Archives For inner-voice

Our inner-voice is speaking but can’t get a word in edgewise with the constant connection to technology.  I guiltily admit to my habit of filling every free moment with technology check-ins.  On my phone, I tap into the world through online news, text, email, Facebook, Twitter and play Words with Friends.  It’s habitual, comforting and addictive.  Drinking my morning coffee, I check my phone. Waiting in line at the grocery store, I check my phone.  Decompressing at the end of the day, I play games on my iPad or iPhone.  All of the moments when I used to pause and really listen to myself, are being filled with mental activity through technology attachment.

Last week when I sat in meditation to just listen, no question, no agenda, I felt uncomfortable.  I set my phone on airplane mode so I wouldn’t get interrupted, then set the iPhone timer for fifteen-minutes hoping I could make it through the seemingly grueling long nothingness.  Sitting still isn’t my forte. I walk meditation and journal daily as ways to center and connect with my inner truth.  I quickly was reminded, that thoughtlessness was nourishing.  It refreshed my mind like a cool washcloth on a fevered forehead.

At fifteen-minutes when the iPhone marimba sounded, I turned it off and stayed floating in mediation for a full 45 minutes. At times I received clarity about something in my life unresolved, other moments just silence. The mediation erased the sense that there was too much to do, too much information to keep up with. It returned me to feeling “All is well.”

There is a stress inherent in the information age, the stress of keeping up and the stress of processing the constant stream of input. Ongoing technology connection keeps that stress active, even in down times.  We have become conditioned to constant mental stimulation.  We don’t even notice our minds are tired.  The stress relief and nourishment that comes from quiet time is as important as getting a good night’s sleep.

The next time you have to wait, instead of turning to fill the time with the constant stream of information served up with ease from your phone, just sit there, wait.  Let your mind be still.  It’s very relaxing once you get past the discomfort. It will release tension you don’t even know you are carrying.  Listening to our inner-voice takes discipline.  We have to turn off distractions and give ourselves permission to take the time to do nothing.

I was reminded of the power of vulnerability at my book group this month. One woman shared a perceived failure, a self-judged imperfection and we all relaxed more deeply into our Self. The energy of the room opened up and became more connected. We each saw ourselves reflected, in the quiet moments where we are alone with our inner voice. We reached out to comfort the Self we saw in her. We held her with more compassion than we might hold ourselves.

We spend an immense amount of unconscious energy holding up the identity that we feel safe letting others see. The curious thing is that when we share our challenges, the less than shiny aspects of ourselves in healthy relationships, instead of activating the judgment of others, it invites them to love us more. They receive a signal that their own rough edges will be loved too. Suddenly there is new found safety in being a full-spectrum human being.

We all have experiences we count as failures, imperfections, things that don’t turn out the way we’d hoped, relationships, situations that got messy and we mired around in the muck. We weren’t our best. We should have known better, is what we tell ourselves. And we have periods of crisis that feel like about as much as one soul can handle, whether it’s external circumstances or an internal battle that stresses our life to the max.

Yet we still have to show up in our life. We can’t permanently take a vacation from everything and everyone to avoid being seen in the midst of it. The rough spots in the road of life evoke a deep sense of vulnerability. How much do we have to prop-up the Self that is doing “just fine,” or “great,” to the world while struggling in private?

It’s in the poop, the dirty, imperfect parts of our life that we learn the most. It busts us open and helps us grow. The discomfort stretches us. But unless we are a chronic complainer that drains the energy of everyone around with our misery, we generally hide these challenges from most of the world or save them for our closest loved ones. There is a reason for this. Our closest loved ones have established a known level of safety. We can live a richer life by allowing deeper vulnerability with more people in our lives. It literally shifts the energy of every future moment.

Our intuition helps us tune-in to supportive places and relationships in our lives to reveal our challenge. Simply giving a short but honest answer to the stranger who asks, “How are you?” allows them to admit their own full spectrum of emotion to themselves and have a better day with the relief of it… “It’s been a rough day but I’m hanging in.” This isn’t about dumping your shit on others, rather allowing the truth of you to be seen by another in a way that allows you both to relax into the present moment rather than faking it. This is how the poop gets beautiful. It’s the real, the true and the authentic Self revealed. The most beautiful state of existence.