Working with my Inner Voices: Interview with Gitte Winter Graugaard

Time to Rise — Ask the Author Series

Gitte Winter Graugaard has a rare creative talent. Her inner voice gives her more than intuition, it helps her to narrate the stories that she writes.

As a children’s author, Gitte first bonded with her inner voice when she was living in Croatia and expecting her first child.

Today, Gitte is the author of The Children’s Meditations In My Heart and one of the contributing authors in my book, Time to Rise, where she tells the story of developing her inner voices.

Time to Rise author, Gitte Winter Graugaard

Dr. Andrea — Tell me about how you began to discover “the voice” that you describe in Time to Rise?

Gitte — Well the voice has been with me all my life. And I have always been conscious of it. But it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first daughter that I started really trying to understand what it was trying to tell me. All of a sudden I starting asking myself questions; because I always knew the voice was important to me, but I wasn’t sure why. But I thought if I could understand it then it could maybe pass it onto my child.

I’ve been very lucky with the family and childhood I have had. They have always supported me, and challenged me in a good way. I felt that the voice had always been there to help me understand the lessons my parents were teaching me.

So my husband and I had just moved to our house near the beach in Croatia. I was only a couple of months pregnant. I had been working really hard up until the move, then I suddenly was in a new country, pregnant and not working — I had all this free time!

Dr. Andrea — So as you were thinking about becoming a mother for the first time, what was coming up for you, and what in the voice was so powerful?

Gitte — My mother’s voice kept coming through — and I’m sure for some people that would freak them out! But for me that was reassuring and kept me calm. Even as a young girl, I could always close my eyes and hear my mother’s voice helping me in touch situations and giving me perspective.

Because my mother’s voice was such a help to me, as a soon-to-be mother I wanted to know how that worked and if I could do the same with my daughter.

And the voice is kind of like a radio station; it’s not only my mother’s voice. Even today, if I close my eyes and listen, I can hear my father, my grandparents, and now my children too.

Dr. Andrea — One of the things you mentioned in the book, Time to Rise, was how your grandparent’s voice changed after they passed away.

Gitte — I just lost my grandmother a couple of months ago, and I felt the change in vibration. Voices, and all ways of communicating, are really just forms of vibration. On the night that she passed, her vibration became much lighter. In her last years she had suffered from dementia, but after her passing I hear laughter in her voice again.

As I’ve become a healer and I work with energies, I’ve noticed that the voices of all my grandparents became lighter after they passed.

Dr. Andrea — So for us who are still living, I wonder if we can tune into some of that wisdom?

Gitte — What I can share for now, I know that the vibration I feel is still them. It’s a full sensory experience, I can smell and feel them too. But here on earth, our vibration is heavier and more fear-based. We are full of worry.

Over the years I have lived in 7 different countries, and my parents and grandparents worried about me. All of that is gone now, I just feel their essence, and it’s all love and light. I feel like they are my cheerleaders now, supporting me, but not worrying about me now.

I’ve really noticed how some of the voices that scream the loudest for attention are the fear-based ones. And I’m learning to focus on the ones that I want to hear; the supportive messages and the ones that make me feel taken care of.

My life has taught me that when I breathe, pause and reflect I can often hear a better solution to a problem, and that will often turn out to be the right one.

Dr. Andrea — There’s a great story that you share in the book where you were working in an agency, and working really hard, and you could hear your body almost screaming at you. Tell us about that.

Gitte — Well we all can get off track sometimes. I was going to be working in a high flying role as a marketer and brand manager. I had just graduated from business school, I was a little cocky and feeling ready to take on the world. And I started to do just that. I was about 26 or 27 years old at this time. I had been feeling that I should follow a career path and use all of my abilities for this work.

But then I heard myself and realized it wasn’t for me. So after just 8 miserable months at the advertising agency, and even after what I’d been taught at business school — I’d been trained to work this way — I just knew it wasn’t right.

I rode my bike home that night and told my husband that I had to change my working situation. We were newly married and had been thinking about traveling and also having kids. Some of the voices in my head, the louder and more fear-based ones, were screaming at me that I was wasting my career and would be a failure if I left my job now.

But the other voices in my head were telling me to follow my heart. I think this is the case for so many other people. If they would just let their heart guide them, they would not be taken so far away from their path. A big reason that I wrote my chapter for Time to Rise is to remind people to listen their own inner voices — not the screaming, fear-based ones, but the heart-based ones.

So after telling my husband I needed to quit my job, things happened very quickly. I quit a week later. Three weeks later we found out I was pregnant! And then the week after that my husband got the work contract that would take us to Croatia.

I think this shows that when we do listen to our inner voices, the right ones, we manifest the lives we want very quickly. It’s a totally different ballgame when we are aligned with what we need to do.

Dr. Andrea — I love that you had the courage to do that! And that you had a husband who backed you up and supported your decision. And I love the way that you are bringing that message to the world. For those of us who have lacked support in our lives, we need to hear about the importance of living in alignment with our values. I think that is a wonderful gift to bring to the world.

So, you’ve had a big year with book publishing. Have he voices been supporting you while you have been stepping out?

Gitte — Every day! Every time I am in doubt, I tune in and get the courage from the voices. As an entrepreneur I am working alone every day. So if I felt completely alone I would be lonely, but I have so many voices with me it’s a big help, and it makes me feel aligned with the universe.

Dr. Andrea — In the book you told me that your voices have been moving over the years, from in your head to in your heart. So can you tell me how they have become more of an inner ‘knowing’, and how we could connect to that too?

Gitte — I’m not sure how or when exactly it happened. When my daughters were born, one in Croatia and one in Canada, I was finding I had to make a lot of difficult decisions. I was wondering about whether or not I should work while my kids were young.

At first the voices were noisy and demanding. Then as I settled into motherhood and decided not to work for 4 years. Also, as we were abroad, that sort of allowed me to take the time out.

As I tuned in more to what I wanted and started to believe that I could be a writer and entrepreneur, I started to listen more to the voices of my heart rather than the voices of my head. Now those voices feel more like intuition as they have sunk down into my heart.

Over time, I have realised that the voices have come from my heart all along, not my mind, or from someone or somewhere else. The heart is where it all starts.

When parents ask me for advice on something, I ask them to think, “what would love to do right now?” It gives you a different way of listening to your intuition.

Dr. Andrea — What other tips would you give us as we are learning to trust our intuition? Considering that we have all been programmed to respond to fear and the head. What can we do when fear creeps in?

Gitte — If you are completely new to this and don’t hear any voices inside of you, firstly know that intuition is in there. Society took it away, but if you listen it is in there. We all have intuition.

When I am coaching a client, many of them feel lost in life. If you feel lost and without a voice, trust that it can come back when you train yourself to listen. And just remember the difference; with fear-based advice coming from the head, and love-based advice coming from the heart. And when you do hear something, ask yourself who’s voice it sounds like or who does it remind you of.

Who’s voices are they, what are they advising you, and is it fear-based or love-based? And then we should know if it’s serving us right now or not. And if it’s not serving us, it’s okay to say goodbye to that voice and tune it out.

If you would like to learn more about Gitte, visit her website at https://roomforreflection.com/.

To get your copy of Time to Rise with our special free gifts, head here to see more, order your copy, and be inspired: http://www.timetorise.me/

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Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on January 8, 2018.