Stop! Listen! Hear it . . . YOUR voice . . . YOUR unique knowing
I asked myself the question . . . What could I share with a woman that could change her life? The answer came immediately. Teach her to hear and trust her own spirit, to celebrate and value her inner knowing.
Easy right? It should be, but it isn’t.
Think about all the outside input that streams into your brain every day; social media platforms, television, podcasts, newspapers, news shows. the world now is a stream of information, it never stops. WE invite it in and let it influence our thoughts, our mood, and our understanding of the world and ourselves. We believe it to be true because someone reported on it, did a little research, or has formed an opinion supposedly based on facts (or not). We invite information into our consciousness unchecked and unverified. We consider it, if only for a moment. That’s just the information we process, add to that the people at home and at work, all of their opinions and ideas, the rules that are set, the social mores we follow.
Just think about all the hours of your life that are spent processing information that comes from the world, from ideas generated outside of you.
Now, compare that to time you spend learning, listening to yourself, being in the present moment, living your life, painting, cooking, writing, dancing, talking, singing, loving or forming opinions that are yours alone. When was the last time you sat in a grove of trees and felt the wind, listened to the birds, looked at a flower, or smelled a lemon . . . and if you did have that experience, when was the last time you let it speak to you?
Look at a photograph stored on your phone right now, to an event that occurred a year ago. Let your mind drift to that moment and listen, really listen to what your heart and mind are communicating to you? Or read a poem, or listen to a song and write a response to the words from a place of deep feeling and thought.
When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new. Dalai Lama
Listening to your spirit is about connection to yourself on the deepest level. It’s learning to listen from within instead of being influenced from without. To do that takes practice! The world we live in isn’t set up to support that kind of inner wandering or wondering. You have to welcome and support a turning inward. Sometimes women I work with say they don’t have time, or that they're rarely alone, so when can they practice this inner journey? What I’m proposing is integration. Living in the outer world as you already do AND listening to spirit at the same time in all areas of your life. A method of being connected to yourself, your voice and power all the time!
How you do this is up to you, so TRUST that your spirit will guide you. I’m going to give you ideas, and share how I’ve learned to listen to my spirit in the blog posts I write, and I hope that you will share with me how you listen to your spirit, and together we will learn and grow. To begin with, the goal is to RECLAIM any power that you’ve lost, power you didn’t know you had or power that was taken away. Then, imagine into a world where the power of women is no longer feared. What would it be like if women supported and celebrated each other’s power believing that the more power each woman had gave the collective more power? What would it be like if men weren’t afraid of women’s power, if they felt no need to be superior or prove they were in charge?
The reason this shift in perspective is a challenge is because we as women have a LONG history of giving away our power or having it taken from us.
Watch the first time Keala Settle sang the song, This is Me, from The Greatest Showman. Keala SHOWS us all what it looks like to MOVE OUT OF FEAR and into POWER!
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me
The point is to make room in your life for your spirit to thrive. Start believing that your voice is of upmost importance. Trust that YOU know the truth and can speak it. YOU have beliefs and ideas, goals and talents yet to be explored. YOU do know! YOU have the answers and the knowledge. But if you spend your life focused on what is coming at you from the outer world, listening to others, believing that the rules can’t be broken, afraid to take risks, giving away your power, you will not have the time or energy to take the deep dive into the ocean that is you. That deep dive is required, not optional, if you want to become the expert and guide on your own life journey.
For fun, let’s take a short detour through history and look at what happened when women spoke truth to power; when women believe in themselves and fight to be heard. If you haven’t watched the documentary, Burning Times, about the European witchcraft trials, watch it! It’s sure to stir up some original thoughts—and at least one message in it will strike a chord of truth in your life. Just a short 300 years ago thousands of women were burned at the stake for being creators, healers, seers, for meeting in groups and speaking truth to power—basically for being women!
But as Burning Times points out, the witch hunts were a business. An entire industry sprung up around it; all of a sudden lawyers, judges, and men who sat on the tribunals had jobs. Every person involved in the collection, torturing, imprisoning of a suspected witch was paid. Guess where they got the money? They confiscated the accused witch’s property to pay for it. Keeping women in check by threatening to take property, jobs, children, reproductive rights, social standing—sound familiar?
