The Inner Voice.
In the previous two posts we have discussed the nature of presence and how to welcome more presence into your life. Here we discuss one of the many gifts of presence: intuitive knowing or ‘the inner voice’.
One of the benefits of presence is that we begin to perceive the inner voice more strongly. In fact, the voice doesn’t actually get louder. We have simply begun a process of becoming quieter in our being and thus we are more able to hear it.
At first, you might find it hard to differentiate between your inner voice and ‘thought’, however, in time you may notice that there is a distinct quality to your inner voice. It has a different tone and is often accompanied by a feeling of peace. It is an incredible valuable resource. Learn to identify your own and notice its unique qualities. There will be aspects that make it stand out in a mind often speeding with thought.
Exercise 2: Identifying the Inner Voice
First bring yourself fully into the present moment as in the exercise in the previous post but keep your eyes closed.
Focus on a decision that you are concerned with at the moment. There will be two or more paths that you could choose with multiple outcomes.
Now, in your fullest state of presence (see Ex. 1) ask internally for guidance on this issue and just listen. Listen for every feeling, sound, vision, movement. At this point, there is likely to be a clatter of fearful thoughts and chatter to start with. Don’t judge these initial ideas, just allow the mind the time to empty itself of these thoughts and words. This is a vital part of the process but it is not the inner voice. Wait it out.
A few minutes into the listening, the mind may begin to run out of chatter. Keep your focus strong, clear and silent and continue to follow the breath. In the gaps between further chatter you may begin to hear a different voice or it might be a feeling that informs.
Collect the information and notice how the body, mind and spirit feel in the presence of this knowing. If nothing comes, simply remain centred in your intention to listen deeply and move to the next stage.
Take one of the possible outcomes or choices that relates to your issue – lets call it choice A. Ask yourself, “Is this choice aligned with my highest interests and the highest interests of all those affected by it?” Again, get quiet and just notice the feelings and sensations within you. At this time, pay particular attention to the heart and gut. These energy centres provide a particularly rich source of guiding information. We refer to them in language frequently: What was your gut reaction? What is your heart telling you? Etc.
Remember that you are becoming conscious of subtle energies so don’t expect a fanfare. You are developing your capacity to become still and quiet and to sit in deep listening. It is like a muscle and requires training and patience.
Note the feelings associated with choice A and then do it with B and C.
You may find that there was a marked difference in the feelings associated with the different choices or you might still be unclear. As a guiding principle for making decisions using this technique move towards comfort and away from discomfort.
A word of warning: I am not suggesting that you immediately start making every decision in your life this way. After all, if you are new to experiencing the inner voice, you are effectively meeting an aspect of yourself for the first time and developing a new vocabulary of listening. You wouldn’t trust a stranger with your most challenging decisions on first meeting so take time to build this new line of enquiry into your decision making process.