Listening to Yourself

Often times when I lecture I talk a lot about not only taking risks but the importance of following my instincts, (my gut) – how I listen to myself.

While I truly believe the universe sends us signals to help us flourish, so many people struggle with this idea. I was not always very good at this, trust me. It took years of confusion and fumbles. However, now I take time to be still and I truly listen. I actually use this in all aspects of my life, even when creating skin strategies for clients. I will say “don't mind me I am just chatting with your skin”. I am what some call the skin whisperer, I listen and I work. (The only issue is that its sometimes difficult to translate that when educating).

I had the honour of meeting Mark Nepo, several years ago. I was very privileged to dine with him, and then listen to him recite poetry. Something he discussed resonated in me, I can say I left that evening a changed person. He came to the realization that if there are seven thousand ways to speak, then there must be seven thousand ways to listen. The truth is, listening goes beyond simply hearing words. Listening involves delving deeper to truly understand ourselves and others. Its involves slowing down. This is the moment the magic happens!

In his book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen; Staying Close To What Is Sacred, Nepo describes listening as “the doorway to everything that matters. It enlivens the heart the way breathing enlivens the lungs. We listen to awaken our heart. We do this to stay vital and alive”.

In his book he also shares different ways we can listen and live life more fully!

Here are some inquiries to help you better listen to yourself:

  • Describe your first experience of listening. “Who or what were you listening to? What did you hear and how did it impact you?”
  • What is one thing you know to be true? How have you kept this truth in your awareness?
  • Describe a time when you weren’t seen or heard. What did this take away from you?
  • Describe a time when you were seen and heard for precisely who you are. What did this give you?
  • Describe the face you show no one and the face you show the world. Without judging either, begin a conversation between the two.

You will never know what your intuition is telling you unless you take a moment, stop and truly listen.