Listen to Yourself

Friday 7 December, 2012

The answer came to me in an instant, but I couldn’t explain it or offer any evidence for it, so I kept quiet. I was sat in my meditation class. The lesson was about symbols and we had all been asked to bring something of importance: a symbol of our self, our life. I took my company logo which represents my work and signifies transformation. I spoke about how my teacher, Karaj, had taught me to see the information available all around us – in the words we use, the ways we behave, how we carry ourselves and the symbols and artefacts we keep with us.

After everyone had related the stories of their own particular item, our teacher announced that she had brought her own symbol. She promptly raised her arms, spread her fingers and showed us the backs of her hands. She asked us to consider what they symbolised for her. As I readied myself to explore the possibilities, the word ‘freedom‘ appeared in my consciousness. I know enough not to dismiss such thoughts but in that moment I had no explanation for an answer which seemed far more random than any of the more logical ones I was surely about to contemplate. I resolved to keep it to myself and observe how the exercise played out.

However, the teacher turned straight to me and asked me what I thought. ‘Freedom‘, I replied without hesitation and with the same matter-of-fact delivery we offer people who distractedly ask us what day it is today. But even as I answered, I still had no explanation. So when I was asked for one I just continued to offer the words as they came to me: ‘You have no rings, no attachment.‘ It seemed that, for a second, we were both surprised by how precise and assured my answer had been.

My point with this story is that we are prone to ignoring the messages we receive from within. We defer too quickly to our mind, which tells us we must be mistaken, that there must be a more logical answer, or that we risk too much by verbalising our intuitive thoughts and feelings. In the above example my mind began to rationalise the situation almost as soon as the answer appeared: ‘You don’t have any evidence. There is no basis for what you are about to say. What if you’re wrong?

Research does tell us to exercise some caution with our intuition. There are times when blind faith in our intuitive responses will definitely lead us astray. However, the more we listen to ourselves and the more we observe, the better we become at discerning when to be confident and when to double check; when to have the courage to speak and when to hold back. It takes practice and awareness. And it starts by listening closely to your self.

Related posts: Controlled Experiments | Quietening The Mind

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