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In times of uncertainty it can be difficult to know what you want. Many of us are stretched between family obligations & work ~ often with much of our focus in support of those around us. We have become master jugglers running & keeping all the pieces in the air while perhaps sensing that there is something in our internal space that seeks to be heard or understood.
The notion of intuition is tricky. On the one hand we inhabit these incredible bodies capable or sensing, neuroception, & integrating vast amounts of information faster than our rational mind can take in. On the other side acting impulsively on a felt sense can can compound our biases & create self fulfilling prophecies.
It’s my belief that there's a middle path~ a place where our head (rational mind, discernment, problem solving) can work hand in hand with the wisdom of these extraordinary bodies we inhabit. Here, intuition is a birthright, one that is nurtured (not in opposition with) discerning & intelligent thought.
But how do we listen & actually here this intuitive sense? This is a process & one I hope to address in this blog by sharing how we might love, listen, & actually hear ourselves amidst a sometimes chaotic world.
To Listen is to Love
To truly listen to ourselves is an act of love... unconditional.
A challenge with deep listening or intuition is that we often carry a narrative or expectation of how we 'should' feel, where we 'should' be, or have an agenda to match our inner sense with some external direction or outcome.
Yet... to listen with love is to release (or be present with) these expectations. To give permission for the mind to flutter, the body to experience tension or discomfort, & to allow the process to be what it is.
This includes giving ourselves permission...
~ to not have an answer.
~ to acknowledge a sense the urgency or desire to fix & let it be there.
~ to experience the discomfort of not knowing or confusion.
~ to allow emotions or thoughts that we may judge as being bad or wrong
~ to feel restless, numb, tired, or elated
~ to be humble
~ to make mistakes
~ to recognize that sometimes we might not be able to hear ourselves
~ to take time to learn & understand
~ to experience our own impatience
Love, as I see it is unconditional at its core. When we can peel back our agendas & allow what is there in the moment (including the agenda itself) our sensations & unconscious begin to speak. To open ourself to listening is an act of love ~ this permission allows what’s beneath the surface to come forward.
Love creates space for our inner sensations & expressions to come forward.
Love opens us to listen.
Love reminds us that regardless of how lost we get we are always welcome back to ourselves again… again... & again
What it is to Listen?
Listening is a skill we cultivate with time & practice. It grows in moments ~ five minutes ~ three deep breaths ~ morning meditations,~ that build over time. Regularly recognizing, taking, & asking for the space to listen allows those deep fundamental shifts to occur (albeit often slower then we might like).
Listening is an immersive experience.
Our natural western tendency is to jump to conclusions, to fix, to find meaning, or to 'fit' into our desired or 'should be' experience. I invite you to give space & listen beyond that. Allow those tendencies to impulses to rise, to be seen, & to dissolve in their time.
Listening to the intuitive wisdom of our bodies is more like tending to a dreamscape than analyzing a literal narrative. It’s common for our bodies to move through a spectrum of physical sensations (shaking, numb, constricted, expansive, warm, tingly), for our emotions to shift between states (pain, joy, sadness, grief, love, gratitude, numb) & for our psyche to offer us dreamlike images or unearth forgotten memories. Like a dream some of this material may be pertinent while much of it dissolves after being acknowledged. Those messages that are most important will often carry a felt sense of significance... What they mean however, might not always be easy to decipher (& that's okay). With time these insight usually unpack themselves in fragments revealing the greater lessen in time.
Here are a few ways you might support your self listening.
Orient. Take a moment to slow down & look around your space. This helps inform your nervous system that you are safe & creates opening for tuning in.
Try listening without language ~ sense into the moment without giving it a narrative or explaining git in words.
Listen with allowance ~ allow every sensation, image, sense, feeling to arise without filter.
Listen with patience ~ give time for things to percolate, shift, & settle. Some lessons take years to unravel while others arise in an instant.
Listen to thoughts as a witness ~ if there is an inner voice, words, or thoughts let them speak. Feel free to write them down & get them out. Sometimes things to need to move through expression. Free writing is an excellent practice for some to allow things to process & unravel.
Listen in movement. Movement can be a really beautiful way to calm the system so that we can listen. Put on some restorative music & let you body move like smoke as you tune into breath & sensation.
* For some the act of listening is too feels too intense. Seeking out support of a skilled somatic therapist, coach, or psychologist can be helpful or try oscillating between listening in (1-2 breaths) then looking around & focusing outward (for as long as you need to feel settled again)
What it Means to Hear…
When we listen with permission & spaciousness we start to hear things differently.
There is a feeling tone when things line up & we come to a truth in ourselves. Sometimes it feels like a humbling, somewhat uncomfortable but with a deep feeling of truth. Other times it lands with a grounded sense of awe or knowing.
This tone is perhaps slightly different that one that is more impulsive like excitement or desire.
Different still is a felt sense of urgency, fear, 'shoulds', or desperation.
None of these felt senses are wrong... simply information.
With time we become more able to hear & hold the different layers ~ those deep & resonant internal truths, our passions & desires, our need & wants, the 'shoulds', self talk, & even the discerning intelligence of our mind.
To Act or Not Act?
Action & listening to intuition go hand in hand. When we engage, even if it goes against a gut feeling, or is later deemed a 'mistake' we gather information ~ allowing us to tune our listening, unpack our potential biases, & gain greater insight into ourselves.
By pausing to tune into our Self we learn. Regardless of the choice you make these pauses will help you gain clarity. Action is like chipping away at a stone to reveal the statue beneath ~ pausing to listen is like stepping back to take in what is being created. In the end even those seeming mistakes can guide us into greater self understanding.. if are willing to return to love, listening, & hearing.
About the Author
Amy Thiessen is an international teacher, coach, & musician who focuses on helping individuals connect to their confidence, purpose, & self esteem through voice & communication. Offering a holistic approach Amy helps individuals uncover & overcome their unique blocks around voice & communication, connect to their self esteem & purpose, & ultimately express themselves in a way that is empowered & impactful.
1:1 coaching is the fastest way to overcome your blindspots & find deep & more impactful expression. Book a FREE consult to see how In Resonance Coaching can support your full expression today!.