One afternoon years ago, when I was living in Boston, I went out for a walk.
I usually had a nice long path I liked to do along the Charles River, but this day, I felt a soft inner urge to go along my shorter path through the Brown-stone lined city streets.
When I got back up to a main street I’d cross to head back toward my apartment, I looked off to my right and saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I’d ever seen. I can still see the colors, that view. It wasn’t red or orange but a soft yellow that shone between grey clouds, a sky that while darkening had a tinge of deep purple or blue. I can still see a faded, distant image of it in my mind.
It was breathtaking.
As I saw that view, I realized that had I gone on my longer path, my usual path, I never would have seen this. I never would have seen this exact image.
There is a soft, voiceless voice that lives inside of us, always there to move us, to guide us.
It isn’t loud or forceful, though in some situations, we may feel it more strongly than others.
It comes as a feeling, a knowing, an urge. We just know that something is right, that we have to do something, that it’s time. It’s a peaceful voice, one filled with truth and wisdom.
But so many of us live in our heads—planning, figuring out, rigidly sticking to how we think things should be.
We’ve been conditioned to be logical, rational, to think things through—to use and prioritize and value our minds.
We do so many things out of routine or habit, never questioning whether we actually feel like doing whatever it is we’re doing. Would we really like to do something else instead?
It’s a lesson for many of us to learn to let go of control, to learn to step outside of the thoughts in our heads and tune into the deeper felt inner knowing that lies inside of us.
This is still a practice for me. I’ve spent years connecting to this space, moving from this space, but there are still times when I notice my mind trying to take control—trying to force me to do or figure out. Sometimes, I’ll give into it, just go with the thoughts, understanding that at some point, when they run their course, I’ll soften and come back to the understanding that I need to wait until something feels right, that I won’t do anything until it feels right from that knowing space within.
We can learn to listen to this voice by softening, by getting still. We can practice in big ways and small ways; we can learn to move from this space through all of our days.
We can practice in the mornings when we wake up. How do we feel? What do we want to do? If we had a plan of how we’d like our morning to go, we can question: is this what I really want? Is this what I feel like doing? Would I like to do something else instead?
We can learn to tune into this space for our bigger life decisions, to trust that this place will guide us toward where we’re meant to be.
When we make decisions from this space, we feel peace, softness, calmness—because we know that what we’re doing is right. We might be uncertain about parts, we might not understand or know how everything will play out, we might even feel frustration if it conflicts with some plan we had or with some ego mind part of us that thinks it wants something else, but if we go with this space, move with it, it will still feel right to us, to the deepest parts inside of us.
We won’t always know what to do. We won’t always feel guided to act. Sometimes we need to soften and wait. Sometime we’re guided to wait, to not do. We can’t force ourselves to know what we don’t know or to see what we can’t see. We can’t force ourselves to figure out next steps when things in life aren’t clear or we feel unsure. We can’t mentally, through the use of our minds, find soulful answers.
We have to be able to soften and listen to the wiser, voiceless voice within.
This is how we know things are right for us: because they feel right.
We’ll know they’re right because they feel right.
We all have this space of wisdom living within us, this place inside of us that can guide us and move us—we just have to learn to tune into it, to notice it, to move with it.
Our minds can be useful, but too often, they are distracting, and they can distance us from the truth that lives inside of us.
True insight, a deeply felt inner knowing, comes from a space beyond the mind.
What do we want? What do we need? How do we feel?
What feels right to us?