet transformational practice from author Byron Katie. In response to a negative thought, ask yourself, “Can you absolutely know it’s true? How do you react, what happens, when you believe the thought? Who would you be without the thought?”
● Journaling can be a great source of clarity. Perhaps it means writing down those negative thoughts and untangling where they came from. Or maybe it’s writing a love letter to yourself instead of dwelling on what’s ‘wrong’ with you. Focus on all your good qualities...and don’t spare a thing!
● Embrace affirmations. Write a positive phrase and keep repeating it: post sticky notes, save it on your phone, and remind yourself throughout the day. Getting rid of a negative thought means programming a new one in its place. For instance, instead of “I’ll never be enough,” see how it feels to tell yourself, “I am enough. I do enough. I have enough.”
Accessing the Inner Voice
Despite our best efforts, it can be a challenge to reverse long-held behaviors and beliefs that no longer serve us. That’s why holistic healing can be so transformational. No matter what modality you choose, you’re making a conscious choice to relax. Relaxation is the first step to accessing the subconscious, which is where patterns of behavior and response are stored (rather than in the conscious mind). Here’s a brief look at how some of HHA’s services can help put you in touch with your inner voice.
Hypnosis helps you harness the power that already exists within you to solve everyday problems and make profound change. You’re able to have a powerful conversation with your subconscious, free of distractions and over-thinking, to replace beliefs that aren’t serving you with ones that do!
Our thoughts are incredibly powerful, but it’s easy for our minds to get filled with negative thoughts. Doing deliberate work on what you fill your mind with can have a tremendous ripple effect on all areas of your life. That’s exactly what guided imagery is: directed, deliberate daydreaming! Not a bad way to shift unhealthy patterns…
Bach Flower Remedies
There are countless flower remedies to address various emotions and patterns. Cerato is a remedy for the person who lacks faith in their inner wisdom, asking other people their opinions of what they should do, yet often knowing what it is they truly want. Embracing Cerato is a great idea if you’re more inclined to value other people’s opinion over your own. You can learn more about Cerato on The Bach Centre website. To schedule a Bach consultation, call (201)653-7700 ext. 1 or email: Beth@hudsonhealingarts.com.
Counseling is all about getting to know yourself — and unknowing the limiting stories you’ve held on to for years. Having a safe space to talk without judgment is invaluable to getting in tune with your inner voice.
AshWork Energy Clearing
AshWork calms the parasympathetic nervous system, taking us out of fight-or-flight mode to gently shift patterns. This makes it a wonderful shortcut to change and improvement, releasing stuck patterns while keeping talking to a minimum.
The Feldenkrais Method
Feldenkrais lessons are individualized to help each person uncover their most efficient movement patterns. During this process, you learn to listen to your body in an entirely new way. Not only does movement still the mind, but our bodies often give us powerful clues about what feels right and what doesn’t.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this month’s post. Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for more regular holistic healing inspiration. Wishing everyone a joyful May!
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.