The Blog

Do You Listen to Your Inner Voice?

thinker_optEveryone has an inner voice, but not everyone pays attention to it. It’s yours and personal. You don’t have to even share it, but you can certainly learn from it. Possibly, the take-aways may even make you a better YOU.

Whether you’re in great place or in an overwhelming one, it’s still important to check in with yourself.  Consider these steps as a helpful exercise to activate your listening skills.

1. Stop. Make the time to pause from the daily busy and step away. Putting space between self and world can provide a fresh perspective.

2. Solitude. Being alone can be very cathartic and necessary to feel what you need to feel and think.  Solitude doesn’t necessarily have to mean quiet time, just alone time.  So feel free to ramp up the music if that ignites deeper thinking. Solitude is good for the soul, at least for me.

3. Truth. You know what you know. Be honest with yourself. Otherwise, who would you be fooling? Think about what’s going right with your life and address what is not. Identify and clarify.

4. The Whys. This could be the piece that could give you more trouble, for sure. We all have patterns that we may not be skilled in evaluating and repeating bad behaviors is often a common culprit. Self analysis is not so easy nor is it typically accurate.  Enlisting help from a friend or professional can often give you the objectivity you might need.  And if things are going great, acknowledge the whys too.  There are life lessons learned from both our failures and successes.

5. The Work. How can you make it better? What will motivate you to change? Are you ready? Life will inevitably change, but personal change won’t be actualized unless you’re part of the process. You need to do the work.

6.  The Reward.  Without question, listening to self is a very difficult skill to master. Practicing these steps is a very doable exercise and can help strengthen this muscle. It can be an eye-opening experience and a powerful motivator.

Asking the right questions can open up opportunities for positive personal change. Answering them will start the journey and make them a reality.

No need to share your inner voice with me,  just listen. Hope these tips help you hear yourself loud and clear.

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The Empowerment of Mindful Solitude: Quality Time with Self

IMG_1827_optI’m definitely a “people” person. In fact, I love being with all kinds of people, most of the time. It’s my nature to be extroverted and I’m very comfortable drumming up a conversation with just about anyone, lol. But, (and this is a big “but”) I also love and value my time… alone.

I’m not referring to an imposed day-off for personal beauty indulgences (also very important), I’m talking about a couple of hours of solitude;  just “me” connecting with “me.”  Whenever I feel overloaded with life schedules and demands, and my head feels cloudy, I lose my focus. It’s then that I know I need some quality time by myself to restore my life-balance.

We probably all need periods of solitude but I think it’s a very personal exercise.  Solitude means something different for each one of us.  Connecting to “self” puts exclusive attention on oneself.  Some of us embrace it, while others avoid it, and still others are just not able to self examine at all.

Today was my solitude day, and so I planned for a few quiet hours with myself.  The weather was stellar, the opportunity was knocking. With paper and pen, off I went to my happy place by the marina.  There’s a quaint little town near my house overlooking the harbor that I love to go to.  It’s where I can sit by the pier and look at the serene landscape and appreciate the beauty of nature. The moment you approach, you can instantly feel the quiet and stillness. Today, even the docked boats were still, and the water so calm with barely a ripple. Surrounded by this tranquility, it was easy for me to shut down from the mundane.  Oddly, it was the hush that “woke” up my senses.

Being alone does not imply that you are alone, it’s a choice. When we are alone with our thoughts, it’s honest.  There’s no pretense.  No distractions.  Just you with yourself . Go deeper. It’s a time to know ourselves and regain perspective.

Sometimes solitude is a time for reflection and soul searching, but other times it’s just the simple enjoyment of the moment. There is peace in solitude.  Getting lost in thought, devoid of any conversation, is so liberating. Embrace the quiet. It inspires. The perfect setting for an empowering epiphany.

“Solitude suggests peacefulness stemming from a state of inner richness.  It is a means of enjoying the quiet and whatever it brings that is satisfying and from which we draw sustenance.  It is something we cultivate. Solitude is refreshing; an opportunity to renew ourselves.  It replenishes us.”– Hara Marano

It’s a great idea to schedule both time for yourself and with yourself. There’s a difference, don’t you think?


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