It’s taken me years (and years and years) to acknowledge that I had wisdom that was uniquely, distinctly mine, let alone hear and apply it! I have stories attached to why: why it has been so hard for me, why it took so long…
I doubt my story is all that different from yours.
If you grew up in the Western World, reason, facts, and objectivity reigned. There were laws: gravity and perpetual motion. There were those who wrote the laws: our Founding Fathers, God (him)self, maybe Moses. And there were those who interpreted or enforced the laws: parents, priests, pastors, police, politicians, patriarchy…
The consistent message was this: The answers are obvious; just find and apply them. To think for yourself, let alone trust what you think/feel is way outside preferred and acceptable behavior.
It took me a long time (and lots of heartache along the way) to believe anything differently, let alone do anything differently. But I have learned. I have changed.
A quick story:
Close to twenty years ago, still married, my daughters very young, I began to notice that the running dialogue in my head was distinctly different from the words I spoke or the actions I took. At first, I disregarded it. But over time, the noise was too loud and the gap between who I was being and who I wanted to be was far too wide.
So I started writing it all down (with password protection). I let myself speak – finally, freely, unedited and unrestrained. And though every bit of it felt way too dangerous and way too risky to actually do anything about, I began to hear something – like a heartbeat.
I recognized that I wasn’t “wrong” or “crazy” for what I was thinking. I was actually right!
For a long time, what I heard within (and wrote) was completely counter to what others expected of me and, it seemed,, highly risky. It was close-to-impossible for me to trust what kept coming up, showing up, and speaking within. But eventually, I recognized that the more disparate my thoughts from the status quo and what others wanted/expected of me, the truer (and wiser) they were – FOR ME.
And now? Thankfully, I hardly ever notice a difference between what I hear within and what I say or do. Sometimes. Every once in a while. And then I remind myself, yet again, that what I know is right. I am right.
(This is not to say that I never make mistakes, that I am right about every opinion I hold, that I cannot be changed. It IS to say that the voice/heartbeat I hear within is right – unquestioned, reliable, mine.)
So, the how-to’s for you?
1) What shows up for you if you incorporate, even believe that the more crazy or countercultural your thoughts (your inner wisdom), the truer and wiser they are?
2) Pay attention to, even list out (with password protection, if needed) what you really think, what you really feel, what you really know. Let yourself literally hear (or see on the page) the wisdom that is yours – that know-that-you-know-that-you-know voice within. OR record yourself on a Voice Memo on your phone. Let yourself speak. Say what you actually want to say! Then listen back to just how clear and certain and yes, powerful your wisdom actually is!
3) Track what (and who) gets in the way of you actually speaking the wisdom that you hear. Pay attention to those gaps.
4) Extend yourself grace. Believe me, I don’t have this whole hearing-my-wisdom thing down. I still struggle to hear the wisdom I KNOW my body offers me. I still struggle to be quiet or still or meditative long enough to let silence carry me to deeper truths and knowing. But that know-that-I-know-that-I-know voice? Yeah. I hear that one. All the time. And it’s really, really wise.
That voice? That wisdom? Hearing (and trusting) it as your own?
Mmmmm. May it be so.
If this feels challenging for you – and compelling at the same time – I’d love to talk with you more. These are (thankfully) the kinds of conversations I have with my clients. I offer free one-hour calls. Not for discovery. Not to sell you on anything. Just to listen for the wisdom I know is there and invite you to even more.
Every Monday I write (and then email) a letter…to you! It’s filled with more of my stories (like the one above), the stories of other women who offer us their wisdom and call us to our own, and as much encouragement and hope as I can possibly muster. Oh, and I also include what I’ve been reading, watching, listening to, even baking lately! Gift from me to you. And…because it’s written to/for you, I just need to know where to send it! SUBSCRIBE.