There was a time when you knew exactly what your needs and desires were.
For a few brief months after your birth you functioned in a space of complete self-acceptance and authenticity. You lived without judgement; of others, of yourself and of what was acceptable, right or advantageous. Because of this, whenever you became aware of a desire, you would accept it without question and you would act on it without apology.
Then the world started to matter to you. You began to understand that the pleasantness of your experience was often dependent on the actions and opinions of others. Therefore, you began to make others’ responses more important than your desires. The compulsion to fulfill your instinctive needs became less of a priority, as your quest to please or placate others gained momentum.
Of course, this journey away from authenticity occurs at varying degrees. There are some who maintain a strong connection with their authentic desires and continue to express their demands without hesitancy (despite society’s tendency to label these people selfish or willful). And there are people like me, with a disease to please, who can lose complete sight of oneself in the pursuit of acceptance, approval or peace-making.
The point is, we have all done this to some degree; we have all learned to turn our attention outward, value the feedback of the world over our own awareness, and base our actions and decisions on what we hear ‘out there’. And, in the process, we have learned to mute or ignore our inner voice.
(At some point, usually in mid-life but sometimes earlier, we begin to see the effects of this divorce from our authentic selves. We may begin to feel unfulfilled and disconnected. We may start to yearn for freedom and more authentic expression. We may begin to act out, resist or revolt against the machinations of our own lives. We begin to place emphasis on finding and being ourselves again.)
It’s important to note that our inner voice does not only express what we want. It represents all that is true for us; it tells us what we need, what we are capable of and, vitally, what is best for us as a unique individual. It is a profound and instinctive awareness that is immune to social conditioning and that connects us with a higher level of consciousness (one science is only now beginning to understand).
For this reason, whilst reconnecting with your quiet, authentic self won’t eliminate conflict or challenge from your life (as these are vital elements of evolution), it will allow you to make more purposeful decisions, and seek out more fulfilling circumstances.
Learning the language of the self
If you are wanting to reconnect with what is true for you, it is vital to understand that you won’t find this ‘knowing’ in your thoughts. Experts believe that up to 98% of what you think today will be the same as what you thought yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that … so analysis, logic and list-making will only serve to replay ingrained patterns and beliefs.
It is also important to realize that your voice — your truth — is not going to be found in the pages of a self-help book, or in some inspirational article on Medium. Nor will it become apparent to you in the in the midst of busyness or in the relentless cacophony of media and social media.
In order to hear yourself above the clamor, it’s imperative you learn to listen beyond the noise of the world and beneath your own thoughts and acknowledge that your innate truth is speaking to you in subtler, quieter ways:
Gut feelings: Studies show that the gut is incredibly sensitive to emotions and experiences that lie beyond our understanding of space-time. Clinical EGG experiments have shown that a person’s gut can be stimulated by telepathic communication, even when that person is completely unaware that information or intention is being sent their way. Unexplained butterflies in the stomach, cramping, gurgling or even nausea are all sure signs that your inner-voice is trying to tell you something. Pay attention!
Emotions: In the past forty years, researchers have gathered overwhelming evidence of a sixth-sense; a deep intuition that appears to exist outside the realms of matter and energy (ie. in the other 96% of the universe). This intuition seems to be a ‘right-brain process’ and flows into your awareness like creativity and emotion. Therefore, it is very easy for your brain to convert this ‘knowing’ into feelings. Sudden or intense emotions — particularly ones that don’t make logical sense — can actually be your inner-voice talking to you. If you ever experience weird or illogical emotions, the temptation may be to dismiss them or reason them away. But be aware: emotion is the most powerful way your inner-voice communicates with you, and unusual feelings may actually be signposts leading you toward fulfillment or away from harm.
Dreams: The constant chatter of the outside world and the demands of your rational brain can easily drown out the gentle flow of your inner-voice. When your logical mind is quiet, it is much easier to hear that whispering, inner knowing. This is why meditation, chanting and mindful activity can increase a connection with Self. Importantly, when you sleep, your conscious brain is completely neutralized and your inner-voice can deliver accurate, unfiltered information. Watch for dreams that have intense, lingering emotional overtones, (more than the average dream or nightmare), or a sense of certainty upon awakening. The details of the dream itself may be muddled, or purely symbolic, but the emotion associated with these dreams will always give you an idea of the true message.
There was a time when you knew exactly what your needs and desires were and it is entirely possible to reconnect with that incredible well of wisdom. The first step is to understand that your mind is not necessarily your ally in life. In fact, if like you are most people on the planet, it has probably led you some distance away from who you are and what is right for you.
Therefore, I encourage you to take time to venture beyond the opinions of others and the chatter of your own mind, and practice listening to the quiet insistence of your inner voice: your gut instinct, your emotions and dreams. You may just surprise yourself with what you have to say.
Kim Forrester is an award-winning author, educator and intuitive consultant with over 15 years’ experience as a professional intuitive and spiritual teacher. She combines cutting edge science with traditional spirituality to offer the latest understandings of psi, consciousness and holistic well being.