Tuning into my voice of wisdom is not always easy. For the past several years I have been learning to listen to my heart, my inner voice. I’m not an expert, but am happy to share what I have learned along the way.

Creating quiet

Inner listening is partly about creating the sort of quiet where I can hear her. Sometimes my inner voice is a whisper and I’m not sure I’ve heard her. Sometimes she shouts and I hear her loud and clear.

Cutting down on the internal chatter can be a challenge. To do this, I try not to over fill my schedule. I intentionally leave time for my thoughts to slow down, to leave time for wondering.

I also work at creating quiet through meditation. I was not a natural at sitting down to meditate. I began with sitting for five minutes at a time and have worked up to 15 minutes. At the beginning of each meditation I set an intention – such as ‘Inner voice, speak to me’. Then I set a timer on my phone and sit quietly, concentrating on my breathing. Usually after I meditate I jot a few notes in my journal.

Write freely

I make time to write freely – without purpose. Writing helps me to settle. It takes the thoughts and worries that are racing through my mind and places them on the page. In my journal I write without expectation. I don’t try to write something perfect. I let it flow by keeping my pen moving.

This often leads to magical moments where something appears on the page that is beautiful or profound. This is always surprising and thrilling. It seems as if I can get myself out of the way and let the words emerge freely, I can tap into my inner voice.

Listening versus hearing

To hear her is one thing, to listen to her advice is another. As I tune in and listen more I know when I have heard and not listened. And she is always right. Like the person who wanted to carry my One Loop at a Time books but never paid me. My first intuition was not to work with her, but I let myself be flattered and convinced.

Patience and practice

It can take time to learn to recognize that inner voice. At first you may confuse her with the inner critic (she’s easy to recognize), and in the beginning my inner critic would shout so loud it was hard to hear my inner voice.

Create

You Are My Sunshine (in progress detail). Designed and hooked by Meryl Cook

As a writer and fibre artist, writing in my journal is how I process my life experience. It is how I figure out how to move forward, what my next steps should be. From my journal writing comes ideas for designs for my art. After a recent meditation session where I set the intention of ‘Inner voice, speak to me’ I was inspired to create this mat You are my Sunshine. The words around the edges of the design from my journal are “Inner listening, Open heart, You are exactly where you need to be.”

If you need help learning to listen to your inner voice, I’d be happy to connect with you.