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Day 67: Listening For An Inner Voice

“Everyone who wills can hear the inner voice. It is within everyone…….The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within.” -Mohandas Gandhi

I have been spending a lot of time lately trying to get quiet enough to hear my inner voice. Actually it is the only thing that I am really interested in hearing lately. Culturally we are not particularly attuned to listening long enough to get through the distortions and static that cloud the stillness where the voice lives. It takes time to get through the layers of voices that are continually running through our minds.

It takes practice to learn how to disengage from the mind chatter so that you can listen for the inner voice. The ego likes control and has a multitude of devices for its purposes. It is often called the monkey brain because it is relentless. It is the voice of defensiveness, of being right, of being guilty or making someone guilty. Ever desperate for security and control, the ego wreaks havoc on our relationships and our own sense of self worth, all the time believing and convincing us that it is helping us.

At life conception, there is the primitive streak of vibrating silence that all life forms share and that is the basis for all form and function. It is where spirit lives in the human form. Often I can’t get to that place of stillness because the noise in my life is so loud: too many things to do, too much angst about all the things to be done. My nervous system goes into overload several times a week. There is no getting to that voice when you are in a nervous system overload.

All of my most pressing concerns and worst fears can be resolved in the stillness inside of me. The inner voice, which is a birthright for us all, which connects every living thing is always there if we seek it. It is where our own truth lives, where we experience our worthiness and where our spring of courage and compassion resides. Ignoring this part of who we are, or connecting it to an exclusive religious belief system or worse still, dismissing it’s existence is the core of much suffering.

Shutting down our inner voice seems like it should be easy. Certainly something that quiet isn’t that hard to drown out. But the truth is that life will give you repeated messages (think illnesses, relationship and career crashes, literal crashes…) that there is something to attend to inside. Not unusually we find ourselves on our knees, bent from the blows that life has dealt before we turn inside.

Adyashanti, an eastern mystic said this: “…this still, small voice is not mystical. It is something that I think a vast majority of people have heard at times. But we’re so good at dismissing it. We want that still, small voice to justify itself�’to tell us why. One of the good indications that the voice within us is authentic and sincere is that it will never justify itself. If you ask it, ‘Why?’ you’ll get silence. If you ask it to explain itself, it won’t. The still, small voice doesn’t need to do that�’and it doesn’t. Tuning into the part of you that most wants your attention is, I find, a prerequisite for a positivity quest that lasts.