Yes, the witch hunts happened a long time ago, but think about the cause, why were the women burned? Fear, money and power—all three still drive our current misogynous, patriarchal society. The IDEAS that spurred the witch hunts are still somewhat accepted. Fear of women’s power is alive and well. The impulse to suppress and keep a woman’s power in check has been exposed in the #metoo movement—a huge and important step—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and like an iceberg, we cannot see what is underneath.
Be brave and fierce trust your intuition
Whereas learning to trust your intuition and listen to your spirit takes delving deep down into the ocean of your being . . . which is where the reclaiming of power has to start. IMAGINE resurrecting the witch within and re-claiming the knowing that got women burned at the stake! And at the very least acknowledge that any fear you feel around claiming your power is real, history has screamed at us to control ourselves or perish, be small, invisible, likable, lady like, unremarkable, don’t stand out or speak too loud, be too controlling, or too driven, let other’s lead, follow the rules—OR ELSE!
But you are BRAVE, and you are FIERCE, and time is running out! So you’re going to have to step over that fear, kick it aside, hold up your shield and push your way through.
Where do we start?
The first step is to spend less time valuing and listening to input from the outside world, and more time listening to yourself. Make time for inner reflection. Be open to the world giving you signs and clues. Listen for messages from spirit ALL the time, all day long. Expect them! DECIDE that you want your power back. Figure out where it’s been hiding and pull it back into yourself!
Here are some ways to start listening to spirit:
honor your own advice
Next time you have a decision to make and you are going to ask someone for advice. Write the question on a piece of paper, close your eyes and ask yourself. Then listen for the answer and write it down. Now, at least you have YOUR answer. If you need to ask other’s advice, ask it, get the input, but then go back to your original answer and give that answer more weight than the advice you received from others.
be more playful
Be more playful with spirit. Before you leave the house in the morning, ask a question. Then, the first odd or interesting object, person, event that stands out to you—let that be your answer. Here’s an example. When my son was fifteen our relationship felt broken. I left the house crying one morning and posed the question—what can I do to make this better? A few minutes later, I drove by a tree that was my son’s favorite. It had been struck by lightning! It was a ragged stump with a few limbs, and yet high on the hill with the grey sky behind it, it was stately and strong. I had my answer—it’s broken but still standing, still beautiful. Later that day, I showed my son the photo of the tree and talked to him about us being broken, and suggested that maybe for a while we might feel broken, but we were still standing and would work through it. I felt healed by the tree and the talk that followed. I could have driven by the tree and not noticed it a long way in the distance, but I asked the question and was paying attention to spirit, looking for the answer in the world around me and I found great insight.
stop watching, instead take action
Have an experience, don’t just watch, use your body to act upon the world—to move, create, feel, pronounce. Be totally present in the moment and feel the spirit within yourself! Too much of our adult life has to do with the mundane or predictable. We have to eat, exercise, work, make love, care for family—and most of it happens regularly and repeatedly. We are a society used to being entertained, watching life happen, reality TV and social media pilgrims. When you have an experience; beat the drums instead of watching, touch and smell the tree bark and talk to the tree instead of gazing AT it. Slow down and sit on the bench and listen instead of speed walking through the park, you allow the time and space in your life for inner exploration. And in that time and space, spirit speaks.
pay attention to your dreams
Start a dream journal. Before you go to sleep each night write a question. Then, try not to set an alarm, and before you open your eyes, the second you wake, catch your dream. It fades quickly, but if you invite dreams to be part of your morning, you’ll start to remember them more and more. Write your dream down or record it on your phone. Then compare the dream to the question you asked before falling asleep. If your dream gives you valuable insight, act on it. You can research a place, person, symbol that was in the dream, or write a dialogue with someone in your dream. The point is to reward spirit for giving you dream information by integrating it into your life in some way.
join a circle of women
Find a safe place to practice speaking your truth. This might be the most important step you can take. Find or create a circle of women. If not a circle, join a meet up of women on a topic you’re interested in, or make a pact with a girlfriend to share your inner musings and both of you can practice speaking your truth to gain confidence!
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