Late at night, once the little town of Excelsior has gone to bed, the lake lies silent under a blanket of snow. The sound of that silence is penetrating, embracing. A quiet, inviting place that urges the soul to speak. And more importantly, a place to hear what the soul is saying. The still, small voice of the soul is always in dialogue with us. Sometimes as a quiet feeling that urges us to move in a certain direction, or occasionally as a strong feeling in the pit of the stomach that shouts out for our attention. So why don’t we always listen to what the soul is trying to say?
In this, our Western culture, we are not taught to listen to our inner voice. But rather we are encouraged to put our trust in proof, facts that can be substantiated by evidence. Acting upon a gut feeling is considered unwise, or even irresponsible. In this human experience, we yearn to know what the future holds, and tend to act based on what the tangible evidence suggests will be the outcome of those actions. But the soul speaks a different language, a language based on feeling. And frequently, there doesn’t seem to be any logical or tangible reason for the feeling. So, we ignore it. But how many times have we found ourselves crying out in exasperation, “I knew that was going to happen!”
The sound of the soul will never misguide us, and it will always lead us down the path of our highest good. But we need to learn how to listen for it, hear what it says, and then act upon it. Because the voice of the soul is a quiet one, it is often eclipsed by the clatter of our busy lives. Spending our days doing this, taking care of that, running here, stopping there, leaves little time for quiet space. In order to hear the still, small voice we need to take a few minutes each day – even five minutes – to just sit quietly. Whether the focus is on the breath, or letting the mind wander through the hills and valleys of the imagination, spending quiet time with oneself is a critical first step in learning to hear what our inner voice is trying to say.
And when we have made the space to listen to our highest voice, what do we hear? We can hear ANYTHING! There is an infinite number of possibilities for every situation that we face each day. Comforting for when we think we know the next best thing to do, but disconcerting when we cannot fathom why our gut feel is guiding us off into a totally unexpected direction. And yet, the feeling persists.
Once we are aware of the still, small voice, and can sense what it is trying to say, the final step is acting in accordance with the message. Acting upon a strong, but vague feeling takes a special kind of faith and courage. Even if we must shut our eyes, hold our breath, and jump! Remembering that the voice of the soul will never deceive us, and what may feel like a leap off the edge of a cliff, is really only a step down from the curb. Into a whole new Adventure.
“A gut feeling is actually every cell in your body making a decision.” – Deepak Chopra
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